I’m currently in a state of transition. It was also my birthday recently, which marks the passing of time, the passing of another year. A marking of my birth.
I love the ritual that comes with my birthday – I take the day off. I intentionally spend time with people who I adore, with things that feed me, as well as the things that I intentionally want to bring into my new year. I also intentionally spend time with myself, and in nature.
I feel like it’s almost like a portal that opens on my birthday, and I slow and pause enough to see things with a slightly different filter than the one I run with in my day-to-day life. I do try to walk with intention everywhere I go, but my birthday, it somehow feels different.
I’m also in a state of transition from one career path and work-life container to another. There are similarities in my work, but it is also radically different.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m stepping away from private practice as I have been practicing for the past 20 years and stepping into a new focus, with new offerings. I’ve also just sold and passed on my integrated clinic space to two wonderful women who I know will further the vision and put their very beautiful stamp on it. These all feel like good, beautiful and timely changes.
But somehow, in the ending of one role and space, and the stepping into another, I forgot something key. I forgot to slow down enough to honour the transition, to honour the process.
I am committed in life to both teaching and modeling a new paradigm of working. To heal the busy, the over-stretching, and the motto of ‘just work harder if you want to succeed. This, I believe, is the root of so much of the dis-ease (personal and cultural) in our world. Or at least one aspect of it.
And yet, there I found myself, stretched thin, feeling frantic and chronically behind on my to-do list (which felt never-ending). I wasn’t having fun and I was feeling uncertain that I could actually DO this another way.
I’ve had a series of events that felt (as a dear friend likes to put it), like a cosmic 2×4 came in to slow me down.
I was out for a run on a local trail and found myself going over a massive to-do list in my head and wasn’t paying attention to the rocky trail in front of me when I tripped and fell HARD, straight down onto a locked elbow.
%&*@ that hurt.
It happened fast, and pretty much stopped any intense workout plans I had for 6 weeks now. Slow nature walks and gentle stretching are about all I can muster up as this heals.
Next, I twisted my knee on a photo shoot on the beach which had me slow down even more.
And then today, the day after my birthday, I found myself exuberantly de-junking my fridge (cleaning house and letting go of the old/outdated and cluttery bits of my house can also be part of my birthday ritual).
I was moving with a hint (or slightly more of a hint) of that frenetic busy ‘let’s just plow through and get this down” energy when I decided to take a plastic label off a bottle destined for the recycling bin with a knife.
The little voice inside my head said ‘don’t use the knife like that”. The overriding ‘get sh** done militant General’ that rears its head in situations like this when I’m not listening, said ‘it will be fine’.
Guess what happened?
4 stitches later, I had my productive morning plans completely altered as I sat in urgent care.
I could call myself all kinds of names, and perhaps did start with a few, but then, I stopped.
I’ve always been one that likes to find meaning in everything, and there was something here for me to pay attention to.
As I sat waiting in urgent care, the television had the Queen’s procession to Westminster Abbey on. I sat watching, mesmerized by the slow and honouring pace.
It took time, to walk in procession through the streets of London, slowly passing by the people in tears. Her family walking soberly and slowly behind her casket.
It is part of the long and honouring ritual to lay her to rest. A ritual to bring closure. To mark the ending of one thing, one reign, one life, before the shifting to something new.
Endings change the shape of things.
Endings change us.
Endings can bring the savouring of moments, the marking of time, a reconnection to the sacred.
They can be fast, but often, they take time.
Honouring transitions and endings, can be so powerful, and needed.
I realized that I have not been giving myself the time, the space, the honouring, and the closure I need.
I also need to create my new life, work and business in a new way. A way that is nourishing, honouring, and with more space and at a pace that feeds me. A way that is different than my past.
So, 3 events, each with a layering of slowness being called for. Each calling me into the moment, into consciousness and into gratitude.
I have so much to be thankful for, and I am thankful for my body’s ability to heal and support me.
I am thankful I’m now listening.
It takes work to unpack the busy and the idea that life must look a certain way.
I took the remainder of my morning to slow down. I stopped at a lovely coffee shop on my way home. I sat in the sunshine. I walked with intention and honoured what I needed at that moment.
Things will get done, but not at the cost of myself. No longer needing to hurt myself in the process (and pushing ourselves beyond our capacity in order to check things off our list or live up to someone else’s agenda, is actually hurting ourselves).
My work is about practicing what I preach. It’s also about continually learning, evolving and falling off, to come back again and again, to honour.
This was the meaning that came to me. And I am grateful.
If you want to learn more about what I am offering next, stay tuned, there are lots of nourishing and fun opportunities coming…in the perfect time!
Or always feel free to reach out, I love hearing from you.