Photo Credit: Elena Ray
As we entered the new year, I was filled with anticipation around how I wanted to feel in 2017. I followed the same magical process I did at this time last year: setting intentions and action plans, cleaning out my closet, filling out my new planner, lighting candles every day while making a wish or prayer, and identifying my Core Desired Feelings. As I wrote the words, I was so excited to be inviting them into my life: Shakti, magical, daring, volcanic, and integrity. Yet, there we were, over a month of the way into 2017 and I wanted to hide under a rock. It wasn’t until the Spring Equinox that I really began to feel into the intentions I set. I have been feeling the attacks on the divine feminine and the Divine Mother and I am outraged. I am simultaneously paralyzed with hopelessness and despair. How can this be happening? Then a friend invited me to re-examine my Core Desired Feelings, “Is that not what you are feeling?” she asked. I took a step back and suspended my judgement for a moment—suspended my assumptions. SHAKTI. MAGICAL. DARING. VOLCANIC. INTEGRITY. She was correct. I am feeling those things, they simply aren’t what I imagined they would look like. These feelings are showing up in the way they amalgamate together. They are fiery and transformative. They also dance with the darkness. There is this nuanced experience about them that I had so conveniently forgotten. The universe was asking me to face the barriers I had in my life via my Core Desired Feelings. It was asking me not to make assumptions and consider the lessons that lay before me. . .the firewalks that lay ahead. It was beckoning me to face my fears around the messiness of being human and walking the warrior goddess way.
What I am experiencing is not unlike what many other people are experiencing around the world. This is not about the election or the new president or anything in particular. This is about the consistent string of wounded energy from all sides. We are bombarded every day with streams of hate, division, and struggle. We are faced with the unraveling of humanity. We are experiencing the rising of the collective oil.
The collective oil is the gunk of things that have been lying dormant. It is the darkness we pretend does not exist in the world. It is covered by plastic smiles of positivity and washed out by fads of “just get over it” and “everything will be alright” with sprinkles of “just love and light”. It’s the spiritual bypassing. In the trenches of each of our souls is the stuff we are ashamed of. It is the playground of our inner judge and victim. Over time, it festers and grows. It continues to collect until we can no longer stand it. HeatherAsh tells a story of a pan of oil. Typically, we refer to this as an individual experience, however as we can see around us, there is also a collective one. As we begin to find our warrior goddess way, we can imagine pure water flowing into our individual containers and this is exactly what we need to do as a collective community now.
Consider this an invitation to face your firewalks. An invitation to see what assumptions you (or we as humans) are holding onto about the barriers before us. An invitation to acknowledge the running gremlin tapes of stories we have made up to put up blocks in our own way. Consider this an invitation to suspend your own worldview, even if just for a moment, to see the humanity in us all—the messiness of fear, love, and passion that drives each of us. It is all energy and at the end of the day, that is all there is. We can use that energy to drive us forward and to raise us up so we will rise from the ashes. You can use the energy to create change in your own life.
It is so frequently forgotten that the elements are our allies, that we can seek solace in them and combine our energy with theirs. I’ve compiled a list of ways to use the elements as allies in our daily lives so that we can prepare for the journey within ourselves and also for the one out into our community to take inspired action in these turbulent times. Here is a short guide on how to breathe some space back into your world and to lighten the weight of the world:
Move. Each day allow your body to experience a range of motion, whether that is stretching, yoga, running, swimming, dancing, etc. Getting into your body is a great way to get out of your head and the stories we tell ourselves. Touch your feet to the earth, feel the air as you run or walk, dive into the water, and feel the burn as you move. Allow yourself to commune with the elements in whatever way feels playful and good.
Hydrate. Drink lots of water to nourish your cells. Our cells are waiting to carrying life deep into our bodies to awaken the wisdom that lies within. Acknowledging Grandmother Ice (Water) while you are drinking her can even deeper your relationship with this nourishing source being.
Get Still. Take time to be still and quiet. Sometimes, having the world in our palms is overwhelming and noisy. Give yourself permission to put down your phone, shut down your computer, close your eyes, and open your intuition. Doing this outside on the ground is a special way to connect with Mother Earth. Open yourself to her wisdom. Listen to the wind as you sit still. What messages does it have for you? Feel the sun on your bare skin. What does Grandfather Fire want to say as you bask in his sunshine?
Forgive. Finally, invite yourself to find forgiveness to all that is hurting. In Warrior Goddess Way, HeatherAsh talks about the wisdom of forgiveness. She describes big forgiveness and small forgiveness. It can be freeing to use the element of water to help you through this process. Allow her to wash away that which is hurting, holding you down, and keeping you in the swamplands of despair. Anytime you wash your hands or shower or clean the house, imagine the water is washing away all the areas where forgiveness is ripe in you. And for all those places you aren’t ready for yet? Love them fiercely for they are trying to keep you safe.
These tips are what keep me grounded and open during these times of uncertainty and chaos. It is my wish that as this collective oil rises we honor it by continuing to lean into the discomfort of this courageous, daring work. We are on this path together and if we can each hold onto the humanity in ourselves by practicing forgiveness and loving everything with our whole heart, perhaps we have a chance of getting this collective oil to continue pouring out to purify our vessel so we can heal our planet and support the divine feminine as she nourishes all of us.