Our personal version of alchemy is so often performed without even thinking about it, when lost in those tasks that take us deep into ourselves, into our innate knowing and our joy. So often, we learn to treat such activities as self-indulgent, pointless or plain weird and yet, the paradox is, they often hold he key to our deepest transformation...in other words, they are exactly what we need to be doing right now.
If you are a mature woman, perhaps especally if you have (or are going through) health challenges, what is your relationship with your hair? Women who have been through serious trials and tribulations...such as a trauma that turns hair suddenly white, stress-induced hair loss and cancer...can use a renewed relationship with their hair to reclaim themselves most powerfully in the aftermath; like saying "look at me, I'm altered inside and out but its all good, I embrace and offer forth the new me". An assumption that making the most of our hair so we can take on our lives means having to make ourselves look younger than we really are feels like making a declaration of power and intention which lacks heart and substance, like we are putting on a brave front...which stops abruptly where the roots meet the ground. If this happened in Nature, the tree would fall down. When we allow our deeply embedded roots to grow up from our core and to show themselves as they are...including if they are grey or white... declaring (not hiding) the story of all our lives, we claim the source-power that we are already generating from lifetimes worth of experience; and we bring that up and outwards to help fuel whatever projects we happen to be taking on now and going forwards, facing the world as our most authentic selves. This feels like an often un-tapped source of power for the mature woman (that is, being who you really are, the whole amalgam of your life's experiences to date, and being prepared to show that to the world, operating from that place of grounded strength) and it heartens me every time I hear about yet another woman tapping into that by revealing her most natural self. This may only be hair we are talking about...but are we, really? From experience, it feels like there is so much more to it than that.
Tending the inner flame: from self-destruction to thriving
What gets us hot under the collar; how do we work with that flame to transmute circumstances that feel "off" to us and without scalding ourselves and others? By getting to know what all versions of these triggers are in their very core essence. For me it is injustice and a sense of being made an "under-dog", in all its forms, that sets me off; felt keenly on behalf of anyone being treated thus, hotly for all women, painfully for anyone amongst my family or friends, excruciatingly when it's on behalf of my daughter, self-destructively when its anything to do with me since that version feels like the very inflammation in my cells that becomes PAIN and crashing health. Even now that inflammation is all-but gone from my daily experience, a circumstantial trigger can switch it back on in an instant so I know its time I got to work on this final bastion of my healing...by tackling the very triggers themselves; but how since I can't single-handedly change the ways of the world? Big questions and lots of new thoughts in this week's fiery blog. What I realised today is a whole deeper level of what I have been realising more and more on this topic and feels so on-time for where we are getting to in the tranformation of ourselves in tandem with the joint transformation of our world.
Dedicating a ceremony to YOU
Creating a ritual of self-care really works; it grounds that loving intention into a series of favourite acts that really work for you and which can be recalled, almost without having to think about them, when you most need them. When you wake feeling awful, when your body feels less-than, you might hardly know where to start with the desire to make that feeling better except for the ritual you have practiced and engraved into your life at times when you feel much better, feel most celebratory and playful. By reenacting these sacred ceremonies dedicated to YOU - and doing so often - you anchor them into the "ordinary" fabric of your experience and can quickly draw on them, adapt and make use of them when they are most powerful of all; which is at times when you feel you have lost that loving thread, lost your sense of appreciation for all that you are, have fallen off your physical perch. At the altar of yourself, you get to gently reenact a series of self-loving acts that brings you back online with yourself and remind you - like a softly spoken "I love you" in your ear - that you are cherished and deeply cared for, that what you are feeling matters, that there is no thing beyond this intimate pause in space-time claimed for yourself that is more worthy of your attention than you at this or any other moment; because, in your life, it all starts and ends there, in the infinite capsule of your consciousness watching the experiences of life unfold. Once experienced - and repeated over and over in the ritualised form - this feeling can never be lost and holds the power to transform any experience that could ever present itself to you, be that external or even pain in your body. What a gift to yourself on the path to self-empowerment and joy.