As the northern hemisphere entered the fall season in late September, I embarked on a 13 week journey guiding a circle of women to explore who they were, who they are, who they dream of becoming. We gathered together as the northern half of the planet began its descent into darkness. As the days grew shorter we dug into our own shadow work, learning more about who we were and are, our true strengths and beauty becoming unearthed. The journey has been intense and sometimes painful, as we shed layers and connected more deeply with ourselves. We have each struggled with resistance and our own shadows. We have each dug deep to excavate our own beauty and light.
I do this work along side the women I guide, quietly. I rarely share with them my own process because it seems inappropriate, it is their space and I hold it for them; I do not want my journey to taint theirs. And yet while I hold the space for them, they unwittingly hold the space for me. Each prompt was written only a day or two before it was sent out, giving me and the circle the space to be exactly as it needs.
The program shifted and transformed during our time together and at some point I threw away the outline I had for the course and simply allowed it to flow, letting my gut and heart guide me to offering these beautiful women, and myself, what we needed in those moments. It was a new experience for me to throw out my road map and rely entirely on my instincts. New and terrifying and amazing.
I tend to like to have a plan, and while I am open to the plan shifting and changing, I feel a safety in having a plan that I can lean back on. The problem with this, for me, is it can become a crutch and I have felt myself become stagnant and not flowing or shifting at times; sticking to a plan because it was The Plan. I have often felt stuck and not right in my own skin, yet fear of the unknown kept me attached to The Plan. Old voices would insert doubt when I first started to consider ditching the outline for the program; voices that tried to convince me not to trust my gut, not to trust my heart, not to trust my womb and my own inner wisdom.
At some point during the this journey however I came to a crossroads. My skin wasn’t fitting, it felt like it was crawling around me and I knew it was time to shed, time to release the fear and the stories the voices tried to convince me of, the stories that weren’t true or real. Still fearful, nervous, but knowing I truly had no choice if I wanted to feel good in my own skin again, I took that next step and opened myself to the possibilities.
I was inspired by the women in the circle who were doing the same. Sharing with us all the brave small and huge changes that were happening during our time together. I witnessed them as they faced fears, released stories, gained new perspectives. I saw each of them start to glow a little brighter, their presence becoming stronger, more solid, more tangible.
And because they were doing the work of moving into their next iterations, I had to step up and do the same. That is the power of the circle: the conscious and intentional and the unconscious and unintentional support and strength that grows from a group of women gathered to do their own work, to be witnessed and to witness, to guide and be guided along this journey of becoming.
The constant evolving and shifting can be tiring, exhausting. There are days I feel it deep in my bones. Yet staying the same for too long does not feel right. I start to choke and my skin no longer feels comfortable, and I know this is true of the women who gathered together this fall for this work.
We began our work as the our parts of the world entered into darkness. We are now closing our circle as the northern half of the earth begins its ascension into the light.
I felt sadness today as I recorded our final video, and then wrote and scheduled the final prompt. I felt the desire to cling and not let go. I felt a poignancy about our journey together and a melancholy about the work that there is still to do. I want to stay with these women, in the safety of our circle. Not really hiding, but then not really allowing myself to be seen outside either. They brought so much to me through their journeys, allowing me to continue on mine and while shedding of layers is never easy, these women have done it with so much grace and beauty I am left feeling a bit awed by them.
So no, I do now want our time together to end. And yet, it is time for the circle to close.
Now is the time for the settling and resting. It is a time of allowing space for the final shiftings of this transformation. It is the final days of descending into the darkness, before we begin our ascension into the light. Perhaps this looks a bit like hibernation. Perhaps it looks a bit like doing nothing. Yet now, after the intentional work is complete, now in the quiet being is when the becoming truly starts to form.