Throughout the year, we pick up debris from the day-to-day living and interacting with the world...
22 Healing Reflections from 2022
The closing of a calendar and opening of a winter season creates space for reflection, clearing, and release. Due to societal pressures we often rush through the ending of the year with over planning, traditional obligations, consumerism, overconsumption, and overload.
A few years back I began following the natural cycles + flow of my menstrual cycle's pace, the shifts in the moon phases monthly, and the transitions of seasons. The expansion for me was greater ease in transitions, change, and patience with the unknown. I'm still embodying and refining these rituals and making the my own, but what I have learned so far is this is a cyclical process that is moment to moment. And that reverting to similar feelings, responses, or patterns that I have experienced or centered before doesn't mean that the efforts I've made in my healing journey are null. Returning to this practice, even when I get off track for a few days or months at a time is teaching me more way to be gracious, gentle, and compassionate with myself. What I am understanding in ways I have not before is - this is deeply healing.
As I look back to the closure of a calendar year, I am in reflection of what I've learned about myself, through my work, in community, and throughout my transitions - both personally and professional in 2022. What I share below is a compilation of personal reflections as a source of inspiration for your own. Take what works, aligns, and connects for you and leave the rest.
22 healing reflections from 2022 (in no particular order)
1. Rest is an active effort. You must intentionally make efforts to commit to rest.
2. No wound fully heals, it shapeshifts and you can grow strength in the ability to allow yourself to feel discomfort instead of curating ways to numb, sabotage, or run from what has caused you pain.
3. All relationships deserve reciprocity. Most people don't understand what this is in action and it take patience, consistency, and a lot of compassionate communication to help others meet you in your asks, desires, and needs. In this, it also takes a willingness to allow people to open up to do the same for you.
4. You cannot deeply give from anything less than an overflowing cup. All other efforts lead to practices of self harm, people pleasing, or misaligned priorities.
5. Love doesn't come from anywhere other than within. When we are able to feel our inner love, we are able to overflow, witness, and observe love in every encounter and exchange. When we nourish our inner love, we can receive love with more openness and less need.
6. Every relationship is deserving of depth and love. Even casual ones. Even those that you may only encounter once or for moments. This is what heals us and the ones we encounter.
7. Every action is an active practice of creating rituals to center what you want, desire, and need. Many of us haven't built a foundation on what our truer parts seek to know and experience, so we must dedicate extra energy to actively and consistently return to the efforts that create possibilities for what we desire. Even when it's hard. Even when we feel hopeless. Even when we don't believe it's possible.
8. Art is the root of liberation. It is stripped from us too often to keep us playing small. Controlled. Oppressed. Hopeless. Silent. Scared. Divided. And those of us who can see, make, and believe in art struggle deeply. Battling fitting in, finding connections that empower the truths we see that too many cannot, and feeling a never ending limbo of wondering if we're losing it or falling apart.
9. Capitalism is the foundation of all disease. It's the root cause of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. It challenges us to question our truths and purpose and distorts creativity, purpose, drive, passion, and connection by leading us to believe that we succeed by meeting societal standards that are purely lead by revenue, profit, and consumerism.
10. Feeling beyond the surface is the most diligent, tedious, challenging, and painful thing you'll ever decide to do. Most people choose to not feel much at all because most people don't have the proper connections, community, or senses of safety that allows them to surrender to the uncertainty of being in our bodies. So we cling to comforts - even when they are actually painful as well. Most of us prioritize centering thinking and analyzing or living life within the mind.
11. We can’t intellectualize feeling, we have to embody it.
12. We all love the way and to the depth that we know and learn it. And I honestly believe that if we knew how to love differently, we would. We only love the ways we know, and when we know different ways, we dedicate everything we have to love differently.
13. Nothing is more important than allowing yourself to open wider to continuing to allow yourself to find gratitude, abundance, peace, creativity, fluidity, connection, depth, and love. In every moment. In every connection, person, place, and thing.
14. When you can't find the answers, nature will provide. Mother Earth will hold open arms that will heal you. No matter if it's in a houseplant in your room, dried herbs steamed, seeped, smoked, soaked, or stirred into a pot of soup. Especially when you are submerged in a place that is distant from your daily life and the routines you confuse as important and create space for the gifts, knowledge, and energy of the earth to lead.
15. We all find ways to deal with our grief and pain. Rope, art, breath, touch, transforming words, and movement have been comforting for me when I reach depths of grey that my mind can no longer take. They have freed me when I felt like I was suffocating from the weight of too many things. They’ve told stories when my ink ran dry and the words I once used to form into poems stopped collecting on pages.
16. The thing that scares us all the most isn't death. Its living life imperfectly. Its failure in a million different ways. That's why we make so much effort every day to do too many things that take away our joy and actually curate our misery and pain.
17. I'd rather be all alone than surrounded by or keeping inner circle relationships that don't allow me be present, contemplative, creative, affectionate, reciprocal, most honest, vulnerable, and loving within. I would rather uproot and destroy all the things that feel familiar or like a good option than to feel the emptiness I've felt inside by centering relationships that didn't align with, support, uplift, or empower my deepest self.
18. I can do many things well. But I can only do one thing at a time. And to do it well, it takes time. To reach any level of confidence, it takes the courage of allowing visibility in the imperfections and failures. It takes the commitment to moving through challenge, ignorance, and change.
19. The most important part of healing and liberation isn’t the work of our growth. It’s the commitment to releasing and letting go.
20. Nothing will hurt more than the grief of surfacing and admitting all the ways you've played a part in the harms and pain that you've felt. Nothing will change that pain or shame until you allow yourself to sit still in the pain and allow compassion and grace to replace the disappointment you feel. Nothing will be harder than this.
21. My basic needs have to come first every moment of every day. They cannot be sacrificed, not even for a moment. I must eat, drink water, sleep, and rest. And rest and disconnect to connect with rest. I have to be sure I am not struggling or uncertain of where my money is coming from, how much, or when. And I must make sure that I have my best interest, needs, and desires top of mind and the center of priority in every relationship, interaction, and exchange. No matter what. This isn't from a place of selfishness. But as one who has learned to survive by making sure I was relevant through taking care of everyone else first - putting my basic needs first is vital. If I am going to move through and beyond survivalism and find stability to exist within this world.
22. We can only extend compassion to the depth of our lived experiences. We all - no matter who we are - hold a desire to be in connection with others. But vulnerability, grace, and the ways we show up are impacted, and actually lead by our ability to extend compassion. It's complicated because some people will never be able to expand the level of compassion you desire due to their lived experiences, and that's where your challenges in healing live.
Moving into a the heart of winter and a new calendar year ahead, I will be practicing the balance of sharing, silence and stillness to connect deeper with myself. I hope that you find your own rhythm and rituals to allow, center, and expand this in the ways you need also. If you want to explore embodied healing and intentional intimacy with guidance here are 3 ways you can find connection, community, and personalized support:
1. Attend one of the weekly events inside the Self Study Lab (view event's calendar)
2. Book a private session for yourself or with your partner(s). (learn more)
3. Check out our free and low cost online resources through the INBODY Articles, Sensory Play Space podcast, and downloadable workbooks (coming mid-January).