Inquiry 3/4: Out With the Old, In With the New

This is the third post in a four-part series preparing us for the Autumn Equinox on September 22nd. Check out part one, What the Elements Have to Teach Us About Nourishing Careers, and part two, What Chronic Back Pain Taught Me About Tolerating Bullsh*t.

Photo by Jan Tielens on Unsplash

Photo by Jan Tielens on Unsplash

Every 30 days, I look forward to getting Lena Stevens’ monthly forecast in my inbox. Her shamanic wisdom always resonates in some way, and I take seriously her recommendations for how to flow with what’s happening in the world around me.

Her theme for September was “Adjustment,” and her advice was to practice discarding what was ready to go and embracing the new so that we don’t get stuck in old, habitual patterns that ultimately hurt us. This is perfect, of course, because we’re transitioning into a new season, and change is all around us.

When I read her forecast, I decided to make a go of this “out with the old, in with the new” approach, and I put a reminder in my phone to help keep me accountable. Every morning at 10am for the past three weeks, it’s popped up, and in some way, I let go of an old thing and try a new one.

I’ve donated books that no longer feel relevant, I’ve become more aware of negative thoughts that keep coming up, I’ve tried new restaurants, reached out to someone I didn’t know, on and on - every day I’ve made this small effort.

And it’s paying off.

From new writing opportunities to new friends to the release of an old project that died a long time ago, it’s been a busy three weeks. And all it took was setting a reminder and showing up for “adjustment” in some small way every day.

I went snorkeling in the ocean this summer, and at one of the beaches we went to, the tide was shifting, and the water was really rough. There were a lot of people there kicking up the sand, salt water kept getting in my mask, and I got tossed around in the waves over and over again.

That’s how this year has felt - wave after wave of social injustice, natural disaster, mega personal transformation, and constant reminders that we’re not actually in control of anything. It’s no wonder a lot of us are emotionally exhausted and looking for solid ground.

A common response in times like these is to just get back to shore where it’s safe (in theory). But then you don’t get to see any of the pretty fish swimming around the coral or experience the thrill of being suspended in the open ocean alone.

What Lena Stevens showed me, and what I’ve been practicing this month, is that another approach is to learn how to swim more effectively - to shed the things weighing you down, steady your breath, and swim hard when it’s the right time.

What used to be normal is no longer, and I found myself wasting a lot of energy on “But it’s never been this bad before!” or “It’s not supposed to be this way!” Being in that place just kept me stuck in the tumult of waves crashing on the shore.

What works for me nowadays, amidst all of the upheaval, is actually to move with it; to accept that the waves will keep coming, the seasons will keep changing, and that there will be more pain as old systems like capitalism and patriarchy continue to die and make way for new life.

This is very uncomfortable, and it’s okay to swim back to shore sometimes and re-evaluate. But if you want to experience the ecstasy of color and life waiting for you out in the reef, you may have to get back in and accept that you’ll need to swim a little differently in order to get there.

This brings me to today’s inquiry, which I encourage you to sit with and ponder without attempting to get to any “right” answer:

What new way of being do I want to open up to?

Watch what happens in your mind and in the rest of your body when you ask yourself this question.

Personally, my mind spends a few seconds being open to all the possibility, I feel good, and then I immediately get into the how, what, and where. But all of that can wait - it’s not the point of this question.

For now, just let your intuition play with this and see what comes up.

If you sense that you’re ready to open up to a new way of working and want some support, I’d love to chat. You can always set up a free consultation here.