“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
I dug deep in November. Deeper than I thought I was going to go. I now know that the Redfox Retreat - everything about it – changed me on a cellular level. It gave me a glimpse of my superpowers. I allowed myself to open to who I am and how I can be in the world in a totally different way.
I’ve always had a strange energetic connection to things. I get shivers up and down my back when I connect with something. It’s like the feeling that comes “when someone walks over your grave”, but it’s deeper inside than that. Up until recently I had turned it off. The only time it got through was when I was overwhelmed with the force of something. Watching the London marathon every year, for example, leaves me weeping. The sheer positive force of all of those people is something I can’t block out. And Remembrance Day services? Forget it.
At Redfox, I made the decision to allow myself to be fully open. To be present. To not block the connections. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed, but instead it was a lovely, gentle connection to the women who were present.
That is, until the night we lit the cauldron.
I won’t go into the details because they are private and sacred, but as each woman stepped forward and said her piece, I was shivering and shaking uncontrollably. Luckily, there was a grounded and gracious soul holding me up through the whole thing; keeping me present and safe enough to let it continue.
The shift that happened when I let myself feel those feelings pushed me to explore everything more deeply in November. I looked at who I AM, not who I wish I could be or who I would be if I was different, or even who I am at my worst. I tried very hard to present myself – not future me, not past me – present me. Now.
I looked at who I am in this exact moment. And what I found is astonishing.
In Care of the Soul Thomas Moore says, “Observance of the soul can be deceptively simple. You take back what has been disowned. You work with what is, rather than what you wish you were.”
I always thought that in order to move forward I needed to have a plan to change myself in some way. I realise now that this is complete bullshit. What matters is where my heart and mind are right now. I know that that is not new or radical, but for me it is enormous.
So I am dedicating December to gratitude. For me, gratitude is about being fully present. it’s about really seeing the treasures and the connections and the sacred in all things.
Today? I am grateful for the warm hand that held mine at the cauldron, and for all of those women, and for the months between then and now. And I am grateful for you. Thank you for being in my life.