I’ve been having lots of stress dreams lately where I am despairing and grieving over the loss of my eldest daughter through various convoluted dreamscapes. In real life, she is in the process of deciding on colleges for the fall. I’m not losing her…it just feels like it.
You give birth to your children (at least) twice I think. Once when they are physically born and once when you launch them out into the world. Both births are painful, exciting, highly emotional and forever change your life.
By contrast, I think you give birth to yourself many, many times over in the course of a lifetime.
Each time you birth yourself, each time you wish to grow, you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to explore new facets of yourself. It can be painful, exciting, highly emotional and forever life changing.
Launching my new books feels like a rebirthing. They have been gestating for the last 3 years, forming slowly as I go about my life. First in my dreams and then slowly taking shape as I try to find the words and the colors and the form to express what I am feeling.
It seems like each time when we are ready to birth ourselves anew, there comes a point where we just can’t mentally plan or prepare or create any more distractions that essentially keep us in a state of avoidance. We just have to trust and leap into the unknown.
And so I’ve created a couple of books that feel deeply vulnerable to me. Not because of the content, but because of my awareness that I am birthing myself into a new chapter of my life, and I know my hearts work and my dream is so much more than just a book.
I am not just offering a way to heal and reconnect with the Earth, with ourselves, I am also suggesting that each one of us has the power, the consciousness to create a new world by doing so.
Creating something new, birthing something new, you are at once vulnerable and full of potential and your heart is cracked open to feel it all. Like having a new baby, we mentally understand it will change our lives but by how much, or in what way exactly, we can hardly conceive.
Periwinkle has been the Plant Spirit supporting me this moon cycle and I have mentioned how synchronistic this is.
She was the last flower to join the deck. I wasn’t planning on including her of course, but she was blooming profusely very early in the season and totally got my attention. As I began working with her she was quite clear that she was to be the last card in the deck, that it was high time for me to take all that I had learned and birth the deck out into the world.
I remember feeling so scared and vulnerable self-publishing for the first time—both from a financial and an artistic prospective. I couldn’t foresee then that I would be growing into my Soulflower work full time, or even self-publishing a book, three years later!
Had I known I wonder if I would’ve been too intimidated to continue?
Periwinkle (Vinca minor) is a creeping ground cover that grows freely in the woods around my home. Spreading out under the trees in an ever expanding sea of evergreen leaves and dotted profusely with purple blooms early in the Spring. She is unobtrusive and gentle yet carries a very powerful message on the intertwining nature of all of our lives, of life itself, and on the nature of growth.
If you watch the way she grows, she forms a dense mat of creeping tendrils. Some grow back into the fray but mostly they seem to spread out from the edges, expanding further and further into the woods.
You’d think that the center of the patch would become an overgrown jumbly mess, but it never does. How does that work, I wonder? Where there must be so many individual plants, yet they grow as a single one, not trampling each other and just extending out into new areas.
Sitting with Periwinkle this morning I had a clear vision of many people standing in a circle around the edge of the field. But instead of facing inwards as you may expect, we were joining hands and facing outwards.
We were preparing to create new stories, explore new ideas and new ways of being that were not clear or definable yet because we each had to dream them into being from our hearts.
But to actually move forward we first had to offer gratitude and forgiveness to the former versions of ourselves. We had to actively wage love and peace within to be able to sing the future into being.
It is our nature to evolve and to grow, and it takes bucket loads of trust to surrender to an unseen creative force that is far greater than we can ever know, but that flows through, and desires to be expressed by each and every single one of us.
So here I am, creative project completed and once this book goes out I am aware that there is an uncertain void as I allow the next best steps, the next creative vision to form in my heart and my mind.
I have learned though that this void is not something to be feared or avoided. Instead it is a necessary space within which the next highest vision of myself, my life and my work can form. A space from which I can continue to grow.
“All is well,” says Periwinkle. “All is as it should be.”
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On our metaphorical dance floor that is life, we are faced with many choices every moment about what steps to take next. Lady’s Slipper asks if our steps come from within, guided by our connection with our higher selves, or if are they choreographed by others?