Fear we are often told is something that we need to get the better of, we need to conquer and be in charge of and sometimes this might be true. Liz Gilbert has a wonderful conversation with fear here. But what if occasionally when we feel fear taking hold we sat down and had a chat and listened to this very primal instinct. What might we say to make it listen and quiet down?
Oh wow. I agonised for at least an hour over that heading. I really wanted to call it “not everyone in the transit lounge is coming on the plane with you” but google wasn’t understanding the metaphor! It hurts to even read that title. But it doesn’t have to.
Here we are heading for the half way mark of the year, and I’m wondering how your going with all those New Year goals?
Did you pick a word for the year? It might have been shine, or something around being visible, speaking up, owning your truth, being the best version of yourself and all of this sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
How has that been unfolding for you?
Creating a relationship with your trust muscle can be a meandering path. It can be hit and miss, a dance between genuine procrastination, impatience and truly knowing to trust the feeling that says.
“Stop. Wait please”.
Back in this post where I talked about trusting my soul, I talked about this exact funny feeling, this sense of knowing that showed up with a big fat strong NO every time I tried to book a holiday, go on retreat or other wise plan this two week block of time around my birthday.
It had taken me some head wrangling to make sure that I took this time off, and there was a sense that I had to do something. Then I would get a sense that something was going to happen, I even had the temerity to think hmmm perhaps I’m going to move house? But heavens that was a terrifying prospect. How? With whom? Where? TERRIFYING! I had only been in my new house for just over 6 months!
And then, I would try again to work out ‘what I was going to do’ on my holiday and be greeted with that same feeling STOP!
Was this procrastination? Fear? or was I just meant to stop?
Well there’s a novel idea. What if I just trust this feeling and trust the answers will be revealed to me in good time because the universe is after all benevolent? And I mostly have a clue and have been quite good at creating my life. What if?
So about 2 weeks out from my birthday my sister and I came to a decision to book a house in Byron Bay hinterland for three nights luxury lushing out. Phew! Something was booked even if it was only three days . And then.
And then my bestie-wifey suggested not for the first time “come with me and check out my mums house, the tenants are leaving soon”
Now let me preface this by saying that I am an absolute suburb snob. I have been living within walking distance to the ocean for the last 8 years, and by walking I mean often literally on the beach front. This new house was in the suburbs, insert ‘I just sucked a lemon’ face.
It was with an haughty air that I agreed to look at said house, but lets be clear here I am not moving to the suburbs Sarah. And with a great deal of patience Sarah humored me. “Yes Keri”
Another girlfriend of ours had recently moved to house sit around the corner. She was the one I mentioned in the post about trusting my soul who had been to the retreat with Sera Beak that Sarah was now booked in to go to.
When we took this picture here we had taken off on a ‘charmed day’ in Byron, we ate, shopped and when this photo was taken offered up a toast to ‘one day living in a charmed house together’. When this could possible happen was off in the distance one day; Belinda was about to move to San Francisco with her man I was just about to move into my own apartment and Sarah had been living with her boyfriend for ages.
Fast forward 10 months and the three of us are in Elanora looking at a house.
The house that has the ocean view, the necessary rooms for our businesses the multiple bathrooms for privacy the big kitchen for late night tea parties. The house that feels sunny and light and spacious. The house that Ruben gets the run of. Oh and it has pool too. Did I mention that?
The house also that we needed to move into in 10 days time when Sarah was already overseas at Soul Fire Retreat.
The first weekend of my holiday.
Its one thing to post these inspirational memes, but another to truly embody them.
What I need, what I am desiring with all of my heart is looking for me too.
The thing is that I need to bloody well get out of the way. It’s possible we all do!
There is no way I would have looked here for this house there is no way my very clever mind would have taken me away from the beach front to get my ocean view.
I don’t believe that his house is somehow a pixie dust utopia that will save me from the trials and tribulations of living on planet Earth but I do trust that this is exactly where I need to be.
Trust that gut feeling.
Create a relationship with this feeling and it will not lead you astray.
It may well be uncomfortable because you may have to wait for things.
There is a difference between this and procrastination. I very much hope this helps.
I’d love to hear about it.
Ritual is something that I have always used as a marker to honor times and places both physical and metaphysical in my life.
Ritual speaks to the deep unconscious places in us and has anchored intentions and goals for me when life has gotten hectic.
This can be as simple as a cup of herbal tea or something as elaborate as this water purification ceremony, I experienced in Bali. This Ceremony occurred whilst I was on a Tigress Yoga retreat in July last year. I went with all sorts of wild intentions, most of them unrealistic! One of them was seeing this holiday as a ritual place marker of healing and time out. The problem with this was that I had an expectation of what healing looked like.
My expectation was that I would go on this magical holiday (it was really really magical) I would have 10 incredible days off (the first 10 days of actual holiday down time in years ) and I would magically spring back like a magical elastic band version of myself. Viola! Keri 2.0. Expectations much? The reality went a little differently.
But it was EXACTLY what I needed and it was in fact just what I had been asking for. I just didn’t know it at the time because it looked a whole lot like MORE breakdown… nothing like I expected breakthrough to look at all.
It was much like this water temple purification process actually.
I don’t know about you but the idea of going to a truly ancient spring on a beach in Bali bathing in the ocean and being blessed and cleansed conjured up all sort of (unrealistic) images. Eat Pray Love has a lot to answer for, but as these images can attest I looked much more like a drowned rat than a divinely inspired Julia Roberts.
Bucket after bucket of salty spring water is tipped over your head as you are chanted over and a cup of coconut water is offered to you that, somehow in-between gasps and dunks, you are meant to mindfully ingest.
The actual blessing itself was quite like being caught in pounding surf, where you mistime the waves and get dumped trying to gasp for air before the next wave lands on your head.
Most of the time instead of feeling serene and mindful, graciously letting go and inviting in my carefully thought out intention I was just praying that I was ingesting the coconut water and not actually giving myself some deadly parasite that would plague my health into old age… I’m still not convinced that didn’t in-fact happen.
Did I feel different? Did I feel changed? Did I leave a different person?
You better believe it.
That pledge that I made to myself, the intention that I had set in action had been witnessed by the gods. Lets be honest I’m an out of the closet Pagan!
I am completely in love with the Balinese reverence to nature and beauty; these places have power if for no other reason than we believe them to.
And that is enough for me.
I came home and I couldn’t in all honesty continue life as I had been. Working with out rest, running from heart ache, avoiding tending to some very large wounds.
In the following months everything unravelled.
A wonderful mix of anxiety, depression, shocking cortisol levels, high testosterone, absent estrogen, exhaustion, and an overwhelming inability to leave the house, left me bewildered and wondering how on Earth I had found myself having another breakdown. Seriously?
The REALLY important thing to realise here and this realisation is only available in hindsight. Is that ALL of this was actually me breaking through. It was the last point of contraction before the process of expansion could take place. And if I hadn’t had such an amazing team of people around me, if I didn’t have all the knowledge of my own years of training I would have believed that I was getting worse. Many people indeed told me I was.
I can tell you now that I wasn’t. Things do actually get worse before they get better but not in the way we think.
It has taken a huge amount of self belief, self care and faith to trust the intuition and self awareness that reassured me in the scariest of moments that this was not under any circumstance a downward spiral.
It was the upward one.
If you find yourself in this situation, in the heat of the moment it will be hard to tell the difference.
So here I am sharing my story with you, to let you know dear reader that there will be moments when you doubt your own resurrection story that ‘something has gong wrong’ with your carefully laid plans of healing your heart and soul.
Do not doubt yourself. Surround yourself with the best team of people you can find.
I involved medical science, herbal medicine, psychology, exercise and meditation.
And above all trust your intuition.
If this post speaks to you in your journey know that help is at hand. I’m kind of a specialist guide for The Dark Night of the Soul. (No water dunking required)
I’d love to hear from you. x
On August the 5th in a few weeks time I will have been here on planet Earth for 40 years.
Turning 40 for most women is a big crazy cue to have a complete breakdown and start questioning their lives and everything they have ever done. I’ve seen it many times which is why as I approach my own 40th I’m keeping things in perspective.
I’m treating it as a pretty amazing privilege that not all people get to experience, and I am choosing my language very carefully. I and not 40. I have simply been here for 40 years. The ageing process of our bodies is not exclusively tied to the years you spend spinning around the sun, its just one factor.
Here’s 6 things that I am being mindful of as I approach my birthday to keep the crazy at bay.
Seriously when did we get all hung up about being past it and not express gratitude and amazement at the fact that we get to live a big long gloriously full life? Start a gratitude diary or before you go to sleep each night cast your mind over 3 things that your grateful for.
2. Don’t compare
Your unique life journey and your unique set of skills and experiences aren’t going to look like anyone else’s. Every book on the shelf of life is a TOTALLY different story. Own this and back the heroine in yours… she’s doing a great job! It has been helpful to remind myself of what I truly value and see how I am cultivating these things in my life. My commitment to Love is no exception.
3. Ignore the popular cultural stereotype we are often sold.
I went looking on pinterest last night and searched turning forty positive. Do you know how many pins I found. One. Thats right, in all of pinterest town there is ONE pin that puts a positive spin on turning 40. So I dug a bit deeper and found this little gem from Sheryl Crow and even she was struggling! Look away from all the memes telling you that its all over and find some inspirational women your age doing great things and keeping it real. They can be famous like Megan Gale and Angelina Jolie, both turning 40 this year or gorgeous women in your circle who are creating their own reality of the aging process.
4. So you didn’t have a baby.
Your worth as a woman and a human isn’t determined on this event. (Despite the social pressure of epic proportions) There will be many reasons that this wasn’t in your life path. There may be a great deal of grief over this for lots of different reasons. I know for myself that even though its been a conscious choice of mine not to have babies there is still a sense of grieving those alternate life possibilities that never eventuated. Let yourself have this process. Your unfolding into a new phase of your life, and its going to be delicious!
5. Check in with your limiting beliefs.
Yes there are different stages and phases in our lives where our priorities change and our bodies work differently. We need to take good care of our health for sure, but be gently and lovingly aware of what you may be telling yourself. Many of these beliefs may not even be yours. This interview with Dr Christine Northrup discusses just this.
I recall a conversation with a girlfriend of mine two years ago discussing the fact that bang on 40th her eyesight went. She proclaimed with such commitment that that is just what happens. Everyone she knew got glasses on their 40th birthday and that was that. With a big sigh she told me to wait and see. Well see I am and instead of checking my eyesight I’m checking in with my beliefs. (I’m not an affiliate of this book and yes its a 20 min video but the gems of wisdom from Dr Northrup are PRICELESS)
6. Take the pressure down.
So for anyone in this age bracket and especially us Aussies… this should really make you laugh. 1 for its oh so cheesy iconic 80’s references and 2 because its truth, sad, tacky, 80’s truth.
All the ‘by now I should haves’… or worse ‘at my age its all over’… enough!
Take. The. Pressure. DOWN.
The dark night of the soul is something that many people have written about over centuries. The phrase itself has become synonymous with hardship and loss and quests to regain what was lost. I have written alot over the last few years about the experiences and heartache that have shaped who I now am and and most importantly the work that I now find myself devoted to.
I no longer want to tell the stories of ‘this or that’ happened.
I want to tell you how I came out the other side.
I want to tell you what worked and what didn’t.
I want you to know that there is a way through and you don’t have to go it alone.
I want to encourage you to let go of the stories that no longer serve and discover the strength that lies at the heart of your feminine darkness.
In those spaces between the knowing.
This is my story of the Huntress.
You see I’m fascinated with mythology, I always have been.
These myths date back to the beginning of time and form tapestries on the walls of our collective unconscious. The stories of Artemis and Diana in mythology show her as a moon goddess, governing the wild natures of women children and animals. She is depicted often with the crescent moon with a bow and arrow in her hand. The huntress governs the ebb and flow of our feminine cycle and it is with her by our side that we enter our dark night of the soul. Like a stroll into the woods without her guidance and fierce support do we make it out in one piece.
For this to happen we have to trust her, dance in our darkness and embrace the power and strength that quite frankly we have no clue exists until there is nothing else.
Ask a mother in child birth where she drew the strength from
Ask a wife how she knew that something just wasn’t right
Ask the artist that writes and writes where that first divine spark came from
So when I saw this archetype begin to show up in my life I new it was time. I knew that despite the exhaustion I still felt that I really was out of the woods. That somehow that part of my journey was over. That her strength and resourcefulness was somehow mine to access piece by piece.
This is what she wants me to tell you;
She wants you to listen.
She wants you to sit in the dirt in the darkness in the warm loving embrace of your fellow women.
And stop. And to put. down. your. weapons.
There is a time for fighting, for defending, for taking aim at the target in our sites, but there needs to be a time for taking refuge in safety and warmth and softness. Let us create a space for that now, before its too late. Before the heart ache of loss and let down, of disrespect and disillusionment tarnish our ability to love and trust forever.
Before we lose the learning and the magic inherent in the huntress.
Before all that is left of her magic is anger and armor and we lose the ability to be creative and spontaneous and tap into the endless wisdom of mother nature.
That is the wisdom of the huntress.
If this sings to you I would love to hear from you, comment below, or pop me an email
#huntresscollective will be an ongoing part of my coaching work and I’d love to see how she’s showing up in your world too, hashtag your courageous moments on Instagram I’d love to cheer you on!