We are entering a season of intense shadow work. This is the time of year where all the newness that was once so excited about is now faced with a decision: what will dead, what will go dormant, and what could winter over. I over that there is a way to understand the process of shadow work and develop way to find pleasure in the process.
I understand my life as I understand the agriculture. As a gardener, I have spent the past few month sorting through my garden beds and outside containers to better prepare for the coming year and how will I sustain the balance between life and death over these next few months. The cold seasons can be harsh. I believe this winter will be a cold, wet season. If things are to winter over they are going to have be created in such a way as to withstand weaker sunshine, colder ground temperatures, and longer nights. Yet, freezing rain can be hard on any plant’s system. Yet, things still survive. If care is taking this season, autumn season. . .one season ahead of the game. Particularly, the things that are most strongly rooted and properly nourished in their care.
There are things in our lives that are able to winter over because of their construction and the significance of care we have given it. When we talk about shadow work the discussion is usually around looking as aspects of yourself and allowing somethings to die. This season, I would offer to you to consider what are some of the things that could winter over? What are the things you can trust to last through the next few season?Particularly if I utilize wisdom and action now. Things that could survive because the way its functions, how its been rooted, and the care its been given to be strong. As you examine your shadowy garden after a cloudy, rainy cold day’s work, what needs a little additional attention to survive this season. Perhaps, its collard greens which needs additional mulch or garlic is needs the time to go dormant. Or maybe an apology to your partner is owed, or the wisdom and discipline to say no to eating out so much. It seems to me that it makes sense to do the work and hope for clarity while working to achieve the best outcome. Because by maintaining a neat and orderly garden space, or mental and emotional space, not all things will die something will winter over, somethings will go dormant, and somethings will in fact die. Understand that in spite of being cold hardy, firmly rooted, and well nourished things may still die.
And that okay.
We must remember that what dies in this season provides the nutrients and minerals for new life in the next season. Sadness is a real emotion. But so is joy. Give space for sadness but also give space for joy. I am all about operating with a great deal of compassion accompanying it with pleasure producing activity. I treat it like a game plan. I am intentional about incorporating into my life opportunities for pleasure. Pleasure through creative expressions, moving my body in new and different ways, and laughing out loud by myself or in public. Pleasure that nurtures me so that I could grow during these short, cold days. Because at the end of the day we are, and we have to be, cold hardy, firmly rooted and well nourished.
What’s your pleasure producing game plan? How are you going to remain firmly rooted and well nourished?