- by Daniel Strelan
Recently I quit my job to follow my heart and live in alignment with my life work and purpose, as I have done so many times before. I now find myself with the same doubts and fears that I have experienced before. Today, I’ve misplaced my glasses, and I’m being told to slow down…. and trust.
I started 2017 in a deep healing retreat – a space of magic, trust and manifestation. The vibe was high and it seemed like we were all about to make the quantum leap into a new paradigm of being supported financially to live and work from our hearts. Connections and opportunities were abounding.
In these spaces of heightened energy, such as a spiritual awakening or travel adventure, we get a taste of something new. It is a possibility of a way of living - all of the time. When we create in these spaces of heightened energy, we actually plant a seed in the ground.
Seeds fall to the earth when the old life is stripped away by Autumn winds. They are buried safely within the womb of the Earth, where they lie dormant for the Winter.
So when you plant the seed of excitement, you will actually find yourself positioned at the end of Summer, going into a time of change and uncertainty. Change can be exciting and daunting at the same time. You can consciously surrender, or resist and feel the pain of grief and loss of control. Because Winter is coming… it’s inevitable.
During Winter, nothing happens. Or so it seems. You are left with yourself and your wounds. You are snowed in. You can get cabin fever. The lesson of Winter is easier to understand in a temperate climate.
In December of 2014, I found myself snowed in, deep in the woods of Quebec, Canada, at a Vipassana Meditation Retreat: 10 days of silence. I walked into the woods one day and observed the silence. Nothing happening. As I dropped deeper into that empty space inside, and that silence of the woods, I began to notice sound. The gentle trickling of water from melted snow. The crackling of a branch under the foot of a small animal. The creaking of trees. The sound of the wind. Bird song. And, something mysterious that I couldn’t find a label for. It was as though someone had pushed the fader up as this world of subtle sound rushed upon me.
The Winter of the soul is a time to go deep within. To feel the pain, to heal the wounds by giving them space, allowing you to empty to make way for love. To be the love. To need nothing. Sitting in equanimity with a knowing smile on your face, as though you are cultivating a secret inside your heart, the secret of your soul. Resting, as though Winter will last forever, while at the same time, knowing that Spring is coming, because it always has and always will.
Perhaps the key to real transformation is the ability to completely let go and to cultivate this seed through resting in love during the metaphorical Winter. When we charge around trying to force change and growth during Winter, we end up creating the same old conditions for Spring and Summer. We find ourselves back at the same job, in a similar relationship pattern, stuck in the same old place with the same old feelings. In resistance.
If you’ve come back from a mountain top experience and find yourself in confusion, it’s perfect. Know that things are going to be quiet for a while. Take the time to cultivate that inner smile. Deeply immerse yourself in meditation, creating the feeling state that you want to embody all of the time. Because it’s the way you felt in that heightened state that you want to ground in to your life. If the dream circumstances came to you instantly, you would find yourself in lack. Your desire would be racing off to the next thing to fill the void.
Already, many gifts are coming my way, and I often find myself in anxiety because I want to control how and when those gifts appear. When I do this, it pinches off my flow. It feels bad. Because what I really want is love. And we can rest in love all of the time. The seeds are planted. Now it’s time to let go, to love and trust in the divine and simple patterns of The Seasons.
The inspiration for this writing came in one part from my personal spiritual journey and another part from the Quadratos, as unpacked by Alexander Shaia. The Quadratos is an ancient way of navigating life through seasonal reflection, coming out of Early Christian / Jewish Mysticism, before Rome took control of that beautiful movement. More info can be found on Alexander's website: alexanderjshaia.com
Daniel is a wanderer. Sometimes globally, always internally. His wandering has lead him to two questions - what are the obstacles to the flow of love and how can we transcend them? Daniel is a yoga teacher, a love healer and one who thinks too deeply. He is the one who puts the pen to the paper. Daniel lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
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