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hibernation, grief, and the feminine

i’ve been deep in winter’s hibernation, practicing a different way of knowing, a different way of being. i’ve been moving slowly. allowing myself to be in a new rhythm, resting and still and quiet. this isn’t to say that it always looks like this from the outside. there are times when i’m buzzing like a bee, twirling like a tornado, this manic movement serving to balance the inward energy of utter stillness. it is always a dance.

maybe there will be some writing around why this season of hibernation. for now, wanting to share some of what i’m learning, pulling a few threads of stories i’ve been carrying, into the weaving of this one:

there has been grief. grief as both verb and noun. both exercise/activity and a state of being and resting place–even as sister. this experience of grief as sister has my attention. it signals the feminine.

the feminine, rising. the feminine is energy principle that generates knowing from an embodied place, rooted in matter, relationship, sensory experience. this principle is not only present in female bodies–it is alive in all of creation. the degree to which it is accessed and awakened depends on both internal and external conditions; thanks to patriarchy, it has been subjugated, particularly in western cultures. now, it is rising to counterbalance and reorder. it’s rising in me and i’m noticing it rising in family, organizational, institutional, societal, planetary systems.

mother bears give birth in hibernation. it is a time of rest and stillness and birth. their lessons in this season teach me as i channel their protective energies of what is being birthed in and through me, now.

kenosis. at the heart of the Christian faith is the importance of incarnation. and kenosis. kenosis (or the emptying out) allows for incarnation (the fulfillment of the Divine). grief plays a key role in that kenosis. she moves what is blocking, what no longer serves.

body as sacred text. in the Celtic tradition, there are two forms of wisdom: the big book of life and the little book of holy scripture. the big book is read through the body. as menopause grips me, this awareness has been…juicy and steamy and moving.

breath. the breath continues to teach, creating spaciousness and connecting form with spirit. returning to her as continuous waves of inhale and exhale, drawing my attention back into my body. helping me in re-membering.

sinking. hibernation takes time. it requires preparation. it calls for patience and willingness. there is much temptation to come out too soon, to distract ourselves, to return to business-as-usual. staying, sinking…this is the work of hibernation. to stay with it, trusting that this too is transformation. even when it doesn’t look like this from the outside.

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