♡ Hi Friends ♡
Happy New Year, Everybody. I don't know about you, but despite any feelings I had about the year turning over before it happened, I'm now entering 2024 like a freaking maniac. I don't know why, but there's a wildfire under my bum, visions in my head, and a dark swirling void somewhere inside my chest. Super combo, right? Kidding (but like, really). Actually, it feels like I'm being called to level up in ways I never thought I needed to, namely making peace with the mountain of anxiety I tote around about not having enough TIME to deal with my responsibilities whilst also reaching for my dreams – or moreover, taking steps to make them happen. This has always, always been an uncomfortable balance for me. I think for most of my adult life I've just let the stress of it take over, which meant I whirled around like a moody mess until the clouds broke and the sun shone through and I had a solid few hours – or joy of all joys, days – to myself to get some shit done. In my heart of hearts, that's all I ever really long for. You see, there’s this particular crossroads between longing and accepting what is, and I'm sitting here most of the time, fiddling with my fingers, looking one way and then the other, wondering which way I'm gonna go. Anyone relate?
I think we’re at a kind of collective crossroads moment, actually. It's Capricorn Season, which means the urge to achieve is kicked into high gear and big boss archetypes abound, calling us to our callings. Now is when the anxiety usually kicks in: How can I lean into what's calling me so deeply? How can I do the work – (work being another Cap theme) – that I feel or know or even just suspect I'm supposed to be doing in the world when it's impossible to make it all happen right now, or in the way I want it to, without saying screw it and walking off into the distance to start an entirely new life?
I feel like I'm being called to examine this very sticky conundrum right now. To look straight into the inner swirling void. To respond to the visions and perhaps even stoke the fire burning beneath me. It's Shadow-Work time, Baby, Old January seems to say. Go deep or go home – and, of course – The only way through… is through.
In moments like this it can be confusing to trust, nevermind recognize the difference between anxiety and intuition. The self in panic mode versus the self in directed flow. But learning to discern the difference between these modes is a superpower for leveling up (or whatever you want to call it). But yeah, it feels super uncomfortable and tedious to sort through what’s what when the body is shouting GO GO GO. So what do we do?
For what it's work, here's my theory (at least for the moment):
The crossroads, I want to posit, is sometimes an okay place to hang out for a sec. But I think we have to decide to make ourselves chill while we're there, if only long enough for the GO GO GO to become a little quieter. We don’t have to shut it up, we just need to turn the dial down. Maybe the biggest crossroads flex of all is to play with the idea that maybe, just maybe we can be patient with timelines… even when we’re at our most inspired or driven. Even when we want full steam ahead. It feels like an oxymoron to slow down when we’re speeding up, but I feel like it IS possible and moreover, this conundrum has everything to do with Shadow Work. (Yep, I'm circling back and weaving it all together, folks.) You see, our Shadow is what we hide. Our shamed and shameful parts. Our dark beliefs about ourselves or the world. That which we push to the side and hope no one sees, not even us. But deep down we know it’s there, like a dirty little secret we carry while we smile and do our work and struggle and fail and succeed and all the other million things we do each day to pretend we are somehow “normal,” or whatever. The Shadow tries to distract us. To slow us down. And we run faster and faster forward, many times not caring to pause long enough to find the exact right next step. Because in the pause the Shadow is waiting. And it would be scary to have to face it like that, in stillness.
There’s this thing called the Seventh Generation Principle that feels related to all of this. No, it’s not the “green” cleaning company – it’s a concept based on an ancient Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. I love this principle because it s t r e t c h e s our concept of time – yet another Capricorn theme – by asking us to consider how our lives make ripples in all directions. Truly, we are multidirectional beings: we ripple into the past, the present, and into the future. I realized recently that if I looked seven generations backwards, I’d be gazing into the wizened eyes of all my many forbearers. Their actions created the ripples through the universe that in turn created me, and now I embody their dreams of the future. In this sense my own life ripples back to them, a reflection of their callings, inspirations, drives. I feel them in my spirit and in my strength, but also in my Shadows. And I'm starting to believe that perhaps the most badass thing we can do in our lives is to pause long enough to face them. To tango with these specters amidst the ever-present tick of time and responsibilities and decisions and regrets and hopes. It’s courageous to decide to let them heal, or at least to try. We know this means letting them be seen, but this in itself requires patience. And taking the long view. We all know healing is not a destination, but a forever process. And it’s not for the faint of heart. But I feel these messages coming through loud and clear as the new year kicks off. Facing the Shadows, releasing the shame, admitting our struggles and confusion alongside our joys and our wins. This creates a different kind of ripple. It fulfills the hopes of our ancestors, that they might be free. It inspires the people in our lives now. And it heals something for the next generation, so that the same old ghosts don't haunt them, too.
So my message to you this month is this: Let the fire burn under your bum. The visions dance in your mind. The void swirl in your chest. And instead of doing what I’ve been doing these past few weeks and running around like a maniac, take a seat at the center of those forces. Post up at the crossroads. When you look 7 generations back and 7 generations forward, the difference between anxiety and your intuition or true knowing becomes pretty clear, pretty fast. So try it. I promise something will reveal itself when you pause at the crossroads. It always does.
On both a more and less esoteric note: I'm reuniting with one of my nearest and dearest friends and creative collaborators, Lea Fulton, who's returning to the States from Berlin, Germany, for a teaching and performance tour. She’s visiting me here in Maine at the end of the month and we’ve been excitedly devising what is going to be a powerful and transformative workshop and performance event happening on Thursday, January 25th in Freeport, and Saturday, January 27th in Portland. It’s called TRAN(CE)FORMATION: A Psychic & Somatic Processing Workshop and Performance, and I hope all you Maine folks come out for it!! DEETS: It’s a 2.5 hour exploration into our bodies, our subtle bodies, our creative wellspring and our intuition using group meditation, visual art, writing, movement, and touch. At the end, Lea and I are performing her work, The Thickened Thin, in and amongst workshop participants who will likely be blissed out on the floor at that point. Go deep or go home, January says. And we’d love for you to come along.
Below you’ll find a link for more info and/or to register for the workshop events, aaaaaaand you’ll also find the January playlist! It’s spare on the singing – or rather – I just felt like I wanted to sink into my own voice rather than having lots of other people’s rattling around in my head. Sometimes it’s fun to be a little discerning with who you let through the gate, y'know? Surrounding the few singers I gave entry to are instrumentals of an experimental and traditional nature, both down for setting lots of moods. I would call it highly cinematic. You know, for going deep and stuff Anyway, I hope this playlist helps you say a little hello to your Shadow this month, and creates some space where you can both sit and chill together.
+ inner voices all the way + looking seven generations ahead, and just as many back + align align align you say + steps on tiptoe to the track
Join Maine-based artist, writer, and ritualist Caitlin Scholl with Berlin-based dance artist & somatic practitioner Lea Fulton for a special 2.5-hour creative process workshop focused on delving into our collective psychic powers through the wisdom of our bodies. ALL ARE WELCOME – NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!
See you in the shadows,