As we entered 2017, I was filled with anticipation and excitement around how I wanted to feel.
I followed the same magical process I did at the same time last year: Setting intentions and action plans, cleaning out my closet, filling out my new planner, lighting candles every day while making a wish or prayer, and identifying how I wanted the year to feel—in my body, my bones, and my soul.
As I conjured up the feeling words, I was so excited to be inviting them into my life: Shakti, magical, daring, volcanic, and integrity. Yet, I found myself, more than a month into 2017, and I wanted to hide under a rock.
It wasn’t until the Spring Equinox that I really began to feel into the intentions I set. I had been feeling the attacks on the Divine Feminine, Mother Earth, and the Divine Mother, and I was outraged. I was simultaneously paralyzed with hopelessness and despair. How could this be happening?
Then a friend invited me to re-examine my intent for the year. I went back to those feelings I had identified and wanted to embody. I once again shared them with her, “Is that not what you are feeling?” she asked. I took a step back and suspended my judgement for a moment—suspended my assumptions. Shakti. Magical. Daring. Volcanic. Integrity.
She was correct. I was feeling those things, they simply weren’t what I imagined.
I opened myself to all the nuances of their meaning. These feelings were showing up in the way they amalgamated together. They were fiery and transformative. They also danced with the darkness. There were layers in the experiences around them that I had so conveniently forgotten.
The universe was asking me to face the barriers I had in my life via these feelings I said I wanted to personify. It was asking me not to make assumptions and consider the lessons that lay before me. What dragons had I yet to face head on? Where was my heroine’s journey beginning? It was beckoning me to face my fears around the messiness of being human and walking the Warrior Goddess path.
What I am experiencing is not unlike what many other people are experiencing around the world. This is not about the election, or the new administration, or anything in particular. This is about the consistent string of wounded energy from all sides. We are bombarded every day with streams of hate, division, and struggle. We are faced with the unraveling of humanity. We are experiencing the rising of the collective oil.
The collective oil is the gunk of things that have been lying dormant. It is the darkness we pretend does not exist in the world. It is covered by plastic smiles of positivity and washed out by “just get over it” and “everything will be alright” with sprinkles of “just love and light.” It’s the spiritual bypassing.
In the trenches of each of our souls is the stuff we are ashamed of. It is the playground of our inner judge and victim. Over time, it festers and grows. It continues to collect until we can no longer stand it. My teacher, HeatherAsh Amara, tells a story of a pan of oil. Typically, we refer to this as an individual experience, however as we can see around us, there is also a collective one. As we begin to find our warrior goddess way, we can imagine pure water flowing into our individual containers. This is exactly what we need to do as a collective community now.
Consider this an invitation to face the dragons in your life. An invitation to see what assumptions you, or we as humans, are holding onto about the barriers before us. An invitation to acknowledge the running gremlin tapes of stories we have made up to put blocks in our own way. Consider this an invitation to suspend your own worldview, even if just for a moment, to see the humanity in us all—the messiness of fear, love, and passion, that drives each of us.
It is all energy and at the end of the day, that is all there is. We can use that energy to drive us forward and to raise us up so we will rise from the ashes. You can use the energy to create change in your own life.
We frequently forget that the elements are our allies, that we can seek solace in them and combine our energy with theirs. I’ve compiled a list of ways to use the elements as allies in our daily lives so that we can prepare for the hero or heroine’s journey within ourselves and also for the one out into our community to take inspired action in these turbulent times.
Here is a short guide on how to breathe some space back into your world and to lighten the weight of the world:
Move. Each day allow your body to experience a range of motion, whether that is stretching, yoga, running, swimming, or dancing. Getting into your body is a great way to get out of your head and the stories you tell yourself. Touch your feet to the earth, feel the air as you run or walk, dive into the water, and feel the burn as you move. Allow yourself to commune with the elements in whatever way feels playful and good.
Hydrate. Drink lots of water to nourish your cells. Our cells are waiting to carry life deep into our bodies to awaken the wisdom that lies within. Acknowledging Grandmother Ice (Water) while you are drinking her can deepen your relationship with this nourishing source.
Get Still. Take time to be still and quiet. Sometimes, having the world in our palm is overwhelming and noisy. Give yourself permission to put down your phone, shut down your computer, close your eyes, and open your intuition. Doing this outside on the ground is a special way to connect with Mother Earth. Open yourself to her wisdom. Listen to the wind as you sit still. What messages does it have for you? Feel the sun on your bare skin. What does Grandfather Fire want to say as you bask in his sunshine?
Forgive. Finally, invite yourself to find forgiveness to all that is hurting. In Warrior Goddess Way, HeatherAsh Amara talks about the wisdom of forgiveness. She describes big forgiveness and small forgiveness. It can be freeing to use the element of water to help you through this process. Allow her to wash away that which is hurting, holding you down, and keeping you in the swamplands of despair. Anytime you wash your hands or shower or clean the house, imagine the water is washing away all the areas where forgiveness is ripe in you. And for all those places you aren’t ready for yet? Love them fiercely, for they are trying to keep you safe.
These tips are what keep me grounded and open during these times of uncertainty and chaos. It is my wish that as this collective oil rises we honor it by continuing to lean into the discomfort of this courageous, daring work.
We are on this path together and if we can each hold onto the humanity in ourselves by practicing forgiveness and loving everything with our whole heart, perhaps we have a chance of getting this collective oil to continue pouring out to purify our vessel so we can heal our planet and support the Divine Feminine as she nourishes all of us.
Author: Sarina Harz
Image: Meghann Finn/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson