Friday, December 23, 2011

solstice blessings ✸

I had planned on writing about my process in preparing for The Mother of All Releasing Ceremonies ...

How Cowgirl got the ball rolling on releasing the night before when she lost her other front tooth ...

How I had been keeping a list for a month now of what I wanted to shed in order to step into the New Year ...

How that list kept growing and growing ... and then how I sat with it on the night before my private ceremony and realized my "baggage" could be honed down to some key obstacles: doubt, fear, resistance, denial, regret and my life-long companion, perfectionism ...

I planned on sharing my thoughts on this whole idea of releasing and why I don't necessarily believe we then need to open or bring in anything else because once we shed these layers or false beliefs we are in a sense clearing the lens to perceive the truth of who we already are: Love, Beauty, Wisdom, Compassion, Truthfulness ...

I was going to write about how we don't need to change so much as we need to let go ...

But the real story begins the morning of the Solstice when I drove to a nearby park to burn my bundle in one of the grills. It had snowed the night before and it was cold and windy (although I was in denial about all that) but I was just going to pop in for a quick little burn before heading into work ...

But the grills were in the open and I couldn't get my bundle to stay lit ...

So I moved inside a shelter and tried burning it on the concrete floor ...

And instead of a satisfying, mighty flame to purge all that I was ready to release what happened was a slow, erratic smoldering/smoking ...

Which I feared would alert a park ranger to what may or may not have been legal activity ... so I moved back to a grill and proceeded to develop a blood blister on my thumb from repeated use of the lighter ...

And did I mention the cold and the wind? And my impatience with the whole thing (and my knowledge that impatience was one of my slips of paper inside that very bundle) ...

So what was to be a fire ceremony turned into a hour and a half long smudging ceremony ...

And I knew somewhere Coyote was laughing her ass off knowing I was receiving the first lesson of the new season which was all about surrender and the folly of expectations and releasing attachment to how I want things to happen and the time frame in which I believe my journey ought to move ...

All the while (in that very long hour and a half) geese were circling around the nearby lake and as I heaped some lavender and sage over my still smouldering bundle (because by then I had given in to this being a Process unto itself and outside of my deluded notion of timeliness) a flock broke off and flew directly overhead and I could hear the flapping of their wings and I tried to take a picture but by then my hands were so numb, my fingers could not get the lens cap off ...

But I knew in that moment this coming year would be a time for Clarity and Surrender. And feeling completely exhausted, emptied and inspired I got into my warm car and headed into work.

Only two hours late ... but for the first time in a long while, I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. I felt like I was exactly how I was supposed to be: tingly alive, exhilarated, smokey and satisfied.

So what I want to share is that while releasing can be frustrating and challenging and exhausting it does offer the possibility of a clear and fresh perspective and a sense of beginning anew.

Blessings of the new season to you. In gratitude for all my sisters. Aho!


  1. *giggle* mine was a slow-burn too -- which i took to be a good thing. a very good thing.


    i don't really have the words....

    so just love then....lots of it...and gratitude.


  2. oh goodness, I loved reading this.
    I wish my burning story included a lesson and break through like yours! Mine felt very matter-of-fact, which I guess is what I needed.
    coyote certainly has a sense of humor.

  3. ha ha! perfectly what it was.
    don't you love that?
    beautiful reflections on what it was.
    love you!

  4. Lis, mine took a while too. Just symbolic of how long it took for all that gunk to accumulate. It is so good that you feel where you need to be!

  5. Oh Lis, I adore you! Our smouldering bundles were a shared experience. I, too, felt pressed for time to get it burned whilst I had some alone and personal time. And like you, heard coyote cackling as I tried to make it happen in my own time. I had "expected" my bundle to burst into flame like a blow torch, little did I know my energy was holding on so tight that not even fire would burn these things without great effort. I was also concerned my neighbours might call the police with my weird antics in the backyard - I would never have had the nerve to do it in a public park so my hat is off to you for taking your bundle really out into the open. I wish you release this holiday season, Lis, and look forward to sharing together again into this next adventurous year.

  6. Persistence pays off!:) Love that you share these glimpses into your life. Happy Holidays!

  7. ours wouldn't stay lit either so i was releasing with a husband who was voicing colorful language as he kept trying to keep the fire burning and while i was making sure sharp objects were kept away from my youngest as my boys ran, played, and yelled beside us...but it was okay, i was okay with each moment of it, in the end. :)

  8. You are amazing! I am in awe that you were able to get any photos with the brrrr cold cutting through you let alone ones that speak so well of your smoldering let go- and the geese- and the embracing of the moment, the "leaning into it"(as Brene Brown would say). . .
    Mine too, was slow, in my tiny cauldron at 5am. But the goddess wanted to have a chat, and I wasn't about to argue. I just had to keep coaxing the flame :)
    Om shanti shanti shanti. . .

  9. This Coyote laughed her ass off all the way through my tardy reading of this! I think the reason that I can laugh is because it feels alongside* you-knowing your wicked good sense of humor and your willingness to roll with the flow and milk every lesson. Lis, you are such a WISE woman and I'm so pleased to have brushed noses with you this year. Awr! Awr! Awrooooo!

  10. I think it sounds beautiful, calming and cold! I missed it altogether because Gloria was in the hospital with pneumonia, and I was kinda upset about missing it, since it was going to be my first time. Then I realized I've been learning to let go this whole terrible, painful year, and I was where I was suppose to be, with my baby(OK so she'll be sixteen Feb29, she's still my baby) Thank you for sharing your story with me, I was right out there with you freezing, and your picture at the end, beautiful.

  11. Dear sister wild woman, yogini, child of the Universe, Goddess: I laughed so hard reading this post and loved the lessons learned (and shared). Such a great reminder that teachings are everywhere when we are open to it. I hope you had a wonderful Xmas dear Lis...and I am ever so glad we bumped into each other in cyber world. I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before we bump into each other in the real world:)
    P.S. thanks so much for your wonderful Xmas card
    Lis...things have been hectic over here...we just moved!!-xxx Soraya
    ** you reminded me that I need to smudge.

  12. Laughing with you and coyote dear sister.
    love your sharing and you truly look at peace (and a bit cold!) in the after pic.