The other day I was reading a page from Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef and this gold nugget leaped out at me:
Intimacy with ourselves takes time. We need time for rest, time for walks, time for quiet, and time to tune in to ourselves. We cannot completely fill up our lives with activities and become intimate with ourselves.
We are in the middle of winter… known in traditional Chinese medicine as the most yin time of year, a time for stillness and introspection. Right now, on the East Coast, and especially here in the mid-Atlantic, it seems Mother Nature is enforcing this wisdom: we just had a blizzard that shut down Maryland and D.C. for a three-day weekend!
So the question is – what do you do about it? A New York Times op-ed by David Dudley had an inspired answer:
The snow cares not for your deadlines, your happy hour plans, your scheduled C-section. It wants only to fall on the ground and lie there. And it wants you to, too.
Needless to say, you should. Unless you’re a plow driver or a parka-clad elected official trying to look essential, one doesn’t pretend to do battle against a blizzard. You submit. Surrender. Hunker down. A snowstorm rewards indolence and punishes the go-getters, which is only one of the many reasons it’s the best natural disaster there is.
And as a Real-Life Superwoman, you’re probably getting cabin fever at the very thought – right? Trust me, I know – the enforced stillness of winter can be a fiercely challenging time for us Superwomen! With our strong yang energy, we are all about doing and getting things done. We don’t have time to slow down and go within. Why would anyone want to do that?
For many years I was resistant to slowing down at winter. I was resistant to allowing space and time to become intimate with the workings of my soul. I felt slowing down meant I was lazy: after all, I had things to do and people to see! And even deeper than that: I was afraid of what I might find if I took the time to just be, without all the doing-doing-doing that defined me in the world. What if I uncovered the thoughts of not feeling enough, the thoughts of anger and resentment toward family and friends because I was the one who always got things done? I was the one who planned things, but what was really going on under all the festivity?
Bottom line – I was afraid to be vulnerable. I was afraid to ask for help. Did you ever see Wonder Woman ask for help?? I was locked in a vicious cycle of insisting I could do it all…while secretly feeling overwhelmed and wanting someone to care for me….and being unable to trust that they would. No wonder I didn’t want to be still and go within!
It’s taken several years – and a lot of inner work and healing – but now, I have learned to appreciate this time of year. I actually look forward to slowing down, to reflecting and releasing what no longer serves me. I spend 30 minutes each day in stillness and the beauty that I have discovered by doing so. Being Intimate with your soul is much more than getting a manicure or pedicure or massage. Now don’t get me wrong – those things are very important! But at the deepest level soul intimacy is about spending quiet time with yourself in the presence of God/The Divine/The Universe, and allowing the true you to emerge.
Yes – the true you, with all the thoughts and feelings, the psychological/spiritual lumps and bumps and warts and wounds, knowing that it is all good. You are whole, perfect and complete, every bit of you.
Take some time this week for intimacy with your soul. When you are still, what do you see about you? I know this can be scary and push you outside your comfort zone, but that is where the magic happens.
Surprisingly, as we become intimate with our own souls, we discover our connection with others and with the Divine. Neither is possible without that deep soul-intimacy.
Tell me – as a Real-Life Superwoman, do you have challenges with stillness and becoming intimate with your soul? I can support you with giving yourself permission to put down that superwoman cape and recognizing your are enough. Schedule a 45 minute strategy session today