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One Year.

Those who know me well know the past year has been a process of action, of movement, a decisive period of change.  A lot of new growth.  A lot of pain and fear too, but that's another blog.

Micah, my wonderful bodyworker and the resident sage of Continuum Healing ( said just last week, "you didn't have an evolution, woman, you had a revolution."

In the shamanic cycle of Inspiration - Action - Completion - Rest, I've reached the final phase of this revolution, this go-round.

One thing I've come to understand about myself is that I've rarely taken time to rest. I've been in constant motion since I was in my early teens, always beholden to my to-do list, relentlessly moving forward, mostly to outrun the things I was sure were chasing me. I convinced myself I was holding the world together with duct tape and effort, doomed to the high-wire act, to working without a net. And that has taken a calculable toll, made me tired and resentful and anxious, and I operated, often unwittingly, from a place of perceived loss and deficit, regardless of what was really true.

Since this last transition, I have been afflicted with a growing sense of withdrawal, of stillness, and of the need to be quiet.

So I've made a decision. A birthday gift to myself.

I'm going to give myself some time.

A year, actually. A year of quiet, of turning inward, of withdrawing from society in the ways I can. A period with built-in phases of silence and circumspection.

I can't run off to a nunnery, as much as I'd like to. But I can make my life simpler. Work diligently, eat simply, pursue stillness, let go of desire, and walk humbly with The Lady.

I could make a list of what I'm going to try to give up, but it would never be exhaustive and I don't want to get legalistic. I'll think of it this way: if it is grasping, hungry, desiring, or not of this moment, I don't want it, and I'll try to set it down and turn back inwards. I want to let this hot loneliness become cool loneliness and finally, hopefully, a cool, spacious, welcoming solitude.

I want to make friends with the "never not broken" and the "eternal alone", with my body, my history, my choices, my skills, my failings, and my needs.

The cliché about needing to love yourself before you can let anyone love you is starting to make perfect sense, as all the things the old women say eventually do.

So if I'm quieter than usual, don't worry about me. You know where I'll be: on my porch, just sitting. In the garden, watching things grow. With the children, listening.

I'll catch you on the flipside.