Tis a season of the heart.
We’ve been in a season of the mind for a long time. Our mind can be super effective. When our mind is ‘in charge’ it often tries to power through and simply make something happen. Sometimes this something doesn’t go so well. Sometimes we learn from those … sometimes we don’t.
However, often, when the mind is in charge, those somethings go pretty well.
However, often, those somethings click off a check-list of expectations rather than moving towards the purpose and calling of our heart.
It can be like driving really quickly in the wrong direction.
This is a time of allowing the heart to begin to be the decision-maker and creating the ‘what’ while allowing the mind to to focus on the ‘how’.
This isn’t about turning off our mind. Our mind’s job is to figure out how to make things happen. It does that really well. But alone, the mind doesn’t always make choices that align with our purpose and the calling on our heart. This is a time for us to begin the inner work of exploring the wisdom and intuition of the heart.
This might look like:
If I get busy, or under deadlines, do I try to power through until I burnout? Or can I trust myself to do the things I need to do to take care of myself?
If someone is creating a toxic relationship or interaction, do I stuff the emotions into my body until they emerge at some point as poor health or disease? Or can I trust myself to set and keep necessary boundaries?
When my desire for the approval of others kicks in, do I give up my choices to continue to try to fit in? Or can I trust myself to follow my purpose?
Trust is not a nebulous ideal. Think about those you trust or those who trust you. Trust is nurtured by listening and by putting commitments into action. Trusting our heart may require some inner shifts and some healing.
Our heart is calling us. Can we listen?
In a funk?
Many of us are in a season of inner work. We’re reevaluating beliefs and stories – things our parents taught us, things we learned in school, things we were taught through religion, things we saw in movies or TV.
It sure can feel like a funk.
It is sorta like going through boxes that have been stored in the basement or attic for decades. These boxes are filled with mementos that were important at some time. Opening these boxes may elicit all sorts of feelings ranging from “that makes my heart smile” to “oh my gosh, what was I thinking at the time” to “I have no idea why I saved this”.
These mementos, stories, and beliefs are all part of our identity. I am who I am because of all my experiences up to this point. Some shaped me well, some harmed me, some brought me joy, some brought me grief.
But here’s the thing.
We’re probably not going to take movie star picture we saved when we were 12, frame it, and make it the centerpiece of our home. In fact, many of us will simply gift it to the recycling bin.
In the same way, we get to review the beliefs and the stories we’ve kept. As we do this, we find some to be valuable artifacts worth cleaning and displaying with love. But we also tend a lot of debris that we have simply allowed to keep floating in our energy.
So, time to clean out the boxes.
However, it is important to know that we’re not doing all this just to have a clean basement. We’re reviewing and releasing to have space for our next steps. This is a time of endings so we can have new beginnings.
This deep internal reflection and heart-cleaning can cause us to feel off-balance and vulnerable (side note, this is often why we are afraid to look in those boxes!). These reflections and experiences can become catalysts for change which are sometimes more existential crisis than incremental.
Be prepared for the big questions to pop up: Who am I? Why am I here?
These aren’t questions with defined answers that stay static over time. We grow into our ‘who’. We grow into our ‘why’.
We experience growing pains – both in the releasing and in the becoming.
Change is hard. And sometimes the easy part is changing ourselves. Sometimes the harder part it is figuring out how and where our new self fits in. That round peg no longer fits in the square hole.
But that’s ok because our lives were never meant to be confined to a little square box.
September is going to be a choppy month. It might feel like the bandaid is getting ripped off, because, well, bandaids are probably going to get ripped off.
Things that we’ve kept under wraps, in the closet, compartmentalized, rationalized, or otherwise ignored have a good chance of coming to the surface this month.
Which is awesome.
And might feel miserable.
The awesome part is that as these come to the surface, they can (if we don’t fight them) serve as a catalyst for change. We will have the opportunity for deep internal landscape work primarily around beliefs, old stories, emotional wounds, and ingrained narratives.
This is all identity work – who are we, why are we here, what is our deeper purpose, how do we want to be in this world. There may be significant internal dissonance as these questions arise and they may impact us at the individual, relationship, family, work, and community level. Foundations and safety may feel shaky. You may feel kinda raw.
It may not be easy, but there is the opportunity to really shed a lot of things that we’ve been carrying around that no longer serve us.
What will help?
Our energy is going to feel pretty scattered so activities that bring our energy back into our centers and/or ground us will be really helpful. Mindful movements such as yoga, qigong, or tai chi. Meditations. Getting out into nature, under some trees, or near water.
Set and write out specific intentions. While it might be hard to know exactly what sorts of things will release, setting intentions such as ‘I am open to allowing things to surface so they can be released with ease’ or ‘I am ready to release old stories and beliefs that no longer serve me’ will reduce some of the speed bumps that sometimes come up with identity work. Writing these down helps us to embody them. Sticking them on a wall, mirror, or fridge reminds of us our intention.
It might be a good couple of weeks to take some additional time with considering decisions and actions. There might be feelings of intensity and urgency which can push us to make decisions without considering all of the options or impacts. Take your time and pull in some trusted folks for additional perspective if possible.
Finally, be gentle with yourself and be gentle with others.