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It’s been a bit quiet on this blog and I’m gonna tell you why.
Somebody’s been on a path of accelerated transformation, approaching a very significant rite of passage. This upcoming summer will be about long days, basking in the sunshine, ripening of fruit and… declaring vows.
Yup. That’s right, folks:
I’m getting married.

Sigh.
Glorious, beautiful, exciting and yet oh mama, so much more than I’d bargained for in terms of growth.
And I’m not even talking about the “what have I gotten myself into?” response to the to-do lists. I actually declared to the universe: “Bring it!” as in: let it this journey work me. I guess I asked for it. Now it’s as if somebody turned the volume up. Approaching my wedding is like being in a big pot where things are being stirred up from the depths. At times I feel raw, reactive, disoriented, flustered, overwhelmed, sad, disappointed, lonely. There’s also elated, giddy, touched and positively overwhelmed. The whole gamut. I feel very alive, that’s for sure.…

Any big change can work you, as I’m sure you’ve experienced firsthand. And on this archetypal journey here are some of my themes:

  • Everything root chakra, such as issues of: belonging, connectedness, nourishment, grounding. In yoga I’ve been working with issues with my feet and my connection to the earth. How do I stand in myself? What is my place? Can I be supported? etc.
  • Everything family. Need I say more? Aren’t rites of passage the most fertile ground for pushing old buttons? Of course this moment of stepping into creating my new family is drawing my attention to my family of origin and all its complexities. Sigh.
  • Everything love. What makes for lasting love? I’m humbled by learnings from past relationships. I’m willing to surrender, to work, to trust in this relationship. What a miracle to have found my person, after having sought love for so long.
  • Everything shadow. I think of stress as a magnet for shadow parts of the self. Because in moments of stress our default is to rely on survival strategies. Really unpleasant patterns are revealed. Really sad old core beliefs about myself have tightened their grip. In the grip of stress and patterns it’s hard to see what’s really at play.
  • Everything community: Who is my community? What is it to be held, seen and witnessed? Can I ask for help? Really?

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    My mother-in-law-to-be has given me the dress she got married in 48 years ago.

  • Everything impersonal. What a gift to remember that nothing is personal. And what more challenging time to remember that although you’re the bride, other people have lives and nothing is personal. Nothing is personal. Repeat the mantra until you forget, which will be in about three seconds.
  • Everything union: As I join with another whose attributes complement mine, I am so grateful she is unflappable when I find myself exceedingly flappable! Celebrating our differences helps me relax about my flaws. I feel bigger, fuller, more powerful. Union is good.
  • Everything commitment. Does it get bigger than that? We’re delving deep into inquiry as we make this commitment. What does this promise mean? What are our non-negotiables with each other? What happens in the case of illness, death in the family, financial or other unforeseen challenge? How will we stand by each other?
  • Everything self care. You know all those practices I tout to my clients? Now is when I have to take my own advice: meditation, restorative yoga, slow down, prioritize, get support.
  • Everything gratitude. Thank you universe, this wedding is an offering of gratitude. That is why we’re doing it. That’s the part to keep bringing to the forefront.
  • Everything essence. Our officiant had us each come up with one word that sums up our beloved (realizing of course the impossibility of this). It will be my responsibility to know my partner’s essence and to become an expert on it. That way when she’s in trouble and has stepped out of her essence I can support her to come back to it.

Two nights ago I had a meltdown. I phoned a friend who got married a year ago and begged her for some perspective. The most valuable piece of advice she offered: when you’re fixating on external things you have to step away. It’s the last thing you want to do when there’s so much work to be done, but the externals are not what’s most important. Feel the feelings, that’s the work. Meditate, journal, be in nature, dance. Step back from the details and into what’s being stirred up. Not the most fun thing to do, but here it is. I get the opportunity to see my patterns seizing hold. I see my core beliefs of scarcity,  and my difficulty trusting that my needs will get met. Basically, this whole journey is a big mirror and an invitation to drop into myself.
It’s an invitation that is there every day of our lives, it’s just heightened when we’re facing change or something stressful.  In the face of stress the choice is: check out, tighten up and fall into unconscious patterns or breathe and shine a light on the shadow. Challenging as it may be, it’s the path towards greater freedom. The path of awakening is about opening.