Monday, June 23, 2008

Sacred Journey of peri-menopause

"When a woman stops doing she must learn how to simply be. Being is not a luxury; it is a discipline. The heroine must listen carefully to her true inner voice. That means silencing the other voices anxious to tell her what to do." The Heroine's Journey

When we decide to live differently, to listen to the voice within instead of the pressures without, when we decide to live authentically and be true to ourselves, there is bound to be friction, conflict, a feeling of being left behind. We fear letting other people down by not volunteering for every new project that comes our way, as if our commitment to Self was selfish. We feel lost, unsure, on a quest.

But the price we pay for not listening in, is too high , and often involves physical injury or chronic pain. In my case, it was a neck stiffness and shoulder ache that refused to leave in spite of osteopathy and physiotherapy treatments. Only when I made a difficult decision to stop 'doing too much' and let go of a major volunteer commitment did the neck pain ease up. I decided the major house renovation project (one year long) was taking up 50% of my time and energy and deserved my full attention (aside from writing, singing commitments, women's circle, household and teen management tasks).

A friend of mine was on a leave from work for burn-out, and was considering a career change during her time-off. At the end of the leave, she had a few ideas of what to do next, but nothing firm, and decided she still needed the income from her marketing position so she returned to work part-time. Not only was her employer not giving her key assignments, but her joie-de-vivre and pleasure in her former position was gone. A short while afterwards, she had a car accident on her hour-long drive to work and broke her collarbone. This put her back on sick-leave and allowed her to pursue her other options. She ended up taking a correspondance course in herbology, and is now finishing up. She seems much happier now that she's doing what she loves.

In the period it takes for us to 'transition', to discover where our joy is and what will truly allow us fulfillment in work or artistic endeavours, we may feel like we have lost our way. It may feel like the paths are criss-crossing in labyrinthine form, and often, our journey involves a descent or dark night of the soul where we question everything we are doing. It may feel like depression, or at the least, a time to be isolated, alone, leaving the upper world of external values to find our own ground, our own intuition, our own feminine values.

We need to remember the importance of this journey, this task, to find the lost pieces of our selves, to find our way to a place of knowing within.

Allow yourself the time you need to figure it out, to feel your way through, and pay attention to your inner urgings - it may not seem rational or logical, but you will save yourself some pain and suffering if you listen well.



Beverly Keaton Smith said...

Thanks Jenn...I love it when you have a new blog entry...always so helpful to me....and I can relate so much! ~Bev

Jennifer Boire said...

dear Bev
your comments are a bright light in my day,


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