New Beginnings

 Posted by on March 14, 2013
Mar 142013

Recently i suggested that we ask ourselves what is it in our own lives that seems Not integrated
What is it in us that is asking for attention
Maybe even demanding attention
Now we want to focus on what might create a holding
For us to allow any of the difficult questions that might confront us as women Growing older in this culture
A culture which honors neither the feminine nor aging
A culture where the masculine principles of power
And reason
Override the more tender needs of the heart and spirit
As a culture we have thrust ourselves skyward
Too far and too high
Without giving thought to the earth
The ground on which we naturally depend
The foundation on which our structures rest
The earth represents the feminine
The cycles of birth and death
The rhythms of the body and the seasons
The nourishing and fostering of human needs
The stabilizing strength of the feminine
Is crucial to our well being
Both masculine and feminine qualities
Are fundamental to life
A healthy society depends upon the full compliment
There was a time when older women
Played a central role in shaping the life of the community
A time when feminine values were regarded as sacred
We must now find our way in an impersonal  secularized world
A world that seeks material fixes for ailments of the heart and spirit
Carol flinders comments on the malaise that can result when
The feminine principle is left out
“For the mind that has no category for the sacred
Let alone the ‘sacred feminine’
Everything looks about the same”
Many of us know what she means
There are those times when we run around for days on end getting lots done
So productive
So efficient
Then one morning we wake up and everything has gone flat
Nothing sounds good
The rich delicious quality of life is gone
And we’re not even having our period
Many women as they transition into later life are haunted by a vague sense of Disenchantment and ennui
The pain is real but they cannot put their finger on precisely what troubles them
To use a term coined by Betty Friedan
“it is a “problem with no name ”
Many of us have been there
It is where the queen was when she left the kingdom and entered the forest
We all need the holding of the natural world
Something larger than ourselves
That we innately belong to
A sense of stability inside of which we can let go of old worn out ways
Of thinking and being
Without feeling that we will fall into a great dark abyss
John O’Donohue a Celtic poet and philosopher
Embodies a deep sense of belonging to the natural world
In the way he speaks of the valley of his home in Ireland
“On this primeval ground i feel i have entered into a pristine permanence
A continuity here that knew the wind hundreds of millions of years before a Human face ever felt it ”
He goes on to say
“When we arrive into the world we enter this ancient sequence
All our beginnings happen within this continuity   Beginnings often frighten us Because they seem like lonely voyages into the unknown
Yet in truth no beginning is empty or isolated
Shelter and energy come alive when a beginning is embraced ”
Goethe says that once the commitment is made
Destiny conspires with us to support and realize it
A beginning is ultimately an invitation to open toward the gift and growth
That are stored up for us
Perhaps the art of harvesting the secret riches of our lives is best achieved when We place profound trust in the act of beginning
To live a truly creative life we need to look hard at where we are
Where we have become stagnant
Where a new beginning might be ripening
Beginnings those lonely voyages into the unknown
Can indeed seem frightening
We tend to feel safe
When we fit into the prescribed patterning
When we are carrying out the familiar roles
We have been given
But we grow older
And those roles begin to seem too small too limited
Aging is the soul’s call for deep abiding change
What has been must be allowed to die so that something new can be born
Jungian analyst Helen Luke speaks of the great test to which all women
Sooner or later must come
The moment arrives when we are called to let go of our youthful identifications   When confronted with visible signs of aging
There is a strong pull to cling to the past
To revel in the successes of our youth
To preserve our beauty
To hang onto our children
Perhaps to push forward in a career that has already lived itself out
Holding on is a natural response
To the fear of falling into meaninglessness and despair
Without the support of the culture
Without a new way of seeing
Without a larger holding for our experience
We can become paralyzed at this important juncture
The crucial call forward goes unanswered
The new beginning is refused
We have been looking deeply at our lives
What are we struggling with?
Where we are we stuck?
Where have we become stagnant?
It is in just those places that a new beginning may be ripening
The seed of that new beginning lies in the difficulty itself
Within our confusion and contradictions
There is an invitation
An invitation to look
Growth requires change
And to live a truly creative life
We must become friends with change
We must allow ourselves
To release that within us which has already died
Although i am speaking of beginnings as though they require an ending
The truth is
That a beginning is often simply as new way of seeing
A new lens of perception, which allows reality to form itself into
A more complete wholeness
Or we might say
It allows things to flow toward a more essential truth
Many of us are feeling challenged in our relationships
And here particularly
The new beginnings don’t rely on endings
So much as a shift in perception
The understanding of how to retain
What is valuable and essential?
While allowing growth
Is not simple
It will require all the essential wisdom
That we have gathered
As we have lived our lives
That is why we need a temenous
A sacred place where we feel safe
A place of solitude
Let’s now ask ourselves these questions
Think about your challenge
Allow yourself to enter the space you created in your collage
This is place of healing
Invite the contradictions and challenges
Into that frame of mind
Or state of being
And look at them from that place
Bring the difficulty into this holding
See what emerges for you…
Place the difficulties in the inner sanctuary
Placing the most vulnerable parts of you in the place that has the
Greatest capacity to find healing
Seeds of the beginnings lie here
Experience what it feels like
To have your difficulties held in this inner sanctuary
What is that experience like?
You might ask yourself
Where are the contradictions in my life right now?
What for me has become  stagnant?
And where might a new beginning be ripening?
And spend some time writing about what emerges
Audio Post


DeborahDeborah Hill is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Group Facilitator in Sonoma, California.

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