I have been reflecting on the themes that emerged during our "Growing Older, Growing Bolder" session.
In the sharing circle after the visualisation exercise, the theme that emerged was one of softening, a deepening trust in ourselves, a tenderness towards self, a sense of the importance of believing in ourselves and letting go of doubt.
What comes to mind as I reflect is being held ... like a leaf on a pond.
As we imagined ourselves into the next phase of our lives several images were shared that seem different but are in fact interconnected ....
The first was deep water. For some it was moving water, as in a deep seemingly slow moving stream, for another it was the sea....
I have been rereading passages in 'Women who run with the Wolves' by Clarissa Pinkola Estés who writes so elegantly and powerfully of the Rio Abajo Rio, the river beneath the river as a symbol of our creativity and Wild Self.
Another powerful image was of a seal or otter in the ocean ... lithe, at one with the water, an animal that for thousands of years has symbolised feminine energy (see Medicine Cards). We talked about the ancient stories about seal women, who had the ability to live in both the earthly and the wateryworlds. These stories hold powerful 'medicine' for us and, again we can be nourished by Estés' writing: her version of the story, Sealskin, Soulskin and her commentary are soul food indeed. Here is a version I wrote.
The animal pelt symbolises our instinctual wildish natural Self, which needs to be acknowledged and given space for us to be fully alive and thrive.
The idea of a cloak as protection arose as another powerful metaphor and symbol. We need to protect ourselves from the messages about getting older and death that can 'wound' our desire for and commitment to living wholeheartedly and boldly. I have written about this in some other blogs.
The image of 'water off a duck's back comes to mind.
A cloak can also protect that which is tender, sacred and valuable ... we talked of a house being a protective cloak of our home as a reflection of our uniqueness and creativity.
Let's sit with these images and see where they take us.... Hmm, that creative muse is waking up and stirring....
Here is a short video I took last year of the stream by my home, very early one morning after a night of rain ....