Taken from February's ReAuthored Life....
I am writing from the cusp.
It is the dark moon at the end of an intense lunar month; my first "lunar month" in many years.
It is the dark moon at the completion of a five-month writing project.
It is the dark moon at the end of an unexpected but incredible year.
And for the quadrella, it is a dark moon synching with my own biological dark moon.
I am literally the king low tide right now.
* * *
It was a thought I turned over, gently and curiously, as I was sitting on the back verandah sipping my D&M tea, marveling at the stunning blue sky and watching the trees ever-so-slightly shift in the breeze. It would be easy to consider being emptied --all the way out-- to be a bad thing. But is it really?
Years ago, I remember someone on Twitter saying that they were keeping an eye on their tea cannister, watching the tea get lower and lower, knowing the end of the work year (she worked for herself) came with the final cup of tea. I immediately went to my tea cannister to see how much of the year I had left. As it turned out, my tea ran out pretty much on the calendar date for my close of business for the year.
Are we really meant to be filled to the brim to begin a new year?
After all, none of us are actually tea cannisters. I know that here in Australia, the turn of the year happens during our summer break and there is, I guess, a mindset that having holidayed we return reset, refreshed, renewed and ready to go? But can a couple of weeks of holiday really do that? And something I read yesterday asked: is that even possible coming into the third year of a pandemic, to not feel exhausted anyway?
I think we are all allowed a certain amount of threadbareness? Or a lot!
Personally, to be emptied all the way means I have given all I had to give. As an empty vessel, after some rest, I'll be ready to be filled again. Incrementally, like the tide slowly lapping up that massive smoothed expanse of sand left behind. (I've been writing in oceanic metaphors to express my main character's emotional and psychological state, so please forgive me, if it has crept in here. It is likely to keep bleeding in, in the way that ink drops into water, pirouettes and eventually merges completely with the water, leaving the water subtly changed.) It feels okay--albeit perfect--to be feeling this right now. And once this is written, I can go and do all the rest this state demands.
* * *
This coming year I've chosen as a "depth year". It was a concept my dear-heart Christina introduced me to in late November. It was a concept proposed by David Cain in 2018 when he asked: what would happen if we went deeper, rather than wider?
I was immediately taken with the idea and knew I had to make my coming year a depth year. Using the scope and practice of depth diving, several themes have emerged.
I have so many unfinished (and never started!) books and courses. Especially last year, I seemed to compulsively go broader and broader. I bought courses then forgot I'd even purchased then. I know some of it was a response to being neck-deep in life coach training. I know I was also searching for healing and answers, but spent so much of the year too exhausted, too anxious, (or my body felt too unsafe) to engage with what I was drawn to.
I have long-held a belief of everything in its right time--or perhaps to rephrase it: if we are patient, we get to see congruence and perfect timing in action. The best thing about books and courses is, unlike the fresh greens bought with the best of intentions, they don't go bad and leave a slimy legacy to those unfulfilled desires.
So one part of the depth year is to return to all those books and courses, but more importantly, not invest in any new ones.
Being multi-passionate, there is a push (or is it a pull) for widening experiences, seeking new connections and new catalysts. But it means not a lot of time is ever spent anywhere. Like driving through a succession of gorgeous small towns and saying you visited just because you drove down the main street. It is time to park up, maybe stay for a week. Explore every back alley, every interesting shop, take trails that would have been entirely missed if the main street was the sole point of focus, but more importantly, talk to the locals.
In this I want to understand better my relationship with energy that moves outward and energy that moves inward. Of my relationship with how and why I am driven to expand, and why I also need to have a relationship with depth and diving--in as many aspects of my life as I can manage. And how I do that sustainably? A year is a long time, especially the way time distorts, though this is probably the beginning of a lifetime commitent to knowing the tension and symmetry of these energies--because if I can go "that far out" is that an indication of "how far go down" I can go?
This year I also want to go deep into the topic of burnout.
My Mercury Rx spread brought the topic to to my attention again, and in one of those perfect acts of "In case you didn't get the message" one of my brilliant coaching clients sent me the link to Brenè Brown's conversation with the Nagoski sisters (authors of "Burnout: solve your stress cycle"). I had just stacked a bonfire and burned through all my creative and emotional resources in an insane ten-day writing stretch--I was certain I could finish my novel by the weekend, then Mercury Rx mic dropped my brain. So, I took three days off, then wrote to 'the end' across the final fortnight of the year.
Repeating patterns (and yes, my winter year card is 'round and round').
So my theme for this year feels on point in the context of all of this (and on the back of last year's: laying foundations not stacking bonfire): thriving in the sunshine; resting in the shade.
May you also thrive and rest in equal measures in this coming year of the Black Water Tiger,
Image: Jez Timms via UnSplash
David Cain's Go Deeper, Not Wider
Podcast: Brené Brown, Amelia and Emily Nagoski on Burnout
Mindful Foods DMTea