For Christmas I gave myself adrenal fatigue. This feeling of minimal activity and maximum fatigue is not a new thing for me. I am well versed in how this goes. I am also well attuned to deep rest, hydration and good food to begin with, from a well oiled radar to the early signs. The “Holiday” in deep winter has me thinking that I am not as attuned to the seasons as I thought. My preparation for Christmas was not at all prepped appropriately. My inner vision was covered. I did not see the wood, literally, for the trees and here is why.
I got swept into the tangibility of it all. The Matrix was there with its all seeing eyes and I was lost to it. I got moved along with the to-do-lists, helped my elders with their food preparation, the lights and the tinsel. I colluded to buy and messy wrap the presents and all the time my energy levels waned and I knew it. I felt it, I recognised my bodily signs saying, slow down. I went out again and again when the fire side was calling with its soft golden glow and its warming invites. I left for one last trip with the Christmas cards.
All this was done out of love, but was it love for myself! And where do you draw the line with your loved ones at Christmas to say, I am done! I am menopausal, my instincts are saying I need to go inside and withdraw not do more. I am listening to my body and my answer is just one more thing! But the body knows the limits and has no cajoling from the mind, the body doesn’t say ok, let’s finish all this and high five. No, the body has a limit and when the limit is overstepped it shouts now, now is the time for rest and no more.
All this came home to me yesterday as we sorted, cut and piled the wood from the pruned trees in our garden. Here I was again, but this time the realisation was of my sacred rhythms with the trees and the land. As I over stretched once again I had this vision that my ancestors worked with the rhythms of the seasons. I thought I was doing so well with my menstrual practice cycling like the earth with my inner landscape then it occurred to me, what do we do when the cyclicity is gone.
Here I was without the clock, without the dial, the rhythms all gone. I was chopping wood in winter when this could have been done in preparation. My ancestors would have prepared for winter, just as I had prepared in the autumn of my cycle, my premenstrual phases, listing and smoothing things over so I rested in winter. My inner cyclicity had been musical even, never mind rhythmical…..and now as I arrive in this space of no cyclicity it began to look more like no-womans-land.
My world was not prepared for the winter. If I had looked, really looked at myself and my nature this would have been all in good timing. The cutting, pruning and gardening would have been put to bed weeks ago. If my body had been in a menstrual cycle I would have been prepared for this! But is it just me, or is the outer world out of sync? As I sit here typing, the window is open the hedges are green and it seems the earth herself is in a great flux of menopausal seasonal crisis of no-womans-land too!
When I close my eyes and think of my ancestry I see the high stocked wood stores, the jars of pickled fruits and veg, the importance of the harvest festival and the fire flickering and tended to day and night. Frosty mornings and sleet showers with streets of leaves piling up the brick walls. Houses with the lights on early and no more to do about the gardens but witness and welcome the returning of the light in weeks to come. Nothing kept for keeping sake and nothing needed but stillness and the flame.
My awareness is bringing up that familiar nervousness that all is not right with the world. I am aware of what has occurred on the inner landscape and I can accept that and find my path again. But what can be done about the outer landscapes, how do we assist the cycles of the season of this planet? Is this a greater task that we have as a collective? Is this a task for all women at menopause, as we sit in nature to nurture ourselves can we be in reciprocity at this time? Is it time to nourish both? If the earth is also out of cyclicity do we now look to the moon for our rhythms and reflect deep into our old ways, the wise and the well, the ancient and ancestral knowing once more?
What if my thoughts on land energy clearing are not on point? What if there is a fault in my thinking? What if some places have energy clearing all adhered to through spirit?
You see certain places have an energy keeper the “Spirit of Place”. This is spirit that is a guardian, to be Keeper of the Land Place and Space. Maybe we should be calling upon “Spirit of Place” before we enter into any rituals or ceremony, out of good intention, but maybe we ask first?! Maybe this way we get connected, reconnected to that Keeper.
My thoughts recently have been that we have a duty to clear spaces on the land, our natural spaces, our sacred spaces so that energies are not held on the land, and yes, we are talking land trauma here. But what if this is not always necessary? What if rituals and ceremony, specially in sacred ancient sites is already taken care of by the other realms, the unseen.
I recognise that some places have that “feeling” right? This makes me think that land is like clearing any space. You know when a room it just needs a clearing of energy, that dense feeling after a tense meeting or a building after a trauma event, so why is an outside space any different! Do we have a responsibility to take care of the energies in just the same way? And on that note, do we recognise that the same respect for energy to flow is also a clearing we need to respect within ourselves, the body. After all a spirit resides within us too, we are the Keeper of our body.
So my point here is do we seek consent? Do we ask for consent and listen, inwardly and outwardly? We may just connect to the Spirit of Place if we do.
The fire is a necessity for warm but it plays on the walls and disturbs me. I keep the back of the chair against the wall and my feet up. My breathing is that of a creature in the forest running from a predator. Every rib over extending, aching from back bone circling to breast with a final stab at the sternum. My stomach tightens pulling inwards bringing a secondary duller pain in the core of me. All muscles from feet to throat pulled to contraction even my neck gripped so tight it was painful to swallow.
The wind, the leaves, the rocking of the branches above the cabin all as if just behind me. I turn sharply. “Nothing, think, think outside not near, it’s all outside not in here. Wind, whistling behind me, not in hear, outside. I wake an hour or so later. “What happened”? I am tightly wrapped in my blanket, I listen again. Chest tightens, round two begins.
I hear voices and look skyward. The light through the leaves streams yellow into my vision. I squint, the hiss of the rain has stopped. I hear birds and movement from a subtle breeze waffling the greenery. The path I came along is adjacent to a banking of terraced trees. In the darkness it looked dense and dark. In the skimming light I can now see the boarder of the trees at a high level.
“Maybe there is a wall under the foliage? I definitely hear sounds, speech or breeze? I don’t know.”
I am unable to move without pain. My feet feel as if all circulating blood had been replaced by ice. I wriggle my toes stabbing axon to axon. Cold wet and fragile, I move, yes… I move one foot with a pained gasp, my lips splutters the wetness out into the air from my soaked face. A deep inhale and the other foot is free. I flip sideways to a more solid area of grown grass. My thighs ache into my knees and this sudden movement races into my pelvis shooting metal rods into my hips. I stop, stand and bend the knees and then straighten completely to free the cramped joints.
“Do they know I’m down here are they coming to rescue me?”
I stand for what seems like an hour. I have no way of knowing how long I have been ridged into this mud. Now more alert, I have kick started a powerful force of adrenaline which now arrows through my veins. My mouth wet, now dry, tongue engorged, lips pitted and crack, I taste blood.
I’m alert, my senses have gone from exhaustion to hypersensitivity, now a different trembling is upon my muscles. There is a loud drumming in my ears, percussion on my chest wall. My eyes now are failing to see through light and give false double images, I try to blinking rapidly to regain my sight. My wet skin now pins as pores heat up the more I move. I feel my bare feet change to full dexterity but I stumble. The forest floor feels like pine needles that stab into the soles of my waking feet. The smell is becoming overpowering as if someone has thrown a damp pine branch onto a fire and the scent is carried into my brain and my nose is aching all the way through into my sinuses with the pungent poison.
I hurry, bent over, scurrying, up ahead I see a shed,
“I know this forest” and without hesitation I heavily fist the latch and shove the door open.
One room, one single room inside, one table one chair. There is a blanket on the chair as if left just for me. Someone… knew…. I was coming.