“This is one of the times of year where we all have to be exquisitely careful of our own inspiration.”
Here in the late hours of the year, it can be tempting to dismantle, to take apart, to solve a dead end with dynamite. Especially if you’re an intensive, and you don’t know if you’re entirely alive unless something is tugging at the edge of impossibility. As the solstice nears, perhaps this is the time for wrapping ourselves in darkness and stillness and breath. And finding the strength and finding the dream. Retrieving who we have been that we loved.
Transcription and notes:
Recorded 17 December 2023.
Hey, everyone. Thanks for tuning in.
I feel like I say this every year, but I feel like it bears repeating. Don't blow it up. Whatever it is, don't blow it up. unless you absolutely have to.
We intensives are the kinds of people who want novelty, who want adventure, who want experience. Who don't know if we're entirely alive, unless something is tugging at the edge of impossibility. Which means that when we start to get things put together, sometimes we start to take them apart. Sometimes we blow things up. Don't do it.
Don't do it unless you're absolutely certain. Don't do it unless you've thought about it. Don't do it unless you've made the decision sometime that isn't the "9:30pm of the year," to quote someone that I heard recently, somewhere on the internet. Don't do it. I know it feels like maybe you're trapped or tired. Or exhausted. Or like everything's impossible.
I know you feel like the sun will never come back. And for many of us, that's a problem. I know you may be hoarse from screaming, from vomiting, from crying. From exhaustion. From joy. I know the world is on fire. We all do, how could we possibly not? But blowing up something that is working is not going to make it better. So if it's working, don't blow it up.
If you're just bored or fidgety or edgy; if you can tell, somewhere in the deep dark recesses of the back of your brain, that the thing that's going on is not actually that the person or place or community or activity is wrong. But that you are edgy. And you don't know what to do with yourself. And none of your usual tricks are working. And it's too cold or rainy, or snowy to go out and throw yourself on the mercy of the ocean or the sun or the mountains.
Do not, in the face of that kind of dead end, open the wall by blowing it up. Don't do it.
There are lots and lots of people making major and minor changes in their lives. Lots of entrepreneurs going back to work. That's fine. You can change direction without leaving behind you a swath of destruction so wide and long, that you'll never walk your way clear of it.
You can change things up in a way that works. You can cut your hair and go home to the same person you've loved for 20 years. And if you can't go home to the person that you used to love, you can leave kindly. You can leave graciously. And if it's too dangerous to leave gently, you can at least leave cleanly.
Sometimes it's time for a change. Sometimes it's time for a big change. Sometimes something has got to change.
But this is your warning, that this is the time of year- one of the two times of year, the other one is March, in the northern hemisphere anyway. This is one of the times of year where we all have to be exquisitely careful of our own inspiration. Where we all have to be gentle and kind and sweet to the little dreams that are still struggling much longer than we hoped they would be.
Where we all have to ask and double ask and consult with our friends. Because in the absence of good advice, we might break something that we'll want. That will hold us up. That will hold us together.
That will allow us to break free, to move past the old pattern. It's been growing for a while now. It's almost tall enough to be a stepstool. It's almost tall enough to open the door, to reach the shelf in the cupboard with the cookies. It's almost tall enough to make change. To be scary. To be dangerous. See, that's the thing. Sometimes the slow growth, the evolution, the becoming, is the thing that creates the most lasting, most profound change. And that's terrifying.
Don't blow it up. Unless it's time. Don't blow it up.
If it is time.... If it is time to go, go swiftly. If it is time to go, hesitate no longer. If it is time to go, then go. Do the thing. Move decisively. Make your decision. If it's time, then go.
But if this is just because you're itchy and fidgety, and nothing quite fits right, see if you can find a better fitting pair of shoes. Buy a new shirt. Make yourself a construction-paper crown and wear it around the house. Give yourself a new name. Plant the seeds that become tendrils. Let those tendrils wind their ways into the cracks and decide if they're going to hold it together or pry it apart.
But make it a decision grounded in the ground, in the air, in the soaring birds, in the rising sun. Grounded in interconnection, in the web of life, in love. Love for yourself. Love for others. Love for the world.
This is not the time to panic. It always feels like it. Every year it feels like it.
But don't panic. This is not the time for that. This is the time for getting quiet. The Solstice is right here.
This is the time for wrapping ourselves in darkness and stillness and breath. And finding the strength and finding the dream. Retrieving who we have been that we loved. Washing away who was never us. Snow baths under full moons. Crisp clear nights. Drenching cleansing rains. Deep breaths. Community circles of light pressing outward into the encroaching darkness. Darkness soft, wise.
The yule log burns because it has been coming all year, has been coming all year to burn. The yule log is not an accident. It is the rekindling of an eternal flame.
What needs rekindling? Where can you regrow? Starting here. Starting now. Breath. Beginning to breathe. Deep under the earth. Moving life.
Little green shoots coming, coming, coming. What are you growing? What ground do you need to lay, in this the dark of the year?
Thanks for tuning in. Talk with you soon.