It's August but it's Still Winter For me This Year.

This year hasn't been very easy. There's been lots of goodness but for the most part, I haven't felt very good. In fact, I've felt like I was in a constant battle with my body as one thing after another went wrong.

Trying to "fix" it all and become well has become like a second job. I’ve made frequent trips to the doctor. Cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, and alcohol. Spent a small fortune on supplements. Worked with a nutritionist. Tried different forms of movement. Experimented with energy healing.

There have been some improvements but overall I still don’t feel well and so my instinct is to create another healing plan, try a new modality, whatever it takes so that I get better.

Recently I started working with a coach and in our first session together I got a big message from my body: this isn't about “fixing" anything; it's about honouring my own rhythms. There's nothing wrong with being in this down swing; in fact, it's perfectly natural. There's a quote that says:

 "Nothing in nature blooms all year - don't expect yourself to.” 

and that sums it up perfectly. 

I’ve spent years pushing myself to be in my masculine/summer mode all of the time. That’s the energy of doing, achieving, pushing, striving, setting goals, making a plan, and basically hustling your butt off 24/7. It’s a very externally-focused energy and it’s really what our society expects from us all of the time.

Over the last time I’ve learned a lot that has made me realize that this is bullshit. After reading Lisa Lister’s book Code Red and beginning to chart and honour my monthly cycles I thought I was living in my body’s flow.

But even then was expecting my body, and specifically my energy levels, to behave a certain way. I was okay (ish) with slowing down for a couple of weeks a month. But weeks on end, indefinitely? That idea is incredibly uncomfortable. It shook my entire sense of self.

It makes sense though, after years of living almost exclusively from this masculine place that my body needs this extended winter and it's going to last as long as it lasts.

We live in a society that worships at the altar of productivity. We identify ourselves and each other by what we do and achieve. We struggle to appreciate what we have or how far we’ve come because we never slow down to savour and appreciate. We’re always on to the next thing. I’d very much become a slave to goals and to-do lists and I thought that by doing all of these things, I was going to feel happy and fulfilled.

Of course that’s utter bullshit. If we can’t feel how we want to feel now, there’s no reason to imagine that those desired states are going to materialize in the future. In fact the constant pushing and striving had gotten me so out of alignment that I suddenly realized I was chasing someone else’s goals and not my own (again).

But even as I made this space for uncertainty and reflection and processing, I was still putting this internal pressure on myself to do more. Within my healing journey I wanted to have a plan and action steps and a sense of forward momentum.

It’s made me realize how much snobbery I'd been holding for what could be medicine for my mind, body, and spirit. I was still in that phase of thinking it was all about the herbal teas and green juice and yoga and my body was screaming at me: "No! Netflix can be medicine too! Trust the medicine!" 

It is so hard to accept that the many duvet days and The Good Wife binges and weekends spent cocooned at home doing as little as possible are not just okay, but actually exactly what I need even though they’re the antithesis of the social, adventurous, novelty-ridden life that social media tells us we should be living.

I’m trying to cut out the judgment for this slow, quiet season of my life that I'm in and tune into what my body most craves for nourishment at this time. “Trust the medicine” is becoming my mantra and tuning into my body to ask her what she wants me to know and what she needs has become my daily practice.

There’s still the part of me that feels incredibly anxious without a plan but my coach has helped me to realize that I can honour her too, that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. So that part of me gets her routines and rituals because of course there is still work to do and bills to be paid and friendships to nurture.

But she doesn’t get to rule the show anymore as I learn to honour the rhythms of my body and embrace this extended period of winter that I need right now.

TGGC #48: Devotion to spiritual practice & finding your soul's calling with Rebecca Campbell.

Rebecca Campbell is a best selling author, inspirational motivational speaker, spiritual teacher, grounded spiritual mentor and practical intuitive guide. She's the author of Light is the New Black and her forthcoming book, Rise Sister Rise.

We had a really amazing chat about the power of devotion to your spiritual practice, exactly what HER practice looks like, creating from a space of feminine flow, and the role of the shadow when you’re trying to work your light.

In this episode we talk about:

  • An in-depth look at Rebecca’s daily routines and rituals
  • What “light sourcing” is, why it’s the one spiritual practice she’s most committed to, exactly how Rebecca practices it, and the instrumental role it plays in her creative process
  • The importance of consistency to your spiritual practice and how it leads to finding and living your soul’s calling
  • The story of how Rebecca discovered and then many years later started pursuing the work she was put on this Earth to do
  • The advice she gives to anyone who is trying to find their life’s purpose but doesn’t know where to begin
  • The simple ways you can tune into or amplify your intuition (which anyone can do!)
  • The important role of the shadow, even for lightworkers or anyone trying to work their light
  • What a lightworker is
  • The story of what inspired Rebecca to write her new book, Rise Sister Rise, and how it forced her to create from a place of real feminine flow
  • Living in tune with the seasons and rhythms of your body
  • The difficulty of living within the feminine in a society that wants to force us to stay in the masculine (and how we’re both navigating that)

Links mentioned:

Where to find Rebecca:

Podcast art by Ella Masters.

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Connection is so important (like an actual human need - I'm reading about it right now, it's so fascinating!) and the two most powerful words in the English language are "me too!" They tell us that we're not alone and that we don't have to do it alone.

That's a huge part of why I created The Girl Gang Conversations; there are too many topics like money, sexuality, relationships, careers, love, and health where we've been taught to keep the tough stuff to ourselves. We've been conditioned to think it's not "polite" to have difficult conversations or be real about where we're at with things.

When we're seeing everyone else's highlight reels on social media, it can feel like our lives are the only ones that are messy and imperfect on the inside because we're not talking about this stuff, sometimes not even with our closest friends.

The podcast is amazing because every week women are bravely sharing their stories: their messes, their successes, their obstacles, and their victories. They're honest about what's working for them and what's not. And I hope that these conversations help us all feel a little bit less alone.

But I want us all to be part of the conversation. And that's what Girl Gang HQ is all about. It's a closed Facebook group, so no one outside of the group will see anything you post which makes it a completely safe and supportive space to show up in all our messy, imperfect humanness. Because we're all just figuring it out - just like everybody else.

Every week we share what we're loving right now, what we're grateful for, what we're working on, what we're struggling with, and we ask for support, encouragement, advice - whatever it is we need right now. Sometimes I share videos, worksheets, meditations, tarot readings, or tips & tricks - but mostly it's a place for community, connection, and conversation.