I have been listening to a shamanic talk today that has created pause, maybe sacred pause.
I reflected after listening to about half of the talk about the medicine wheel and the inner/outer feminine and masculine. My truth: I neglected the feminine (inner and outer) for most of my life, I think. My childhood was troubled and unsafe, and one of my coping strategies was working hard~ at first to please and avoid punishment and then to continue fulfilling my passion through work (as a workaholic), and that continued until I retired.
I worked in largely patriarchal environments, and used my creative, listening, relationship building, and intuitive skills, yet always in support of the job at hand.
At night, I was mostly too tired to engage with my feminine, softer, flowing aspect…although I’d catch glimpses. Sometimes, I still wrote poetry, and then, more than 10 years ago, my poetic muse became silent. Deafingly silent.
A couple of years ago, I recognized in a writing exercise that there had been a change, where the feminine within me is insistent, that the masculine needs to follow the feminine’s lead within me. It has taken a while to quietly Be, as my culture and social life around me is all about busyness. I regret none of my highly productive and fulfilling professional years before this. Yet, I can see why I’m so reluctant to jump on the “doing” wagon and goal-setting activities that I used to do, skilled as I am with those.
I am curious about photography, yet it is contemplative photography that draws me. I love writing, and it’s journal writing and poetry and funny creative pieces that capture my attention. (I passed up a technical writing opportunity earlier in the year~ my entire body sagged at the thought although I liked it before!)
I still am active with voting and being an activist in direct and quiet ways with the environment, yet it is the soulful Nature walks that sustain me, inform me, shape me. (I will always want to be a steward of nature, offering healing and support especially to trees and rivers.) So, I’m committing to continuing this path.
I got to thinking about the way I loved hiking when my knees allowed strenuous hikes… yes, I loved working my legs, feeling my body breathe more heavily with exertion, feeling the light weight of my daypack on my back, enjoying each step for the beauty I was witnessing, smelling, sensing. I also, though, didn’t usually care about reaching the “destination” unless I was with friends or city-sponsored hikes to places. On my own, I would hike strongly, and then, when I felt like it, settle into a spot and read and write, eat a snack. Sometimes, I’d go on and sometimes I’d go back after a while. So, I felt glimmers of the feminine even back then, in leisure and work.
Now my hikes have turned into quiet walks, and, once I adjusted, I embrace the change. These days I am committed to taking as much time as I need~just time, quiet time, creative time, abundant time~to follow my heart and intuition, listening to my divine feminine within, to nature beings, to synchronistic moments, and taking the next step from there. I read whatever has pulse, and the variety engages me beautifully. Quiet time embraces me. I have started meditating more, not fussing with it as I did in the past. I have mostly released urgency, and, am learning to release worry. And, I think, to be a spiritual warrior ~ listening, quieting, opening, rooting myself ~ will lead me to whatever vistas and beauty and “work” and loving companions fill my path. Mine now is a nature path of wonder and Mystery.
Katey Simetra, originally from Colorado, has lived joyfully in Washington state for many years. After retiring from her professional roles as teacher, professional workplace/community trainer, and technical writer, she enjoys: mindful walks in nature, enchanted by trees, rivers, the different lands, and nature beings; exploring different creative expressions especially those inviting playful contemplation; deep connection with her beloved family and friends; and settling into a quieter lifestyle while deepening her spiritual practice listening to Mother Nature, the Divine Feminine, and her own inner wise woman~intuition. She encourage others to creatively (re)discover their own paths into Nature within and outdoors.
Read more about women and self-care at iRetreat.org