I have a true story to tell you, of serpents and cycles and surrender. Come closer. It’s warm here by the fire.
After years of looking and dealing with this crazy-ass market, Michael and I have finally found a home. Seven beautiful acres, close to town, a humble log cabin and infinite possibilities. It’s a fast escrow and there’s, of course, about a million things to do.
So in my overwhelm about all that needs to be done, I decide to do the most important thing first: take the day off and go to the Yuba River.
On the drive down, I’m battling inner demons who are saying things like, “Are you out of your fucking mind? Why aren’t you packing!”
But then I start walking on the trail, listening to the river rush, and remembering who I am, one who walks the Shakti Woman Way.
I take a seat under the dappled sunlight of the oak, slow my breath, and turn my attention to the anxious voice inside. She is very little, feels very alone, and the enormity of change scares the crap out of her. I listen, give her empathy, and hold her close. I reassure her that we’re quite grown up now, good things are coming, and there’s lots and lots of support. We got this.
Then there is a story that moving is going to be hard, taxing, disruptive, and should definitely be avoided at any cost. It’s coming from a place of stagnation where murky things live and breed. I imagine a fresh clean current flowing into that space, calling in a new narrative of adventure and fun. Cuz that story just needs a better ending.
Then a dread arises around having to deal with all the stuff. How did we accumulate so much stuff? That becomes a prayer for simplicity and freedom: let us keep only those things that we need or have meaning to us. Let it go.
Next I think, “You should really do some kinda ritual.”
And I hear, “No time like the present.”
I write these 3 intentions on small strips of paper. I create a small circle of stones in the sand. I say some prayers of gratitude and release. I light several sticks of incense and then the papers. Two burn very quickly and turn instantly to gray ash.
The third one is stubborn and won’t light. When I finally get it going, the brown line of the burn takes forever to consume the white paper. I get impatient then wonder which one it is and what meaning it might portend.
Eventually, there’s just a tiny piece left. I look more closely at what is written on it for clues. In my handwriting, it says, “…ha…” Indeed. Goddess has a sense of humor.
Ritual complete, I dive naked into the cold Spring waters of the Yuba River. I open my eyes under water and mermaid through the green world. I surface, float on my back in the brilliant hot sun and ask Mama to please wash me clean.
To my surprise she says, “Release your head to me.” I let go of all tension and allow my neck to relax completely. My nose stays easily above the surface as the water pools over my eyes. I’m being effortlessly supported. As she holds me, I enter into a state of exquisite timelessness and surrender. I emerge in an altered state, as if I just made love. Current, eddy, flow.
Later, a water snake comes to the shore. We make direct eye contact and are both a bit startled by the encounter. She swims downstream leaving big “S” ripples behind her. Who better than one who sheds her skin to show up with medicine about change?
As the sun sinks low, I gather my things and remember that I have brought rose petals as an offering. I gather them in my hands to scatter on the water when I hear, “No, not here. There.” My attention is drawn toward a flat rock down river where the water circles and I make my way there. On this small altar of granite, lies a snake skin, slippery as though recently shed.
I gently hold it in my hands, asking permission to take it home with me. I leave it to dry on my altar at home, in the shape of spiral. I intend to offer it to the ancestors of this land, the Nisenan people, when we move to our new home.
Pretty amazing story, right? I mean you can’t make this stuff up.
Here’s the thing, a Shakti Woman knows that the way of the sacred feminine will not likely appear efficient or productive. You have to have courage to follow her lead and eyes to see. As you do, you’ll find that her results are generous, elegant and expansive. Although it may fly in the face of logic to take a day off when you’re crazy busy and overwhelmed, it may be precisely what you’re meant to do. It may yield a return on your investment that you cannot currently imagine.
Since taking that day at the Yuba to listen to my anxious heart, purify my body, commune with my soul, and create ritual, our escrow process has unfolded in the most miraculously easy way. Yes, there’s been all the tracking and tending to the details too. But that’s happening in a way that feels grounded, clear, focused, energizing and supportive. I’d call that some elegant Shakti efficiency.
On this eve of the full moon and eclipse, what old skin are you shedding?
What’s simply become too small for the you that is becoming?
What parts of you need some compassionate holding?
What stories are you telling yourself that could benefit from a happier ending?
There is great energy on the move and available to you in the next few days, woman of Shakti. Remember who you are and keep your eyes open. Everything you need is likely right in front of you. And change is good.
With so much love and many blessings,
P.S. The photo above is of me on the Yuba River. And here’s one of the ritual space. If you zoom in you can see her laughing, ha!