Eagerly listening, pen in hand
Quiet thoughts from a chilly day in London
I didn’t intend to take such a long break from Substack but as usual I’ve reached January completely emptied out.
December tends to be a full-on month, work-wise, as I hold space for all the lovely new peeps who find me through the free workbooks. I can tangibly feel the energy flowing in — it’s warm and friendly and sprinkled with gratitude. For the first time I led end-of-year workshops on Zoom and it was glorious! Took me a few days to recover after each but they’ve lit a fire in my heart and I want to bring more live teaching into my offerings in 2024.
My word for the year is EXPANSION. If you downloaded Find Your Word in December you’ll note I originally had different words for 2024. Prepping the workbooks in November requires me to know my word ahead of time and in 15 years of choosing this has never been an issue. My words come to me without needing to chase them, but in November I was taking care of my girl and plucked words from my brain, quickly, to fill in the text. And there’s nothing wrong with choosing a word strategically, but this wasn’t that.
For me a word is most effective when it comes from the heart or gut, when it floats into my awareness as I edge towards the new year, sensing what’s needed for the next leg of the journey. On the solstice I led the Unravel the Year workshop and had my epiphany as we claimed what we were calling in — EXPANSION shimmered on my page.
I’m calling in a year of gentle expansive
growth— wait no, it’s not “growth” — I typed that automatically. That’s the kind of thing we say in the personal development world (a world I enjoy, don’t get me wrong!). Growth sounds like I’m growing something new — new shoots, new leaves, new me™ — but I want to strengthen and deepen what already exists and to do that I need to make space in my cells. Space in my cupboards. Space in my understanding of what’s possible for me.
Energetically I feel like I’m still in lockdown. Pandemic + perimenopause + Baba’s cancer diagnosis in 2022 triggered an unconscious decision to keep life small. My body has been rewiring itself while my emotions are indelibly tied to my familiar. I’ve spent 20 months waiting for her to die, basically, and she hasn’t yet, which sounds very matter-of-fact, but those of you who’ve been through the anticipatory grief of caring for a loved one know what I mean. Animal or human, family is family and her quiet support through turbulent years is being repaid now, gladly.
I know that when she crosses over the rainbow bridge I’ll have new pages to write for this next chapter of my life. I turn 51 in a few weeks and I’m keenly aware of the expansive shift that’s coming. I feel my work deepening and building towards something — personally and professionally. This first year of my 50s has changed me. I suspect I’m nearing the end of perimenopause — there’s been a noticeable quietening. The rage is less, the peace is more. I don’t miss my menstrual cycle like I thought I would — it’s been over six months since I last bled and after a lifetime of the most horrendous PMS this steadiness is welcomed.
I know this decade is the foundation for my elder years and I want to do right by future me. I also know my ADHD will try to sabotage any lofty plans I make — dammit! — but knowing why some things are hard for me does help. It could be worse, I tell myself, and yes it really could.
I’ve been hearing whispers from my Crone Self, aware that she’s reaching back in time just as I reach back to my inner child. She’s got words to share with me this year. I’m eagerly listening, pen in hand.
15 years ago, in January 2009, I was sitting in a different city, in front of a much slower computer :) working on what turned out to be my very first course and the beginning of my business. A lot has changed in online business over the last 15 years and to still be here doing what I love — teaching, sharing, guiding and creating — blows me away.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of my wee biz, I have a special discount code for you: 15LOVE will give you £15 off everything in my SHOP till the end of January.
It will also work for my journaling course, Journal Your Life, which is enrolling now and starts January 22nd xo