At Imbolc, What Is Stirring?


It is a dig down deep kind of time.

It is a time of falling down into the spacious dark within, until we come face to face with unfinished things and beloved things, with past actions un-repaired and past loves undeclared. And it is a time of becoming whole by facing them.

It is a time of finding an authentic voice and striking all the words and all the ideas that are false. It is a time of knowing what is false.

It is a time of action, actions that are consistent with what we stand for, hope for and believe in. It is a time of understanding that this is how we create our world, one action, one word at a time.

It is a also time of conserving energy and eschewing action that is wasteful and inconsistent with our vision for the world we want to create. It is a time for having the discipline to wait to act until we feel the inner pull and the courage to act when we feel that pull.

It is a time of surrender to something greater, call it God, call it Spirit, the Divine.

A client today came face to face with the question of whether or not she really wanted to make a commitment to becoming a holistic healing entrepreneur, to investing hours and hours upfront on the faith that the investment would pay off, to risk putting herself out there and potentially failing.

At one point she said, “And yet, it’s still there. It won’t go away. I want to do it. I want to do this work.”

And that’s the dilemma we all face. We want this great life. We want a world of opportunity and peace. But we want it to be easy. We don’t want to put ourselves out there, because we instinctively know it will be hard, and we may lose things. We may lose money, time, faith. We will be tested. We might be facing a death of one kind or another. Certainly we are facing the death of our own comforts and illusions.

Because we don’t want to lose anything, we hover around on the sidelines, telling ourselves we’re in the game. But even as we avoid engaging, we walk forward, testing the boundaries of our fear, looking out over our self-imposed limitations and at last naming them.

Leaving our comfort zones we enter the abyss, where life begins and ends. And in the great abyss of the winter night sky, the stars are now in the belly of the Earth Mother, as she gestates a new year into being at this time of Imbolc.

Valarie Kour, storyteller, activist and interfaith leader, in a speech at the National Moral Revival Poor People’s Campaign Watch Night Service, asks the stunning question, “What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but of the womb?”

“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our nation is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? The midwife asks us to breathe and push. Because if we don’t push we will die. If we don’t push now, our nation will die. So let us take one another’s hand and push together.

Yes, it is a time of pushing. Even while deeply listening and fervently loving, even while afraid and fogged, we are making our sure way out. Maybe we could have done better up to this point, but we don’t have time to mourn the past. We have work to do.

I may ask you this at the end of every blog post in different forms, so relevant is it to these times: What tools of yours are you reuniting with that are right there, ready to be put into action, as you are ready to own them and use them?

I leave you with a song about inspired action, determination and this long, dark birthing process, from the folk duo, Emma’s Revolution, Sandy O and Pat Humphries.

Enjoy, and keep on loving yourself forward.

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