Hello, My Valkyries. It is March! I’m slowly thawing out in mind and body and looking forward to the coming Spring. While Fall is usually my favorite season, Spring is becoming a contender. There is something so magical in Spring, it can be the ultimate new beginning.
The birth of Hope and Possibility appears and grows, unwinding like a tiny fern, stretching it’s fronds, unflinchingly displaying it’s vulnerable hopes and dreams to the sun with wild abandon.
These baby plants, saplings, and animals remind me to do the same. Especially now, with all that is going on in the world.
I know, I know, you’ve gotten tons of “in these rough and uncertain times we need to…” I get it. The barrage of “stay positive” posts, emails, and media today can actually have an opposite effect on our mental health. Rest assured, I’m not here to give you the ultimate pep talk or spout toxic positivity, and I try hard not to do that on my socials. With the pandemic, inflation, and now war on our planet – sometimes these well-intentioned quotes and social media messages fall pretty flat.
But if you are struggling a bit right now, I’d like to just hold space for you in my heart, and acknowledge you and whatever you may be going through.
I see you out there, putting on a brave face for your loved ones. I see you going to work at a job you wish you could quit. I see you struggling with your physical and/or mental health, putting on a warrior face for your loved ones, for your children. I see you, weary and tired, trying to put on a happy face when you come to my forest bathing walks, or when we meet in the grocery store.
I see you, because I’ve carried weight on my shoulders too. I see you, because I get tired and weary too. Most of all, I see you, because at times I also feel like no one understands what I’m going through right now.
Winter can be hard. Heck, the whole year can be hard. I feel for you. Not out of pity, and while I may not have experienced the same things you have, I know how the weight of it feels on your tired body. It can be hard to acknowledge hope and possibility during this time.
I have nothing but complete admiration in the way you keep going. Modern Day Valkyries are warriors in mind and body, but we are not infallible. We fall. We struggle. We know we should ask for help more often. Yet we keep going. We never give up. And to me, that just makes you even more to be admired and treasured.
When I fall into that pit of despair, when I feel like I am alone, I go into the woods. I want to remind you to do that, and encourage you to go out into a forest, nature preserve, park, or any quiet place where the trees and birds will listen. I promise you they do. Find a comfortable place, alone, where no human conversation exists and unburden yourself. And if you aren’t used to doing that, I challenge you to do so. You may be very surprised how pleasant and calming it is.
And when you are spent, from venting or however you wish to unload, try the following invitation:
Close your eyes and slowly breathe in the gift of the forest – that fresh, pure oxygen, lovingly made for you. Inhale the breath of all living things. See if you can smell anything. How does this sacred air feel in your nose and your lungs, on your skin? Let your ears listen to the music of this place. Think about opening all of your senses. See if you can calm your busy mind and just listen to the world around you. When ready, slowly open your eyes as if you are seeing the world for the first time. And when you do, imagine that every being in this place is sentient, is looking back at you, and they are thinking:
“This unique creature before us is accepted and welcome here. May they know we are here for them. And may we be everlasting friends.”
Walk slowly through this natural space, and see if you can find those young plants, tree saplings, sprouts, shoots, and baby animals. Examine them closely, spend some time with them, and perhaps you too will see Hope and Possibility. And trust me, that little thing can really help the weary heart.