Saturday, September 17, 2016

Along the Initiate's Path

So, I've been thinking a lot about my initiatory work this year and have some thoughts to share. It's hard right now, yes? I've stepped back from some things and, with a deep breath, stepped into others. 

I've been paying a lot of careful attention to my energy and my heart. My girlfriend recently shared the idea of restorative self-care vs. generative self-care. It seems to me that a lot of the time, when we talk about self-care, we talk about being gentle with ourselves, our restorative practices. Sitting in the sun with a book, getting a massage, eating some chocolate for dessert. I have lots of great restorative practices. That's certainly an important component.

But self-care literally means taking care of ourselves. Being gentle only goes so far. Sometimes, I need to do the things that give me wells of energy, that make me able to create. These are my generative self-care practices. Hiking in the woods, attending a concert, gardening, biking. Biking to work isn't always pleasant for me, but it really is good for me, it really does light me up.

I notice with my generative self-care, as with Priestxing, that I get resistant. Sure, it sounds good, but it takes work to get there, or it will be hard somehow. I need to push a little when it gets hard. It can feel like being at the end of my rope, 30 feet up a cliff, and having some kind soul attach 30 more feet of rope. I have a moment when I want to cry and complain that I meant someone else should do the work. I do not want to climb 30 more feet. But Initiation should be hard; it is my Work to do. The Work itself is not what feels terrible and draining. The story I'm telling myself about how it is Too Hard is what feels terrible and draining. Once I step into it, I find that it isn't "broke my arm" hard, but more "wow, that workout really kicked my ass" hard. A Priestx's self-care is also doing the hard things that deepen our capacity for joy.