I have a friend who gives her years titles in order to direct her work for the year, and I invited the Universe to send me a similar direction. Pretty quickly, it sent back the word “Deepen”. Okay, I thought, quite please, envisioning diving even more deeply into spiritual work and building my new business and get deeply into some shadowy stuff. I was sent a vision of a Greco-Roman temple which inside had no floor, only a dark hole into the earth, and I found myself curious about what was lurking down there.
And then December happened, and really walloped me. I got hit with exhaustion, the kind that makes you romanticize rubber rooms and wondering whether a relapse would be worth the 28 days it might get you somewhere quiet. No matter how much I slept, I was tired. My 9-5 became increasingly stressful as the month wore on, and the requirements for the certification course I am taking piled up. I had to travel for Christmas, and I felt resentful about that. I felt increasingly helpless to find room in my life for quiet, communion with my Gods, and soul-filling experiences. I felt more disconnected from my 12 Step Program as I struggled to find time and energy to attend meetings. I was so tired that even when I had some time free, I could collapse on the couch and mindlessly watch TV instead of going into my temple and going my work. Which just left me feeling emptier.
This other, second word came to stand beside the word Deepen. Simplify. Clear things out. I got the image of loving hands clearing away space in a garden bed for a fragile bloom to grow. How could I make enough space so that I can Deepen? I fall in love with the world, and I want to taste everything. I could sign up for trainings and workshops and classes all day. But there would never be enough time to actually do them all, not to mention all the other stuff (eating properly, exercising, my spiritual work, spending time nurturing my relationships) that needs to happen.
I think sometimes I flit from thing to thing in order to escape the pain of doing things properly and doing things with mastery. It is easy to stay in the early place of childish wonder, where the technique is new, shiny and delightful. But then it gets difficult, causes me suffering, and I don’t want to stay anymore. But who am I, if that is my way of operating? I am just a collection of shallow, superficial pools of knowledge. That way of being does not offer me the kind of grounding for the way I really want to feel and experience the world.
So, this year I am Simplifying to Deepen. I am abstaining from adding all the things. I am absenting myself. I am attending to what is really important and to what I already signed up for.