Descending into the Dark (Season)
I've spun a story for you, pulled up from the depths of winter.
This story begins with an idea. A possibly quite novel idea.
That (y)our pain has value - (y)our depression, (y)our worry, (y)our grief, (y)our heartbreak.
That it might even be worthwhile.
That it's not just something to turn around or to get over, get through. It has meaning, has a purpose, it is important. Just as important as your joy, your ecstasy, your growth - is your struggle, your crumble, your fall.
These experiences bring us down, deep down, into the underworld of our unmaking, our unravelling. And if, despite our oh-so busy lives running around in the dayworld, if - we allow time and space and curiosity for the decent ... we find unfathomable riches there.
You are deserving of this allowing. This exploration.
This letting go of the wider culture's blind insistence on doing, always doing, more and better.
This is the season of undoing.
This is the beginning of the witches' year. This season of decay. Of letting go of that which is no longer serving, of that which has gone dormant, of those pieces that are no longer necessary for the coming months. And it's tempting to jump ahead, to jump over this rotting matter. To want to avoid the stench and filth of decomposition. To focus instead on its becoming, its use - as the nutrient-dense fertiliser for an eventual new cycle of growth and generativity.
But what if we just stayed here, together, just for a moment?
The leaves fall, crumble and disintegrate beneath our feet. We breathe. The energy, circulation, life force of the plant world is pulled inward, pulled downward, back into trunk and stem and root. Back to what is essential. What holds and nourishes and anchors us, steady and firm and grounded.
And as we approach the darkest days, as we enter the long nights and the fierce storms batter our windows, as the brave of us venture out, only to be assaulted by the scents of death and decay rising up from the forest floor... we may feel that old, old, fear bubbling up.
That old terror and panic. That old loneliness.
And we might need to be reminded that humans wandered forests for hundreds of thousands of years before we were ushered into cities. And that, given the opportunity to re-orient once more, the space to notice, and the eyes to see - we know...
Deep, deep within...
That this season is also essential.
Is also necessary. Is an integral part of the wellness of the world.
And so you are.
Feeling less than well? Struggling? Overwhelmed?
I'm now offering Mental Health Peer Support via online video calls at sliding scale rates of $40-80/hour. I have lived experience of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, mania, psychosis and postpartum mental illness. And through all of these experiences, I have become so very passionate about the concept of peer support.
Folks with mental unwellness need more than psychiatrists who pathologize and counsellors who sympathise . We need support from those who've actually been there. Those who don't just understand that depression can be deadly, that anxiety can be crippling, that psychosis can literally turn your life upside-down; but who know it - know it intimately, know it personally and deeply.
We need support, but more important still, we need to see the people who have been through similar challenges and come out the other side relatively intact. Together, we dive into the embodied inner terrain. We give voice to the body's wisdom, we connect with its wellness and wholeness. We hold space for the emotions and experiences trying to get our attention. And together we discover supportive practices and resources that work best for you. This may or may not be a fit for someone in acute crisis, an introductory consult is recommended for referral to the most appropriate resources (as necessary). Accessibility is a priority for me - if my sliding scale isn't within reach, but this invitation resonates, do contact me and we'll figure something out.
Wishing you all enough wellness.