My kids and I read a chapter of Harry Potter before bed every night. One of the most visual scenes – from an already incredibly visually written series – is the description of Dumbledore’s phoenix, Fawkes, as he withers, dies, and rises again. The picture painted of this regal, majestic, proud and confident, almost untouchable bird is of becoming sallow, withered, grey, fragile, weak, wasting away, becoming invisible…until he bursts into a cascade of flames, and is born anew from his own ashes.
This could not describe the energy of the last couple weeks; am. I. Right.
(Let’s all agree to just insert an entire row of very, very foul curse words here to let it all out, shall we?)
I will be brutally honest with you: the last two weeks, and in particular the last seven days, brought me to my mother effing knees. I’m talking about reaching deep lows that I have not experienced in actual years. It felt like I had been sitting on the beach, enjoying a beautiful sunny day, sipping cocktails in sunnies and listening to vintage reggae, eating tacos right off the grill – when all of a sudden a tsunami of old pain, old trauma, old triggers, old grief, wrapped in a shiny brand new package I had never seen before came out of nowhere.
The momentum I had felt gathering slowed. The path I thought I was on veered. The emotions I thought I had processed and filed under “healed” came hurtling towards me bringing anxiety and insomnia that left me reeling, and lying in a literal fetal position for more time than I am comfortable sharing. The emergency phone calls to my person were made, the radical levels of self-care were upped with much snacking and sleeping, and tuning out most of the rest of the world beyond cuddles with my delicious family and calls with my amazing clients was made a priority.
And, as it always does, it passed. I let myself feel all the things, cry, scream, rage, wallow, listen to a steady diet of The Smiths, until the heaviness subsided, and things felt like they were getting back to normal.
Because things always do level out, and the intensity you feel will lighten if you let it.
I know there are several planetary things happening after last week’s full moon, eclipse, and Mercury retrograde – none of which I am an expert on, but am aware enough to surrender to the push and pull of the things beyond me that I cannot control. What I can control is, as I said, ensuring that I am well cared for, that my immediate connections stay strong, and that I surrender to the comfort of trusting and not knowing.
This is a time of rebirth and of growth, which means that this – for so many of us – is a time of transition. And transition is hard AF. If you’ve ever given birth, or witnessed a beauty in your life giving birth, you know intimately that transition is when it’s no holds barred. You can’t tell if you’re going to throw up, shit the bed, or both (praying it doesn’t happen at the same time). You feel like you’ve lost control over your body, and aren’t quite sure if this body belongs to you anymore, anyway. You are sweat, shaky, desperate for answers of “what do I do??” and “what happens next??” and “for the love of all that is good – how long does this LAST?!”
And then, blessedly, just when you think you can’t go on anymore, your baby is born; your tiny, perfect, pink baby ready to be held and nurtured and above all, L O V E D. By you.
And miraculously, you forget about the terror of transition, and the fear and the pain and the spiraling out – because now you are holding love and joy in your arms, and love and joy are far more powerful than any degree of chaos and crazy.
Lovely, before you can be the phoenix rising, you have to set yourself on fire. You have to set yourself on fire before you can rise up from the ashes. So let go. Burn up. Surrender to the weight that has come crashing down and allow yourself to close your eyes and crumble under it as it does.
Then pause, take your first breath, and rise up.