A few weeks ago I met a woman who is an amazing attorney who works diligently for her clients, is compassionate, gives them her all, works so very hard to support her peeps. And has a few kiddos, that she spends her time with when she is not working. And yet, she is exhausted, she knows this, but puts her self-nourishment last on the list. She said something to me that has stayed with me ever since.
"I work so hard, doing Inner Work is just more work."
So of course I have been sitting with that ever since and wondered how many women (and humans in general) feel that way. Inner Work is a term used by many of us in the healing and spiritual arts, and yet I am not sure it is resonating with me any more. I think I would rather use Inner Play or Inner Journey, Inner Curiosity or the Grand Experiment. It doesn't always have to be "work" and what comes up for us around that word, but it is a practice for sure. And one that if you desire to transform parts of your story, and be living your heart and soul desires, just can't be avoided. We have to do the practices that allow us to access who we truly are and not all of the external "work". Or you don't, that is certainly up to you.
I find great joy in understanding myself more deeply, even when I am working through some tough stuff, but that is because I am a deeply curious person, and being curious for me is fun and joyful. At the same time, this week, I was in that place of...OK I am totally done with working past stuff, at least for the moment. YEs, I have scars that have healed over and will always be tender, but at least for right now I would prefer to work from possibility and fun and joy. Which is a big reason why I use art to access my Inner Muse. Art for me is fun, dance and movement is fun, being goofy and dressing up is fun.
And what better week to let go of our adult selves than Halloween week. We have full permission to get in costumes and be totally goofy. I love Halloween, and I actually celebrate it as Samhain which is a High Holy Day in the wheel of the year, and a time for both irreverence and merry making, as well as, honoring our ancestors. Not in a sad way but in a joyous celebration of communicating with and celebrating them. In certain traditions it is believed that the veils between the worlds are thin right now and it is the time to communicate with and ask for guidance from our ancestors. You may even find yourself dreaming about them this week. We can also build fun little altars dedicated to them with items that remind us of them.
So I invite you this week to do a few things, one is to ask if you are resisting doing self-care, and self-nourishing practices because it just seems like more work, and more things on your to-do list, and ask how you can make that fun and joyous. And if you need ideas I am here for you.
Two, run right out and get yourself a Halloween costume that allows your Inner Child to come out and play, even if you have no plans, put your costume on and go about your day in it on the 31st.
Choose one ancestor who was maybe wild, wacky, irreverent, funny, free-spirited and create a little offering altar to that person, put things on it that were their "hallmarks", maybe she always wore cat glasses, or was known for wearing red socks, or I am reminded of my great-grandmother who always had tissues in her bra in case she needed quick access to one. If you don't have a personal ancestor who was like that, perhaps choose a famous person who has passed that represents that for you. For me it would likely be Lucille Ball. Light a candle for that person, ask him or her to guide you to creating more joy and play in your life.
I do hope you enjoy your week and I would love to hear from you on ideas of bringing more joy and play into your life.