Starting over. Again.
I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end. (Jo March)
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
I’m starting over. Again. It’s something I do, maybe even a part of who I am.
Earlier this year, I started to explore the elements in my writing and my practices. I was excited to begin blogging again and committed to posting at least once a month. Then, as often happens, life pulled me in different directions. I didn't blog again for three months. It would be easy to blame it on the COVID-19 pandemic, but the truth is that I was working remotely and could’ve made time to write. I didn’t.
Rather than make excuses or get upset with myself, I’m starting again. I feel awkward and out of practice, but I’m grateful that circumstances have changed and I have more time to write. So, I picked up a journal today and reflected on how the Earth element shows up in my day-to-day life.
From an energetic perspective, the Earth element is associated the energies of safety, grounding, and survival. It’s the at the “root” of things (associated with Muladhara chakra). It’s what nourishes and sustains me. It’s the foundation that I build upon when everything else has fallen away.
Reflecting on this, the image of a spider came to mind. Many spiders spin a new web every day. Can you imagine?
Thankfully, I don’t have to re-create my own “web” every day, but I’ve started over often enough to be skilled weaver. Sometimes, the old web is destroyed or blown away. Other times, I disassemble the strands myself, digesting what is left to give me what I need to create the next pattern.
Although the design of my life changes each time that I start over, I rely on the specific ‘bridge’ or ‘frame’ threads to hold it all together. To me, the threads below represent the earth element – the basics that support me as I spin a life that will nourish me.
My body. This is where my life happens. My body is the container for my breath, my emotions, my mind, and my soul. I do my best to sustain the health of my physical body, which means consistently asking it what it needs and ensuring that I get enough water, rest, healthy food, and movement.
Meditation. It took me years to build a daily practice, and it’s something I come back to every time I start over. Meditation and mantra are the anchor that keeps the rest of my life in place, especially in turbulent times such as these. In stillness, I connect to my inner wisdom and find the strength to get back on my feet again when life brings me to my knees.
Writing. I still haven’t managed to make this a daily practice, and that’s okay. Being hard on myself only takes away the joy I feel when I do pick up a pen or sit at a keyboard. Sometimes, I don’t write for months, but I always get back to it. Whether it’s journaling, blogging, writing poetry or prose – I’m a writer and I can’t NOT write.
Structure. My life often looks chaotic to others, but that delightful chaos is woven around a thread of structure that holds it in place – action plans, calendars, and to do lists. While these things don’t sound sexy, they are essential to me. They act as a map each time I step into a new journey or change routes on my current one.
This week, I’m starting over again. In Nevada. It's not a place that I ever imagined living, but it's where the winds of change have carried me. The initial threads are in place and I'm busy creating a design that shimmers with the dewdrops of possibility. It's hard to see the entire pattern from the middle of the web of my life, but I trust that it's beautiful and will help to capture new dreams to nourish me in the months ahead.
When was the last time you started over? What are the 'bridge' threads that support you each time you weave a new beginning?