Waking today on January 1st 2021, I was presented with all I needed as a reminder that we are all connected as one; one body, one giant energy field. My New Year’s Eve was quiet, mindful and enjoyable. We laughed all evening, playing board games and I had a wonderful conversation with my daughter across the distances. Before that, we’d been on a lovely walk where we stood watching a pair of young deer and spotted a buzzard, many kites and a myriad of other birds. By late evening, I’d sent messages and spoken to a handful of close family and friends. I’d also taken a sauna, danced, meditated, set positive intentions and done everything in my power to keep my spirits lifted and my body light in the run-up. No alcohol, no sugar, no trigger foods that day and I felt…quietly, serenely…optimistic as I put the dog to bed and climbed the stairs just after midnight.
But by morning my body felt toxic in the extreme, every part of me hurt and there was an energetic sludge moving in my veins that might have tricked me into thinking I had had way too much to drink…if I had (though I hadn’t, not unless you count water). I knew the ropes, having been here before, so got straight up without the temptation to stagnate under the duvet or slip into overthinking it, and got to my yoga mat, spent some time in mediation and with my oracle cards, urged myself to dance (clicking on the very first thing that spoke to me at a glance, Nessi Gomes’ beautiful “All Related”) and then lowered myself gently into a detoxing clay bath.
So, I’m aware I’m taking you into the sludge with me in this post, which is probably not what you think you want on New Year’s Day (though I promise it’s not where this post will end up…far from it) but sometimes that is necessary. Just as we have to put our hands into the compost to feed the seed!
Feeling much better after my bath, having eaten a light breakfast with some herbal tea, I checked and replied to some mostly positive messages, glanced through some posts from my favourite artists, watched the birds in the garden and prepared for my morning walk…which was lovely, I really welcomed the cold sting against my face as a purge to the still burning inner inflammation…but I can still feel it there in my body, this sensation of toxic energetic waste wanting to hang around in my field like a sticky glue. Not a day for being too lethargic today, I can feel I need to keep taking steps to move the body, change the posture, reset the thoughts, dial up the love frequency…again, all part of knowing the ropes of being a highly sensitive empath but perhaps I’m not the minority anymore. More so than any other year, I am hearing people speak about similar responses to the collective energy from people who are as surprised to be asking such questions about something so bizarre as I am unused to hearing them mention such things.
When I spoke to my daughter late last night, she said the very same…though she and her housemates had prepared for a celebration, she had decided it was not a night for drinking much as she could feel “everybody else’s emotions” hanging there, like a heavy burdensome feeling in the air that she noticed building all day, not at-all meaning those in her house, and she is aware enough to know this is not a good combination with alcohol. Just as I had felt coming over me, building all day, it was like a hangover feeling before you even started. Instead of the usual flippant toasts across the airwaves, she and I spoke quite seriously, just before midnight, about how to handle it when you are tuned in to the collective heaviness so much it seeps into your own energy field…and stays there, feeling like your own down-mood, even dark depression or, if you get it more profoundly as many sensitives and empaths (like me) do it can feel like a full-blown stomach migraine, fibromyalgia and flu.
Worth noting here is that my dog (not for the first time) also seemed to feel the off-energy yesterday, was really down in the dumps, unsettled and so sickly-looking (he was actually sick after his food, which is extremely rare) that I had to keep an eye on him all evening and came down to check him twice in the night. This morning he was slow getting up but is pretty much back to his old self and it wouldn’t be the first time he has responded acutely to an influx of very strong energy only to bounce back the next day (dog’s have the advantage over us that they don’t over-think they “whys” as to their sudden illness).
In my case, I am so keyed into this that (as always happens at NY) I could tell when the first parts of the globe had passed through the 2021 threshold without even checking the time (a sort of spike in the energy field detected via the much increased intensity of my clairsentient cues) and then the very last, when the pacific side of America must have been passing through midnight at about the time I was trying to get myself up this morning. For a time after that, there was a sort of energetic lull as the Americans crawled off to their beds and then I felt the field stir again as people local to me started to rise from their sleep, perhaps hung over, turning to cooked breakfasts and anticlimactic thoughts; so, in me, I had a renewed sort of heaviness and exhaustion, along with headache and an acid in my stomach that didn’t match what I’d eaten. I know these symptoms well as I feel these effects, to a degree, every New Year, but never more so than this year with its energy bomb of emotions: so many hopes pinned on the idea of a new page turned (how many people hoped they would wake from the nightmare as if by magic this morning…), so much dread of “more of the same”, so much loss, sadness, loneliness, despair heaped onto an already charged time of the year.
As if to bring that home, a friend messaged me about just having been summoned to her mother’s care home to say her final goodbyes, following months of restricted visits; how heartbreaking after what I know has been a really tough year for her. Another one, who lives alone, told me she has spent the whole year by herself, working from her kitchen table, no one she can see or meet up with in her locale and not a fan of social media; it’s hard for me to imagine what that feels like, almost a year later, spent in solitary confinement. These are the energetics, like seasoning of sorts, that are being poured into the collective soup of hope and dead that is new year this year and if any of us think we don’t dial into all the flavours they add, or get affected by them, we are sadly deluded.
Because we are all, and never more apparently so than now, one giant organism…as connected as we have been made to feel disparate and separate for SUCH a long time and now, ironically, that we seem even more separated than before, we are only proving it to ourselves and each other more by feeling these often uncomfortable awarenesses stirring in our own cells. If this is new to us, it may come as some shock. If it is old news because we were born sensitive then, for all our lifetime’s experience of it, we may never have been through more robustly sensitive times than this, like we are being put through our paces, and so we have to KNOW our stuff on boundary setting, letting go of what we can’t help, dialling into our own highest achievable vibration and sending love, compassion…and high intentions loaded with good manifestation ju-ju…out into the field. The more we visualise what we really want, not what we are stuck with, the closer we all get to a more comfortable place, together.
Meanwhile, what one feels, we all feel and though some of us may experience that more viscerally, through the symptoms in our body, than others, the same truth underlies all of our experiences. We may shove away or hide these feelings, buried under a great big pile of outer distractions and a concerted effort at numbing or not noticing what we are subliminally aware of, but the reality is that we all feel the energy of “other” and there is no watertight way of holding it at bay, for all we work on our boundaries, especially during a dam-buster event such as New Year’s Eve. Until we sort out our relationship with, and responsibility for, one another, realising that what happens (or what we dole out) to others also happens (or is done to) us, we will continue to go around in circles. Which means we ALL have a vested interest in getting this planet sorted out now; there is nowhere we can hide from the collective situation we are in, and this will only become more apparent the more connected people FEEL that they are…as their feelings, inevitably, wake up to it!
The short version of that is: If we keep on doing what we did, we will keep on getting what we got.
So that’s the harsh-seeming reality, one that any sensitive or empath will be more than familiar with, but there is an upside and that is that we are forced, at times like these, to take collective responsibility, plus we are now really motivated, like never before, to “be the change”, once we realise we are only harming ourselves and our loved ones if we sit idly by, determined in our detachment from the problem and the renewal momentum (they come as a pair). Even if that idleness amounts to nothing more than feeding the sense of hopelessness, muttering about the inconveniences, wallowing in the woe, being in denial that these things are really happening or blaming others for situations we simply wish weren’t happening at all, as though we are separate from them and personally victimised by them. When we step up into our sense of collective responsibility, we can get straight to work with pulling together as one, and it starts as a grass roots thing, like not putting other people at risk by mingling and not wearing masks, or doing what we can to support local business, or using this time to make significant lifestyle changes to help the ecosystem to recover. Perhaps smiling at people over the mask, being the one to ask after a neighbour that is on their own, donating our surplus to a food bank. There are a zillion ways to pull together and generate positivity.
And even if it is a manmade construct (since Nature’s annual cycle really turns around at the solstice) there is no time like New Year to fuel a new sense of momentum, as we the turn collective idea of “a page” onto a pristine new sheet of blank paper just waiting to be filled in a new way. That collectively shared construct is useful to us here because we get to harness the powerful symbology of that page-turning event, happening globally, to effect a massive change of attitude or a sense of rebirth, right across the planet.
And so we leave 2020 behind, tenderly cradling the pristine potential of 2021 in our cupped hands, almost too scared to make that first mark on the page. Meanwhile, I’ve heard a lot of people, these last few days, hurl abuse at the very idea of 2020, as though it has a persona that they can blame for everything that has happened (how people love someone to blame); calling it all sorts of childish names and declaring “good riddance” but, for goodness sake, why shoot the messenger? Truthfully, 2020 was what it was because of us; it was the pool of all that we had collectively become as humanity, one decade into the new millennium, and so it simply mirrored back to us the state of our own affairs. If we don’t like it, we really don’t like ourselves, and that is no place from which to begin the process of healing and renewal.
First step to any healing: see what there is to see and then, where there is a problem, address it…with compassion and without judgement. If we don’t like the way something is, blame will only tie us to its leg all the more securely. So as we turn this metaphorical page onto the pristine white sheet of a brand new day, it’s where we place our thoughts that really matters…as in, to create more matter, the substance of a new reality, a new mark upon the page of life, we need to pick our colours and our instruments carefully.
If there is one last glance back at 2020 required by me, and I have done quite a lot of that lately in my earlier posts, its to ask why it was that I have been simultaneously so uplifted and filled with optimism, even by a sort of relief, whilst also floored by its effects and all the human devastation going on.
A post I happened upon today from the wonderful musician Marketa Irglová (who I wrote a post about quite some time ago) nailed it for me:
“During the most recent health crisis we have globally faced as people of this world, I, like most, had experienced a time of more stillness and quiet than I ever had in my adult life. In fact I can only remember the feeling of such ease in memories from childhood. I questioned my inner peace which seemed to contrast the general status quo of the world, and examined my personal sense of calm on the backdrop of collective panic and anxiety. It occurred to me, that I had felt an undercurrent of anxiety for years, watching the world self destruct in slow motion. Seeing the poisoning of our natural world and all of us with it, too busy in our own bubbles to notice it happening. Or seeing it all too clearly and feeling powerless to stop it. Waiting for our leaders to lead us, and for enough of us to wake up from our slumber. It took a virus to sweep across our world to give us an opening, a crack in the stone. Something that the lords of this world could not control with their money and their power. A glitch in the system if you like. The veil that keeps us under the illusion of being separate from one another had grown thin, and I could not but hope, with all of my being, that this was it. Our chance. Perhaps our very last. To turn this ship around. To take this sinking boat and point it home”.Marketa Irglova
These words are her introduction to, and inspiration behind, the beautiful song Quintessence recorded last year, which she describes as follows:
“Quintessence was a song I received during these strange times to pass on to the world. A thread to follow and see where it leads you. A journey worth taking.
Inspired by my dearest of friends Mary Reynolds, and her movement The Ark, it is also a love poem to Mother Nature. To find out more about this non profit organisation focused on amplifying nature’s call for help and offering empowering guidance to those with ears to hear, please visit www.wearetheark.org. Without Nature we are no more.”Marketa Irglova (follow link to hear the song and read its lyrical story)
So, what is my take-away from all that and from 2020 itself? Hope. I take away from 2020 one hugely revived and far more realistic stash of hope than I had any prospect of summoning this time last year when things felt so stuck in their bad habits. Far more than before, when the world seemed to slumber on in the deepest sleep of all its planet-endangering ways, I am quietly full of hope and renewed optimism now; based not just on the fact that I have woken up in time but that many of us now have and, in order to reap the benefits of that, we need to cease blaming or stirring the slurry and just get on with rising from the mud as the collectively embodied new shoot of a far brighter new day held in potential. As Marketa put it, not only is this our chance but it may be our one and only chance.
The key to even starting upon this daunting process out of where we are right now, here today on this (if you live in the northern hemisphere, quite dark and uninspiring January 1st) is not to be so quick to label the sludgy feeling that is likely embedded all around our leaden-seeming feet right now as “just more of the same”…because, if we do that, we will surely make it thus. The key, rather, is to recognise the detox process for what it is – that feeling that any one who has ever undergone a cleanse will know; the feeling of getting worse on the way to getting better. We are already getting so much better than we are probably able to see so clearly from down here on the ground looking up at “the big problem” but, I sense, from the vantage point of looking down at how we are really doing (from which point we can also see all the brightly lit-up and optimistic, the determined, creative and innovative souls ready poised to pull together and build this world anew), I think we would be pleasantly reassured at how far we have already come. Let’s not blow it!
For a final encouraging note, I happened upon this poem by John O’Donohue on Instagram, posted by one of my followed accounts, the delightful @andthehare, and it fits so perfectly that here it is to round things off:
For a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;John O’Donohue
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.