I’d recently finished a really big project for my business. Always an energy expensive thing to do, I was expecting to need a bit of extra restorative time. Some deeper self-care.
But when I landed on the other side of the project, I found myself not only deeply tired, but also feeling like the fire in my belly that’s always been my guide had burnt itself out.
And that was disconcerting. Very disconcerting.
Over the years I have felt – in the literal sense – a fire in my belly for the wild woman truth of my work. I knew where she lived in my body, how she felt, how she fed me, how I fed her. Her presence was a warm, reassuring constant in my days.
The past few years my experience of her has been changing, though.
The transformation was so slow that at first it was easy to write off to divided attention, or the emphasis of my practice shifting toward the more pragmatic-feeling business coaching and away from the very alchemical, intuitive mentoring I’d been doing.
It was just that our connection felt increasingly distant, and very different.
As her presence continued to diminish, I started to feel … untethered. My clear sense of self and purpose got hazy. I could still somewhat sense my truth inside, but damned if I could find her fire.
I’ve been transitioning from motherhood into my crone energy. Pulling on my wise-woman mantle and becoming a member of the circle of silver-haired mystics.
And, for all my understanding about how essential my contributions from this phase of life are, I have a deep, lurking, irrational fear that I am now too old. That I have become irrelevant.
Emerging from the creative whirl of birthing this project and realizing I’d lost touch with the fire in my belly triggered that fear – and she got LOUD.
Just to add to the fun, my critical voice choir swung into full-throated Imposter Complex voice, my “good girl” went into overdrive trying to silence everyone, and my high sensitivity tipped me over into overwhelm, perseverating (rather than deep processing) and perfectionism (rather than conscientiousness.)
So, of course my body did exactly what she’s designed to do in the face of so much distress, she unleashed the hormones I needed to fight, flee, or freeze.
And, WHOOSH! there I was stewing in cortisol, not sleeping, eating all the wrong things, feeling muddled and under assault.
My self-confidence and self-knowledge were turning into quite the shit show. And, the timing was awful.
I realized that I needed to invest energy and time mapping the complex borderlands among the truths of myself – body-wisdom and high sensitivity – as they collided with feminine conditioning, especially around aging.
What I’ve found so far is that for women guided by body wisdom, any significant physical shift can change the way our bodies reveal marrow-borne truths. Aging is one of those significant physical shifts.
The way aging affects how we perceive our body wisdom is like giving a kaleidoscope a turn. A little to the left and we see one thing. A little further and the view changes. The same components make up the picture, we’re simply sensing it from a new perspective. Each winter we transit turns the kaleidoscope a bit and shifts how we sense our inner fire.
As we age, we need to intentionally relearn the shifted terrain and dialect of our bodies so we can keep our internal lines of communication humming.