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reclaiming december // settling into our caves

4 Dec 2015

hello, friends. and happy weekend to you!

i apologize right off to all of my southern hemisphere readers if some of what i write does not quite jive with your experience of light and summer; but you all know me, and you know that nature speaks so strongly to my soul. and, while we are experiencing different times of the year outside our windows, i still believe that reclaiming december (slow, mindful, intentional, meaningful living) is a desire that we all have in common.


with this weekend, some of you are celebrating the coming of the warmth of summer, and others of us are celebrating the coming of the darkness of winter. no matter where we are, though, december begs us to slow down (even though society says otherwise!). for all of us, we are facing the end of one year and the beginning of another. it is a time of transition, a time of shifting, of upleveling, of becoming. it’s a tough balance, though, slowing down in the midst of a holiday season – whether we celebrate or not.

so, that’s why i have decided to reclaim december. i just don’t want this month to slip by without giving myself a chance to transition from 2015 into 2016. with intention.

it’s not an easy process, and as many of you warmly reminded me personally as i had a bit of a freak out moment yesterday, we have to be gentle with ourselves.

i guarantee that the freaking out yesterday was due to the anxiety that i had about a meeting i had yesterday. but, that went well, and now it’s up to the universe. so, my freak out moment is over.

but, it’s just a reminder to me that life really, truly is a balancing game. and part of embracing the darkness is knowing that it is not all cozy all of the time. in fact, choosing to dwell and accept the darkness means that we experience everything. we come face to face with it all. the good, the bad, and the ugly. and then we come fact to face with it all again.

and that is exactly how we are transformed. through the tough stuff, the challenges, the sufferings, the questions, the doubts, the changes, the transitions, the loneliness, the dark. remember, sitting in the dark, facing all of those things is not scary. it may be uncomfortable at times, but within all of it, there is an insane amount of potential and possibility.

window view home darkness

so, have you started to settle into your cave space? do you feel like this could be a way that you might want to spend your holiday season? embracing the darkness, while also living and enjoying the cozy moments?

today i have a song that i want to share with you. it is a perfect song for inspiring us to embrace our cave, to accept the darkness and understand just how the darkness might make a beautiful impact on our lives. and all of that potential + possibility that is found in the midst of the darkness.

but, first, let me share with you a reference that just may be part of the artists’ meaning behind the song. it gives us a chance to get a deeper perspective of the song.

st-francis-of-assisi-at-prayer-1650

image from here

st. francis of assisi was born into a rich family in the 12th century. he joined the military as a young man, and then found himself very, very sick. something in all of that led him to renounce his family’s wealth, give up all of his possessions, become a monk, and dedicate his life to missional work, to helping others. he lived the rest of his life in poverty, but touching and inspiring the lives of all people and animals that he came in contact with.

interestingly, one of the things that the author g.k. chesterton wrote about st. francis in his biography was that he spent some time in prison, or a cave, and emerged a completely changed man.

” … in the inward sense it was a profound spiritual revolution. The man who went into the cave was not the man who came out again; in that sense he was almost as different as if he were dead, as if he were a ghost or a blessed spirit. And the effects of this on his attitude towards the actual world were really as extravagant as any parallel can make them. He looked at the world as differently from other men as if he had come out of that dark hole walking on his hands.” – st. francis, chapter v

this cave, this time spent away from others, combined with his renouncement of all material things and the way that society believed that we should live, transformed st. francis into a man who lived a life in service to others. the darkness, the hibernation, the tough times led him to new insights, new understandings about the mysteries of life.

i suppose one could say that st. francis discovered a profound, life-changing light in the darkness. this is exactly why i chose the image of a cave for this advent.

this is what i need. this is what i constantly yearn for. to crawl into a space and to simply be. to look into the depths of my soul and to reflect on the soul of society, in order to allow myself to grow and evolve and be changed. in order to become a better person. to become who i am really called to be. to continue that journey that i have already begun.

the season of advent and the darkness of winter create the perfect atmosphere for a little cave dwelling.

this weekend, i challenge you to spend a bit of time on your own. to find a little spot that can be your cave and just dwell there. dwell in the possibility. soak up the darkness and all of that potential energy. i’ll be getting away for my 3rd weekend of life coach training, so i will literally be leaving home and heading out to the countryside for a little soul-searching until sunday.

i leave you with the video of the song now. listen. watch. reflect. pay special attention to the lyrics about coming out of the cave… the st. francis of assisi reference. and i’ll see you back here on sunday as we begin our second week of reclaiming december + hibernating in our caves.

happy weekend to you. and december blessings to you all. xoxo

 

It’s empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

‘Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I’ll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker’s land

So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

‘Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

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7 Comments

  • Reply Louise Gallagher 4 Dec 2015 at 15:25

    I have just spent the past few nights in ‘my cave’ — sequestered in my office at home working on a book for C.C. It is a spiritual journey, this allowing creativity to have its way, to let happen.

    Love this post Liz — very inspiring!

    Thanks my friend.

    • Reply Liz 9 Dec 2015 at 21:06

      Your cave sounds like an incredibly inspiring and peaceful place. But, how else would it be? You are the inspiring, creative, peaceful person. xo

  • Reply CarlyBeth's Blog 4 Dec 2015 at 16:37

    This post made me feel hopeful! Thanks Liz 🙂

    • Reply Liz 9 Dec 2015 at 21:07

      Oh how I love to hear that! Amazing! 🙂

  • Reply Meghan 9 Dec 2015 at 16:53

    Thank you for sharing the story of St. Francis; it so perfectly illustrates what you’ve been talking about with using the power of darkness as a tool for reflection and greater self-awareness. Reading that today made me wish I had read it years ago so I wouldn’t have continued to doubt myself. Of course it’s possible, even probably, that I needed to push myself deeper into a life I wasn’t supposed to be living in order to start taking action to fix it, but reading how he retreated into a dark, quiet place in order to examine his unhappiness/dissatisfaction so resonates with me. Also, those lyrics are really impressive. xoxo

    • Reply Liz 9 Dec 2015 at 21:08

      Just love, Megan. I just love your comments. xx

  • Reply reclaiming december // the past post of the series – BE LOVE LIVE 27 Dec 2015 at 16:16

    […] settling into our caves […]

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