As the nights draw in it is time to retreat inside, rest up and begin the subtle inner work of healing. Autumn & Winter are all about the shift from the expansive nature of summer to the more contracting nature of the Metal element. It is about moving from the outside to the inside. Autumn is about letting go and allowing the things that we no longer need to fall away. In order for us to allow newness and growth in our lives it is vital that we learn and allow this process of letting go. There can be no new growth without letting go of the old. Nowhere demonstrates the energetic cycles of life better than nature; the trees let go of their leaves, which fall onto the ground and rot. As they do so they release themselves into the ground; but before they do this they are arguably at their most beautiful. Winter comes and the trees are laid bare and we must be ready to sit with ourselves and really begin the process of self-knowledge. So it was with this heartfelt intension to let go and deepen my connection with myself, that I left for the beautiful Hereford countryside to be held and supported safely by Fiona Arrigo and her incredible Arrigo Programme. No matter how successful and incredible we women are, we are simultaneously any number of things that do not serve us. We may be exhausted, too busy, too compliant, snappy, depressed, stuck, vulnerable, sick and out of balance. From this broken place we are unable to truly be our own unique and brilliant selves because we are still held prisoner by the old messages of how to be a woman. Most of us desire validation, or are too willing to conform or afraid to be vulnerable. The only way out of this is to learn to let go of who you thought you should be in order to be who you are. How do we do this? By striping away the outer layers that we have built to protect ourselves. So every morning, at Fiona’s invitation, I do a very simple inquiry. “Hello me, how are you?” “Hello me I am sorry I have neglected you” “Hello me I see all the things you do everyday”….. and so on. So often we have lost ourselves under our various roles; mother, wife, practitioner, boss, employee, daughter, friend. Never actually getting anytime to stop and re-set. I believe loss of time has had the most catastrophic impact on women’s health and psyche. But when we take time to tend to ourselves tenderly, it is amazing what happens. Little by little we can see our situations in a new light and find ways to approach things that may not have seemed possible before allowing ourselves the time to let go. The magical thing about doing this work in a space held so beautifully by The Arrigo Programme, is that every detail is taken care of so it allows you to truly go deep into the work. The food is wonderful, healthy but not joyless, the surroundings are luxurious; open fires, comfortable furniture, a grand yet welcoming house. The team are well trained, authentic and caring; without being intrusive or overly earnest. The days are designed to spend time in a group, where without fail alchemy occurs. The treatments are of the highest standard. And, perhaps most importantly, time alone to reflect and to rest. (You can read more about the programme here.) From this place of deep immersion, miracles happen; without fail each person makes significant shifts and healing takes place. Each person leaves rested, renewed, restored and awakened.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”. TS Elliot