Shifting sands of 2017

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I’ve said it several times in recent weeks but this year has changed me. I am not the same person that started the year. I have grown. I have been shedding. I have opened and closed many doors. I have learnt more about myself and the world than ever before, and see just how much I still have to learn. I have remembered things I didn't know I'd forgotten, or that I'd ever even known. And that excites me. I’ve always loved learning, so while this journey isn’t always easy, it always brings me to the most amazing space.

This week has had some big milestones in it, the new moon on the 18th, Saturn shifting from Sagittarius to Capricorn after two and half years, and the winter solstice and Yule celebrations. This is the first year where those events feel more significant to me than the upcoming Christmas  holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to Christmas, but I can feel the changes happening around the other events, and marking them for myself has so much less pressure or expectation around it. Those events just are, there’s nothing I have to do, nowhere I have to be, I can just be in the moment and go with the flow that they trigger. And that is my favourite place to be!

I didn’t know very much about the whole “Saturn in Sagittarius” thing until the last few days.  Jennifer Racioppi says “Saturn, the great disciplinarian who animates life lessons and offers soul direction, has travelled in Sagittarius since late December 2014. Since then, you’ve been asked to redefine the aspects of your life having to do with Sagittarius—the quest for freedom, the ability to be bold, blunt, and to speak the truth.  (Caveat: Saturn retrograded back into Scorpio from June 14th until September 17th, 2015.)” 

In December 2014 I started my major CFS/ME crash. Before then I was trying to manage my fatigue and push on through it, fighting to keep going and be everything I used to be. It was when I was forced to give in and accept being signed off work. It changed everything. It left no choice but to stop. To reassess. To learn what really mattered to me. To find out who I was and how strong I could be.

During the retrograde period I was still off work and officially undiagnosed, but beginning to understand how to pace myself. I learnt as much as I could about CFS/ME and started moving forwards, albeit slowly.

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I went back to work just as Saturn moved out of retrograde motion and back into Sagittarius. Since then I’ve managed to get from a very small number of hours up to working four days a week. Its been a long road and there have been lots of false starts and setbacks. I’ve found myself made a redeployee as a result of organisational restructures, and ended up in a job I probably wouldn’t have chosen if I had options at that time. It has always felt like a big step backwards in my career – I’m doing the same things I was doing at least ten years ago, if not longer. I spent a very long time frustrated and upset by that. It’s felt like something that’s been forced on me and absolutely not where I should be. It was only ever meant to be temporary, so I went through a phase of applying for just about every job going in the hope I’d be able to move on, back to where I was before.

But that wasn’t meant to be. Those jobs weren’t the right ones for me. And this one isn’t either. But it has given me the space and time to devote to things I do love, and helped me understand where I do and don’t want to be in the future. I am not made for a corporate job. To give my all to a job where I could be replaced at the drop of a hat. I am not made for strategic five year plans. 20 year plans and politics. I am a fish out of water. But that’s ok.

It’s given me the time to help get The Fatigue Network set up within our organisation, and eventually take on leading it. Its enabled me to gain valuable coaching experience and find the things that truly light me up. And that has led on to all sorts of out of work training and development opportunities.

I’m a certified life coach now – who’d have thought I’d end up going down that road?! Actually, I think it might be full circle. Years ago I had ambitions of being an educational psychologist, I wanted a career where I helped people. But various life choices I made when driven by fear instead of passion meant that didn’t happen.

I’m a reiki practitioner now – I’d never have bought into all that “hippie rubbish” even just a few years ago. But now I know better, and its been these last couple of years that have taught me that. My heart is open and I found out what my third eye can do. I found my intuition and learnt to trust it. I started a blog. I opened a spiritual book club. I began offering oracle readings and now post daily on Instagram. I fell in love with meditation, yoga, red tents, shamanic drumming journeys, working with the power of the moon and feeling into the flow. I’m consciously evolving and learning from the most amazing women. I'm forever grateful to have met them all. They showed me the way home and helped me remember things I've always known.

My word of the past couple of years has been growth. I didn’t even know that until now.  But I do know that will continue, wherever Saturn might be! I can feel it shifting. I’m shedding layers of old emotions and thought patterns. I’ve shared some of that in my blog posts over the last few months, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing more in the future too. Writing is something I just have to do every day now. Its how I process everything. Its how I tune into my intuition. Words move through me sometimes, there’s no thought going on, just writing. It feels incredible!

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My word for next year is connection. It came to me during meditation last week. There are deeper connections to be had next year. The foundations have been built and I know they’re strong now. There is further to go and I am ready. The red tent I go to is one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had this year, and I cannot wait to be a part of a 13 month programme connecting more and more to my own cycles. This will be life changing, I can already feel it.

I will continue connecting to my new found creativity, both in my own journaling and in the vision board workshop I’m running in February. My coaching offerings will be growing next year and the fatigue network will be reborn into the real world.

The last couple of years have forced me to change course. To stop people pleasing and take a new path. It’s a scary prospect at times, but I feel like I finally found myself and where I’m meant to be.

There’s a Maya Angelou quote I saw the other day:

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She will go where she will without pretence and arrive at her destination, prepared to be herself and only herself.”

It’s beautiful and so, so true. I am in harmony with my spirit (well most of the time at least!)

2018 will be amazing.  Bring it on!

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