Setting Intentions and Managing Endometriosis in 2017
At the beginning of the year, I was acutely aware of my 29th birthday in December and even more aware of my 30th bearing down on me as 2017 drew closer. I'm not so worried about the age, or the wrinkles, it's the list of goals I set myself, the person I expected to be at 30 and the achievements I wanted under my belt by that milestone. These things have changed over the years in terms of what they'd look like, but the essence has always remained the same.
Being diagnosed with endometriosis has been a blessing and a curse in many ways. The pain and depression that often accompanies the disease has been at times, a living version of my own personal hell, but yet that struggle has enabled me to turn that negativity into something greater and stronger . The struggle of the struggle however, has never left me. All my life I have identified with the phrase 'Life is hard', you only achieve if you work hard and suffer. I am tired of this way of thinking. It doesn't work for me. In fact, deep down I feel that this belief has not helped my health at all. As my 30th year approaches I realised that to truly get to the vision of the person I know I can be and to really get back to health, I had to let go of my identification with the struggle - whether that's the struggle I have with my health, my mind, my confidence, etc.
Scrolling through instagram I stumbled across a post advertising Full Moon Magic, a workshop with Wolf Sister on the eve of my birthday. The evening would use the healing powers of the moon to 'integrate the lessons and blessings' of the year, in order to get clear on my intentions and let go of what no longer served me. It seemed like the perfect birthday present - my birthday aligning with the full moon - especially as I moved into such an important year for me - seemed significant and powerful, and my own personal new year wasn't really starting on January the 1st, but on December 14th, my birthday. So setting intentions for the year ahead and letting go of my old my fears, negative beliefs and blockages on the eve of this date seemed perfect.
Self-Healing through Setting Intentions and Letting Go
When I arrived at She's Lost Control, I felt a warmth rush to greet me. The space seemed full of presence, kind, welcoming and loving. Candles threw soft flickering shadows across the space, and the floor was covered in blankets that were decorated with patterns of the stars and moon. In the centre lay a circle of cards, face down and in the middle of these were crystals, rose petals and sage. The music was soft and quite simply magical (I had every intention of asking for the playlist but forgot in my blissed-out state) and immediately I felt my stress levels reduce far beyond any level they had been at in the last few months. Cushions were scattered in a circle around the centre piece and I found a space, sat down with a cinnamon tea and wrapped myself up in a soft grey blanket.
Wolf Sister (aka Tamara) sat opposite me and I was immediately drawn to her inner beauty and kindness, which radiated from her. She introduced herself and talked to us about the significance of the phases of the moon and the power it has upon us. We began with a visual meditation, where we arrived fully to the circle and opened our hearts. We connected with the earth, feeling our roots growing deep into the ground and holding us securely in mother nature's embrace and then welcomed the light of the full moon as it shone down on us. Finally, when we were ready, we looked into our hearts and listened to the intentions that were residing there. Interestingly I had statements that bubbled up without will, which I wouldn't have originally assumed were intentions because they weren't goals: I love you. You are successful. You are whole.
Wolf Sister then asked us to turn our attention to what was holding us back, what was stopping us from experiencing the person we truly were - what was stopping me from feeling whole, from feeling feeling self-love, from seeing my successes? A vision appeared before me and I saw the stories I had told myself over and over again throughout my life. Wolf Sister asked the moon to shine down on whatever had surfaced for us and with it's healing powers, we forgave our visions, our past, our beliefs. We went back to our hearts and I heard myself say 'This is not your story anymore'. My eyes flooded with tears, but I felt released.
I saw a few of us dab at our eyes, and then we were asked to turn to our partners and share our intentions for 2017, how we wanted people to see us and finally, what we were grateful for in 2016. Nerves flooded me, but I still felt open to the idea, though incredibly exposed and raw. I had never expected to be sharing intimate hopes and dreams with a stranger. Yet it was beautiful. I felt a deep connection with my partner and I understood her from the soul upwards. Both of us had similar intentions and desires for the year ahead, and hearing these aloud together was intensely powerful. So much so that often our words were stuck in our throats and we had to encourage each other to let them out.
The final stage of the ritual was to write ourselves a letter. A letter detailing our perfect day, with all our intentions realised. We sealed them in silver envelopes with pink address labels and Wolf Sister collected them back in, ready to post them out to us when we least expect it. All I will say is that I wasn't in pain anymore - endometriosis certainly did not have a place in my perfect day!
We meditated again, setting our intentions off into the universe and then cleansed ourselves with burning sage, which removed any of the old habits, beliefs and negative patterns we no longer needed in our lives. The room stood still for a moment and I knew from the silence that we all felt the power of the evening. Eventually we came out of ourselves and began hugging, showing gratitude to Tamara and our partners and generally buzzing with the energy that surrounded us.
After the ritual, I felt free. I felt released from a lifetime's worth of story telling and I still do. I know that this has had a pivotal change on how I see myself and the future that lies ahead of me, including my future with endometriosis, anxiety and depression. I understand that to some, this might seem too intense or maybe just a little too weird, and that's okay. But I just had to share my experience because it was so powerful and I have felt and witnessed changes in my life and in my behaviour since that evening.
If you're interested in Wolf Sister's work, she focuses on healing and happiness through various practices including reiki and shamanic healing. If the workshop side of things appeals to you, take a look at the amazing space She's Lost Control - a sacred haven in East London offering modern mysticism, including various events that could help you begin the New Year beautifully.