I had an interesting conversation with a spiritual director yesterday. Jen is in training and I am a volunteer recipient of her practicing in spiritual direction. We have conversations once a month about the inner life.
We were talking about the solstice and the seasonal cycles, and Jen mentioned that if the year is a breath, the winter solstice is the end of the exhale. I liked that image, and we can began to talk about what things need completing and what things need releasing at this time.
Completion is of particular importance to me right now. I had my first big art show last weekend at the studio, the culmination of 6 months of recent painting and 10 years of earlier efforts. It also marked for me stepping into my painter self more fully. On the writing front, I am self-publishing my first novel next month and I just finished proofreading the final version and sent the changes off to the designer, who has already completed the cover. A smaller book, on creativity and recovery, is also nearing the end and I plan to publish it next month as well. Both books have been in my mind and heart for quite a while and it is nice to get them out.
On the letting go front, I'm ready to release several things. One is any sense of limitation on the creative front. There's a lot I need and want to learn about painting and writing, but feeling incapable of doing so doesn't work any more. Second is wanting to release tenacity, holding on to things I don't need any more. Like limitations, like old fears and old stories, like needing to have too much to do in order to feel worthy.
I don't know exactly how the completion and releasing will play out next year but it feels good to set the intention and complete the seasonal exhale in that way.