I studied with a spiritual teacher for many years and one of the things we did was totem work. Part of the totem work was discovering my key phrases, for lack of a better term. These key phrases are the things that color my life--they are the constant themes that have been with me since I was born and probably will be with me, in varying degrees of importance, until I pass from this world into the next. I guess you could say it was like identifying my character traits, but it was more than that. It was about what kind of energy I worked with and was going to work with. It was about my life and how I had been living it and how I was going to live it.
It was about consciously choosing my life lessons, even though I had already chosen them before I was born.
Does that make sense?
Regardless, part of my work was doing these things. And one of the biggest words that come up for me time and time again, was transformation.
I have a love/hate relationship with the word now.
On one hand, transformation is all about change, and energy, and excitement, and stepping into the unknown. It is all about letting go of what isn't okay anymore and embracing what is. Transformation promises newness, freedom, constant learning, entertainment, exhilaration. That is why I love the Fall the most; for the energy this time of year is very palpable, and it feels dynamic.
However, transformation means impermanence, challenge, loss, and to a certain degree, loneliness. Nothing stays the same for long, what made sense and was real doesn't and isn't anymore, it means facing the darkness and fear and terror and pretending not to understand that the path leads that way. It means a lot of time is spent cocooned, cooking in the juices of my past and sinking into the deepness that creates my future potential.
My cocooning always seems to coincide with Mercury being in retrograde, interestingly enough. I am not blaming the planet for my current mood and state of mind, nor do I schedule my inside time based on Mercury's insistence on wandering backwards for three weeks at a time, three times a year. I usually have no idea Mercury is retrograde until I am already hardening my shell and retreating within, and from somewhere out there in Real Life somebody mentions Mercury is in retrograde. Ah ha, I think to myself as I fold in my wings and tuck in my head, that explains things.
So here I am, inside the chrysalis, dreaming my dream for the next cycle, shedding my old legs and body that are no longer of use to me, growing new things in order to do new stuff. I am not in charge of this process of transformation; my job is to ride the wave of this dark quiet mysterious ocean and to pay attention to what slides past me in the current. My job is to remember the dream, and when I hit shore and step out of my boat made of shell, to begin walking once again.