If we do not treasure our shit
and if we do not transform it into humus
in honour of God and the world,
we lose our right
to be present on this earth
– Friedensreich Hundertwasser, ‘The Sacred Shit’
In this second chapter we start the process of composting: reflecting, digesting & harvesting the past cycle…
What were the major events that happened in this last cycle?
Looking back, what am I grateful for?
If my body could speak, what would it tell me about its experience of the past year?
What were my biggest teachings?
What were the biggest challenges of the last cycle and what did I receive through the challenges?
Which people in my life am I the most grateful for?
What was the biggest teaching I received through my relationships?
What were my biggest self-care triumphs and challenges?
If I am really honest, what was my ‘guiding north star’ and top priority?
What were my best failures?
When did I light up the most or feel the most in flow?
How much fulfilment did my work give me?
Is there any unfinished business, anything that feels unresolved and incomplete?
What do I feel like life is inviting me to let go of?
What would it feel like to embrace and accept everything I feel guided to let go of?
Creative rituals & practices
❅ Spend an evening or afternoon writing handwritten (remember that?!) letters to the people you are most grateful for in your life and send them to them! Consider doing it together with a few other people and making a little cosy gathering out of it.
❅ Connect with the power of gratitude and write a prayer of gratitude to yourself & to life and put it on your altar.
❅ After your journalling, create a container for yourself for the purpose of supporting this past cycle be digested/composted within your body. This could be the yin yoga practice below, an intentional walk or a bath, or even lighting some candles & lying on the sofa for an hour. It is a valuable practice to take time ‘doing nothing’, meanwhile inside we are busy metabolizing our experiences.
❅ See if you can bring anything that feels incomplete into completion this week. What conversations do you need to have, or practical things could you address?
❅ Add a bowl of earth to your altar, to remind you of the invitation for composting/transformation/letting go. You could sit and meditate with it, and whisper prayers into it and then offer it back to the earth next week.
❅ Add symbols or the names of people/things from the past cycle that you wish to honour, on your altar
With less possibilities to be nourished by nature and the sun, putting in a little extra energy to how we eat, and also taking in plenty of seasonal foods, can help our bodies adjust to the seasonal changes and continue feeling nourished.
Here are some current favourite recipes:
Kale pesto (Keep a jar in the fridge & add to pasta or roasted veggies or on crackers for a dose of dark green!)
Parsnip & apple soup (lovely and grounding)
Roast jerusalem artichoke, chestnut and thyme soup (something a little special & festive)
Pumpkin risotto (this is lovely to make when you want to cook as a meditation!)
German fruit bread (Recipe is in German, but you can google translate)
Jamu juice (drink it hot and have a bottle in the fridge always handy!)
Creative ideas for meal times:
❅ Enjoy a meal only by candle light
❅ Host a themed, conversational dinner with the invitation to share something you all are both celebrating & lamenting over the past cycle
❅ Have a dinner where there is an agreement with whoever is present, that the only time you speak during the meal is to raise your glass & make a toast to something in the past cycle (they can range from the silly to the profound!)
❅ Offer a blessing to your food. These are touching examples from around the world.
For the practice you need 1 blanket or pillow or bolster (optional 2nd blanket, something to cover the eyes).
My hope is that this practice can be a gentle container within which you can make space and tenderly hold whatever is arising, as you reflect back on the last cycle.
We bring attention, awareness and touch to our belly for a couple of reasons:
In Chinese medicine Earth element corresponds to the times of transition, change and transformation, in the body Earth element is represented by Spleen and Stomach. While one of the functions of Spleen Qi/Earth element on a physical level is literally the digestion and metabolism of the food we eat, mentally and in our psyche Earth Qi rules over how we are able to take in, digest, metabolise, learn and transform our experiences.
Hence the sequence inspired by gently stimulating Spleen and Stomach energy channels in the body.
Gentle weight, touch, massage of the belly is stimulating the vagus nerve – connected to smooth communication between body and brain and us feeling safe, which then is directly related to our ability to relax, trust and stay receptive in the moment.