August is here. The month of my birth, the waning blue moon, the plump pears weighing down the tree in my back alley…
August means that Wildness Weekend is just a few weeks away, and every day my dreams become clearer and more concrete. July was all about absorbing inspiration – through books, coffee dates with collaborators and mentors, workshops, time alone in nature, and always, dance and movement.
I’m a longtime student of Permaculture, and lately I’ve put my Permaculture Design Certification to use in an unexpected way as I cultivate my inner garden. As a total winterphobe, I start to get anxious this time of year as back to school sales herald the coming of the freezin’ season. I’m trying to allay these fears by thinking about the second Permaculture Principle: Catch and Store Energy.
I’ve been making hay while the sun shines, on a borderline manic quest to make the most to the max (#MTMTM) of these long days and the opportunities they provide to take in new ideas, cultivate new friendships, and find the spark for new projects. I’m stockpiling this inspiration to feed me through the dark days when it’s a bit harder to come by.
I offered my first Dance Our Way Home session early in the month, holding space for women to take a couple of hours out of their everyday urban realities and get wild through a healing freestyle dance journey.
And the most beautiful part? Each woman had a breakthrough that was totally unique to her. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“I finally got reconnected with my soul! This was exactly what I needed after weeks of mind chatter and lots of mental work.”
“This space gave me such a divine and profound moment of releasing and just feeling my feminine goddess. It felt so good and safe and now she’s out…Better watch out!”
“Emily authentically facilitates connection with self, other, nature & universal divine. Her wild spirit creates a space for freedom and self expression, that anyone would be grateful to bear witness to.”
The participants’ feedback affirmed my sense that we’re all craving connection with our wild essence, and facilitating this connection for others energized me and turned up the volume on my own inner Wild Woman’s voice. I’ll store that energy for a long time – and I hope to offer more DOWH sessions soon.
Here are 5 other sources of inspiration that I’ve drawn from this month:
1. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ exploration of the Wild Woman archetype in Women Who Run with the Wolves A no-brainer, I know, but I have to share how much I am loving this book. From Baba Yaga to the Inuit Skeleton Woman, Estes draws the wild woman out of our planet’s timeless myths and her analysis resonates deeply. I’m looking forward to sharing some of her ideas at Wildness Weekend.
2. People, Nature and Music at Boreal Festival This annual canoe trip/music festival takes a couple hundred house music lovers up to Muskoka for a bush doof unlike any other. I connected with lovely new people in this free-spirited tribe and felt right in my element dancing til dawn, paddling and swimming in Moon River, and sleeping under the stars. Boreal was unforgettable, and the organizer, Justin, led from the heart in a way that really earned my respect. I bought my tickets to his Harvest Festival today (Sept. 18-20) – come!
3. Coworking at the Centre for Social Innovation I recently joined as a community member, and have been spending lots of time at the CSI doing my own work and learning about the coworking movement. I have big plans in this field, and I am so lucky to have a well of inspiration right up the street from my apartment. More broadly, I am inspired by the folks who populate Toronto’s coworking map. July was full of meetings with people in the industry who were without exception eager to share contacts, lessons and encouragement – I just had to reach out.
4. Embodying Emotion at Layah Jane‘s Deep Waves 5 Rhythms The last session I went to was in late May, and doing the waves again last week showed me how much has shifted since I wrote about my spring thaw. My dance felt light and open as I skipped and cartwheeled. The words that kept coming up were JOY and SIMPLICITY. I’ve been devouring Gabrielle Roth’s Sweat Your Prayers, but nothing compares to getting into the studio and moving through flowing-staccato-chaos-lyrical and finally, resting in stillness as spontaneous images of flowers and indigo skies flood my inner vision.
5. The Teachings of my “Disengagement” At this time last year, I was booking off the August long weekend for my wedding. The universe had other plans, and my relationship ended with love and mutual understanding in the beginning of April. I’ve done (and continue to do) the work to move through the pain and to reflect on everything I have learned from the breakup. As I walked down the dock at my cottage on the night of the Blue Moon, a dizzying wave of gratitude unexpectedly washed over me and I just stood alone and laughed and cried and watched the mercury ripples dance all around me. I may not have been in a wedding dress this weekend, but I am madly in love with my life, and that will do just fine.
Inspiration is easy to come by in the summer, and these hay bales are stacked in my soul.
As August bathes you in its warm rays, make sure to get out there.
Wake up early.
Stay out late.
Feed hungrily on whatever inspires you.
Take it all in and store it somewhere you can access it on a cloudy day – in a journal, in your instagram feed, in a friend’s memory, or canned in your pantry.
Make the most…to the max.