Purging: How to Surrender via Letting Go
Autumn brings with it a time of purging.
The trees are purging their leaves to prepare for regrowth and renewal. Animals are purging their dens or locations to make room for sustenance, hibernation and/or rejuvenation.
As we define purging, we find that its meaning relates to purifying, cleansing, clearing, removing, or drawing out.
Nature is purging, and thus, given that we too are Nature, we are purging.
This year in particular was predicted to have significant releasing and purging of all that’s not aligned with our most authentic expression and Self.
With Autumn being Nature’s time of purging, it makes sense that the year’s predicted energy would present itself most potently for many of us during this time.
I’m seeing purging happening in a variety of ways. Clients and friends have lost loved ones, struggled with significant illness, or moved. These are all methods of purging, preparing us for the new, and often being quite painful.
In my home and life, the purging has come in the form of plumbing pipes clogging and creating a significant 3-day mess to be cleaned up. Also painful!
Sometimes purging is about having messes put in our face to clean up or navigate through, and ultimately let go.
The mess could be around dealing with settling matters after a death in the family, or facing the shadows of old traumas or wounds we’ve long ignored and simply cannot anymore.
Stress mounts and intensity follows as we’re squeezed through the eye of the needle toward a new opportunity. We likely have absolutely no idea what that new opportunity will be, but you can rest assured there will be one, just as Nature always follows a period of purging and death with rebirth and renewal.
What messes are you navigating or cleaning up? What are you letting go of?
As I reviewed the content I wrote last year in my Sacred Nights of Winter Journal for the night associated with this time in the year, the hints of purging were all there.
“Dance upon the corpse of what no longer serves,” one of my oracle cards expressed.
“Be aware of the darkness that comes before new realizations,” a dream warned me.
“I feel a fine line between surrender and feeling resigned,” I wrote as my end of day reflection.
The prophetic nature of my Sacred Nights of Winter journal has again reliably revealed itself with indications of precisely the wrestling I and others are facing right now.
This brings me to an exploration of resignation and surrender, which often emerge upon experiencing a purging in our life.
Resignation vs Surrender
Resignation is a state of being submissive or giving up. We “mark” (sign) something as the opposite (re) of what we had hoped, and give up or submit….we re-sign.
Surrender, on the other hand, is about giving or delivering (render) over (sur), often to a power greater than ourselves.
Going through a purging process can quickly make us feel resigned, submitting with an attitude of “whatever,” and giving up on ourselves and/or life.
We lose our will.
We have no sense of passion or purpose.
We don’t even seem to care what happens, and apathy sets in.
These may sound like awful things to experience, or a horrible state of being to end up in, but perhaps there’s a silver lining.
When we feel resigned, we often feel completely helpless and even hopeless.
Resignation might trigger a feeling of depression after the anxiety of letting go passes. In that “rock-bottom” state, we find ourselves naked, on our knees, at the altar of life.
In this state, we have nothing left to give or offer but our full selves.
In consciously noticing this state of being, and beginning to allow for it, we may find ourselves shifting into a conscious state of surrender.
In surrender, we willingly offer ourselves at the Altar of Life.
There’s little left to do but release and let go, allowing a force greater than us to take the reins for a while, initiating us into a new state of being.
The trees do this in the Autumn, surrendering their leaves to the higher power of the Great Mother to be composted, which will in turn support the nourishment required for new growth in the Spring.
The trees don’t argue. In fact, they don’t even entertain a state of resignation. Only us stubborn humans fall into resignation as we fight the process and beat ourselves up for not feeling victorious over it, landing in apathy.
The trees, and all of Nature’s beings for that matter, go straight into surrender, allowing the process, knowing there’s something more to come, trusting that all is as it must be.
What would it take for you to shift from any resignation you feel into a state of surrender, offering yourself to Life, allowing the composting of what must go and the revelation of whatever wishes to emerge?
Presence to Find Peace in the Pain
Out of our purging, resignation, and conscious surrender comes a calm, collected state of mind, with our faculties at command. We fully exist in this moment, standing before a great Force and ready to engage with it as we navigate our way forward.
The capacity to be “within reach” or “at hand” to life itself is the definition of presence.
In full presence, we can open to what life is teaching us, connect to the lessons, and glean their wisdom.
In presence, we feel the pain in totality and prepare for the birth that wants to come.
In my Solace program (be sure to join or get on the waitlist for the next round), we speak of Autumn’s purging as a final act of letting go of all that stands between us and the future we envision for ourselves. This purging is part of the Re-Envisioning stage of Solace, associated with the Fall.
We Remember who we are in the Spring, Reconnect to what matters in the Summer, and then often experience tremendous purging in the Autumn as we make room for what we Re-Envision our lives to be from this new sense of who we are and what we value.
From there, we prepare to step into the Rebirthing stage of Winter.
Rebirth is never without birthing pain. We must become present to the pain in order to be initiated by the birthing process. It’s in this presence that we find peace in the pain, generate healing, and prepare ourselves to begin the cycle of Remembering, Reconnecting, Re-Envisioning and Rebirthing again.
Pain is what we fear most of all, thus it’s what we resist most of all. It is this pain that sends us first into resignation, then into surrender, and finally into presence.
The journey through pain is escaped by no one incarnated on this Earth.
In presence, we come to recognize the gifts of our pain, and let go of the fear of it. It is the pain and its gifts that awaken the deepest wisdom within us, and thus bring forth the greatest potential for an empowered and fulfilling life.
Know that full authentic presence is our ultimate purpose…to be here, in this moment, with our unique gifts, and engage fully with life.
One of the greatest tools I’ve ever found to tap into the power of Nature and Her rhythms to support me in my own unfolding presence is Journaling during the Sacred Nights of Winter, when the veil is thinnest and new inspirations, imaginations and intuitions are most available to us.
Intentional journaling during this time guides and fortifies us for each year’s ever-spiraling cycle of recreating our lives and reinventing ourselves.
This is why I created the Sacred Nights of Winter Journal and have made it available to all women interested in consciously and intentionally embarking on this journey to presence and renewal.
You can journal in solitude, or in connection with our private Sacred Nights of Winter Circle which includes sisterhood, as well as nightly teachings and inspiration to guide you through the journey from December 24th to January 6th.
I hope to see you on the journey through the Sacred Nights, and to the most present, empowered, and authentic Self you have the potential to be.
May we all find peace in our pain through the conscious journey of purging, surrendering and presencing.