I need a course in Dreamwork 101. I'm a freakin' Pagan and a Pisces, for Nyx's sake, but I can't remember my dreams to save my life. So don't ask me if I really did dream of my pledges for this Imbolc, this year and a day, because I have no idea.
I spent the evening of the new moon working with my "healee," the 2nd-year student from the mystery school who drew my name to work with her this year. Our work provides support for her through the grueling 2nd year, and a healing apprenticeship for me in this, my 4th year. And it is wonderful work. I love it. I have this sensation of being "plugged in" when I do the work - both grounded in the earth via my root chakra and electrically charged. When I'm in that place, the path before me is illuminated, even if I don't know how all the practical details are going to shake down. It's very different from my old modus operandi, which was to try to make things happen through sheer force of intellect, planning, and ego-driven will.
Since my path right now is that of the healer, I asked what I could do to pledge myself to that. The answer I received is to devote myself to my own healing. Like a lot of people, I can spend myself, becoming ungrounded and depleted, on a mission to help others. Indeed, I can cast "helping others" as a noble mission, but use my focus on others as a way to avoid taking care of and taking responsibility for myself. This spring I have my healing work, my full-time job, volunteer work with the dogs at the SPCA, mutual support of my partner, and a house-hunt to occupy me. But my pledge is to devote myself to my own healing. I can't lose sight of that, or I lose sight of everything.
What are the practical details of this pledge? First not to turn it into a to-do list, the modern woman's guide to beating herself up. Nor does self-denial heal a damn thing. My preferred forms of self-punishment are to deny myself sleep, time with friends, cooking at home, and movement. So the first step is to allow myself those things. Go to bed early. Make a meal at home; involve a green vegetable somehow. Have a friend over for conversation and a tarot reading. Go to my dance class. Spend 20 minutes practicing yoga.
Also, I'm devoted to herbal infusions, thanks to the incomparable Susun Weed (this week I've been alternating oatstraw and a red clover/red raspberry mix, because that's what I have in my cupboards), and flower essences, thanks to Molly at Green Hope Farm.
My favorite metaphors for healing are those of flexibility and nourishment. The best medicine is pleasure.