AFTER THE CONFERENCE
The next ‘layer’ might be when people ask penetrating follow-up questions, or if you are with people who are closer to you, with whom you’d really like to express the *magic* of what just happened for you. It is great to want to share, and yet- this is also when we may begin to consider strategies to maintain the sacred energy of the experience, so that it doesn’t slip away from us. Sometimes, the way it is received has a lot to do with this, but it is also in our own delivery and the choices we make in timing and audience, for example, since some people really may not be ready to go to the deeper place with us.
One thing that can help us to navigate this fine discernment is actually what’s happening right now as you’re reading this: igniting, re-igniting, or confirming an awareness around this in the first place! You are already on your way to maintaining energetic integrity. Another thing that can help is the ‘mindful speech’ that I mentioned earlier. This is a practice of remaining present while speaking: really drop in to your body and the present moment, replete with it’s very own qualities and emotional and energetic signatures. Make real eye contact with the person you are speaking with and listen to your own voice as it comes out of your mouth. Hear yourself. Notice how your feelings relate to your words and even the special memories that are going unspoken. This kind of presence in speech can be a cue to both you and your listener that what you are saying really matters. It *may* increase the chances that your message is received. But, not necessarily!
Which brings me to the third layer of experience, which cannot always be communicated; except, perhaps, with a very few, special soul friends! This is the sacred treasure of rich, ritual energy which has been built up for you, within you. It is worth protecting. Take your time with this layer of communication. Choose wisely with whom you share this magic. I’m not saying NOT to share it—it is entirely up to you—I’m just offering the idea that it really is special and may take more TIME or may require a matching AUDIENCE or maybe can’t even really be spoken! I’m suggesting that it’s okay to let the sacred remain sacred.
Storytelling is a sacred art, after all.
“Catching Stories” is a sacred service. So, here’s where we flip to the other side: the role of the listener. In the realm of what is referred to as ‘Nature Connection’ and the ‘Art of Mentoring’, there is this idea of “Catching Stories”. I’ve just experienced this healing interaction with a dear friend who is privvy to this form of what can really be described as love, which is what inspired me to write this blog! It was the healing balm that I didn’t know I needed. Thank you soul-friend (you know who you are)!
Catching Stories means allowing someone to be seen. Really hearing what moves them, what they’re excited about, what it felt like. This helps them integrate their experience AND creates a connection between the storyteller and the listener. It is foundational in community-building and human-being. Bring this awareness into your consciousness and practices of daily life and see what happens!
I’ve also heard other folks mention the thought that perhaps *nothing* of the sacred experience needs to be reiterated! Perhaps when we leave the sacred container of the conference, we simply proceed with our mundane lives, joking and laughing with friends- leaving the sacred on the sacred side. I leave it to you to decide, yet here is the offering for consideration.
Now, in addition to the potential need for verbal processing and human connection, re-entry can be rough in other ways! After a conference or ritual—or even a reading—there can really be an experience of having an ‘energetic hangover’ (whether or not any substances were used—or abused)! It behooves us to be mindful of this and to find ways that support our own processing and recovery. There is also a real emotional component to the let-down after such a magical experience: Even though my mind-heart was full-to-overlflowing after leaving the conference, I’m also certainly experiencing an acute soul-sadness. It’s a real loss to leave such a magical space and may require some grieving. So, we have at once a buoyant joyancy along with a depth of grief and meaning. Yet (just as I heard was spoken in one of the lectures), we are big enough for both experiences at once. As the cosmos contains all of the planetary, zodiacal, and stellar energies, so do we! As the cosmos, so the soul.
So, here are just a few ideas for ways to support your integration/process/recovery. Many of them overlap, but I’ve tried to put them into groupings, to help you hone in on what you may be in need of:
Sleep! So many of us become less and less ‘resourced’ as the days of the conference pass, largely due to an increasing sleep gap. While this originates in the body, it also certainly affects the heart, the mind, the spirit. I noted increasing difficulty with complex thought and communication over the weekend as well as greater emotional sensitivity. This principle applies to food, as well; when we are traveling, we may eat all kinds of things that we don't normally ingest! How is your body doing with that? It may be nice to offer your body gentle, replenishing sustenance. Eat what your body is used to. Hydrate. Take your vitamins! Eat simple foods for a moment, perhaps to let your gut reset. Finally, it may be nice to get your body moving! Walking, running, yoga, dancing, stretching. Your movement of choice can help move the energy through and help it settle, and bring you back into your body! Particularly after flying. Even sitting, laying, or standing very still may be in order, after all of the chaos of travel and a full schedule and rich experiences.
Reflect and journal. Meditate. Read what others are saying, if that feels right. Speak your own truth about the process, perhaps (taking care to note what I’ve mentioned above, of course, about maintaining the energetic integrity of your sacred experience). Check in with others who have gone through the same initiation. Allow a sacred friend or other caring figure to ‘catch’ your story! Take all the time you need; there is no rush. Some may wish to write poetry, create a collage, or work through some divinations. All great ways! Observe and express on social media as we all wind down from such a great happening.
Grounding! Get your feet and/or your whole body on the actual ground. Even five minutes of this can be immensely restorative. Use a bath or shower as an intentional re-set. Get out your sprays and smudges and stones and plant medicines. You may wish to sing or dance or drum- any way that you might think of to move, ground, or integrate energies- whatever works for you! You likely know this ‘drill’ -and if you don’t, ask one of your new friends who might!
Speaking of friends, it can be very grounding/integrating to reach out to the people you connected with over the weekend. Send those follow-up messages and follow folks on social media who you really connected with. Stay in touch! The connections are what give the conference life; the web that holds the ‘great thing’ which is Astrology, in our case. A truly great thing- it’s cosmic!! In addition, tending to those you ‘left behind’ could go here, as well. Allow your friends and family the chance to catch your stories and ‘keep up with you’, as you shift and grow with everything that transpired and emerged during the conference.
I hope you find this helpful in some way! And, if you have further ideas, comment below or send me a message! I have become a bit of a tracker of these ways and would be interested to hear others’ perspectives, confirmation, or feedback on how these approaches work out for you. Or what you think of them.
If we crossed paths over the weekend, know that you are part of my experience and I am part of yours! Please be in touch and I hope to see you again next year!* #norwac2020
*If you are planning on attending in the future, consider these posts as preparatory resources:
How to #NORWAC2019 (most of the info will still be good next year! great tips & orientation)
NORWAC 2019 Human Necessities (places to eat & shop near the hotel where the conference is held)