Samhain /Halloween - let your old self die

We’re really heading into Autumn now aren’t we? Today I really felt the temperature drop. I’m experiencing a hint of sadness that the light days are over as I definitely feel lower in both energy and mood in winter. I have a sense of endings and loss – as the trees drop their leaves, the plants turn brown and the berries shrivel on the hedges.

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Yet in nature death and decay is just part of the natural cycle. Trees shed their leaves so they can conserve their energy and sprout new buds in the Spring.  Losing their leaves is actually vital to their survival. For Mother Nature it is just a time of rest and renewal.  What is no longer needed has to die for new growth to be possible.

We’re coming up to Samhain or Hallowe’en – when traditionally we celebrated the dead. In Celtic times we invited dead ancestors to rise again and join us on the night of 31st October. Similarly, Latin Americans still celebrate the Day of the Dead on 1st November.

I realise that this All Hallows a part of ME needs to die so that another aspect can rise again. I have been wrestling with writer’s block, but this week had an ‘aha’ moment that helped me understand where it came from.

When I started secondary school I discovered I was academically bright. I started down a path of being a very good student and loved that it brought me praise from my parents and teachers. I really enjoyed studying but in fact absorption in my books also distracted me from a very unhappy home life and miserable school experience.  

Now I realise that this path of the model student came at a really high price. There was disappointment (from myself but also my father and stepfather) if I came second or third in the class. Everything except first seemed like a failure and I refused extracurricular activities that might take time away from my studies. I gave up acting, dance and horse riding. I gave up writing poetry as  I thought my efforts weren’t good enough. I basically abandoned my creativity. I tried many office based career paths down the years and they all made me miserable but I ploughed on it because I didn’t think I was creative. Until recently it never occurred to me that I was free to do whatever I wanted in life.

I realise I need to totally let go of the ‘perfect student,’ the ‘good girl’ part of me, the ‘father’s daughter’, the ‘brainbox’. I need this part of me to die so my creative self can rise again, the free little girl I used to be before I worried about ‘not getting it right’ and ‘not being good enough’.

So this week I’ve been clearing my bookshelves of any academic tomes, ‘intellectual ‘ novels and poetic works I know I will never read. On Hallowe’en night I will set fire to the books that are too worn to be useful to a charity shop - and invite my creative Self to rise again from the ashes.

So I invite you to explore what part of YOU needs to die?! What aspect of you is no longer serving you and needs to be thrown in the flames? Could you allow yourself to really let go of that part – so more of the real you can rise again from the dead?