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ritual Archives - Kate Emmerson

THE HIGHLAND FLING: TOOLS TO EMBRACE THE TRUE POWER OF RITUAL

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Welcome to my November musings where once a month I offer up something highly personal from my life. I share lessons and ideas from my toolbox in the simple hope that they support you along your journey.

Let’s fling it …. Grab something to drink and enjoy this 7.3 minute read.

THE HIGHLAND FLING: TOOLS TO EMBRACE THE TRUE POWER OF RITUAL. 
Putting trust once again in closure, letting go and creating space.

For decades I have surrendered to the fact that my main modus operandi is embracing the premise of “letting go in order to make space.” Trusting in the honest and raw power of closure, forgiveness, releasing, honouring the past and putting things to bed. Giving them a rightful place. Creating space in my heart. It’s a huge part of the body of work I have brought to the world by inspiring you to #LiveLightLiveLarge and stop mucking about.

So recently it was my turn again….. to release AGAIN!

Here’s how we think it works:

When I have clinched my ideal job, I’ll resign.

When I’ve seen my dream house, I’ll sell this one.

When I know where I want to live, I’ll pack up life here.

When I know what my next ideal clients look like I’ll say no to the ones showing up.

The moment I have clarity about my future, I’ll close the door on my past. When all my ducks are in a row I’ll take the plunge to XYZ

NO!

It simply doesn’t work like this. That’s fear driving your thinking.

Learn to say goodbye before you say hello.

Say no more before you say yes please.

Say no longer before not yet.

Stand up for what is in your heart and energy field even when you don’t have the answers about what’s coming next. It requires your deepest trust and faith and a willingness for deeper self-love.

About 6 weeks ago, having just moved into my Edinburgh apartment for the next 3 months of life #LocationFree, I finally had all my stuff with me. I had collected stuff from mum in Uk and Greece and it was all finally in one place. For the first time in almost 6 years! Even though it’s not a lot of “stuff” (think just a couple of suitcases for Ms. minimalist here) it was a delight to finally see all my precious things together. Apart from my few artworks still in South Africa, every item I owned was with me. I got to see, touch and love them all again.

Which meant I came across a tiny, peach-coloured silken pouch that had been quietly bundled up for over 2 years. I had done a triple whammy – I left South Africa permanently more than 2 years ago, sold part of my business off at the same time and subsequently went through a break up with that partner. I had taken off and left my “commitment” ring with him, with the earnest request to come and give it back to me when he was ready. I had stopped wearing the other two items of jewelry (that had been birthday presents) and placed them in the pouch as I left his house that day and got on the plane. I had not looked at that little pouch again.

So of course, the day I moved into my apartment, I came across the silken pouch, checked out the contents inside and put it back with my jewelry stash. I hardly gave it more than a glance. But something had clearly been awoken again. A couple of days later a dear guy friend and I were chattering on the phone. I was expressing that I was questioning myself again, my abilities to really make a new life, to make Edinburgh and Iona work, to find my feet with work and my next chapter again, to be truly open to love and a partner again. Bla la bla.

WHY ARE YOU GIVING AWAY YOUR SELF-WORTH?
He knows pretty much everything about me – the good the bad and the ugly- knows my deepest fears and biggest dreams, and he simply said to me …..”Kate do you realize that every single time you question your real self worth, that this man’s name somehow comes up. You are still giving him so much power.” GULP. Grrrrrrrr

Gulp! Grrrrrrrr!

I was so flipping irritated like a hissing cat. Not with him for showing me that truth, but with myself for it being true.

REALLY KATE!

Still? After more than 2 years? Giving someone else power over MY self worth. For god’s sake surely you know better than that. What the F is wrong with you?! A couple of seconds of fast-self berating!

Slap, slap, slappety – slap.

I knew immediately what I had to do and responded to him saying something like “Oh my god… I’ve still got that ring he gave me! It’s going into the depths of the sea or off a mountain. Not sure which but I’ll know what to do when I do it.” Why had I not thought of that connection when I saw the items just a few days ago? It’s the power of being heard and seen by people who care about us – and my friend had given me that gift of kind yet necessary observation.

I woke up the next morning, 1st October. It was a freezing cold, sunny yet windy day. I wasn’t feeling the water vibe at all – this process definitely needed mountains. High ones! I popped upstairs to my local café, scoffed a solid breakfast and knew I was going up Arthur’s Seat. Armed with a Lorne sausage and egg roll and a triple caffeine shot coffee in my belly, I set off on a mighty mission.

The highland fling! A release mission to reclaim another part of myself I had lost along the way!

It was windy as heck, I huffed and puffed my way up the steep hill from the Meadowbank side. Although I’m pretty strong and fit, I do battle a bit with my lungs sometimes. Ever since first round of the dreaded C in March 2019, I can feel my lungs are just not as strong as they could be. The European cold after 6 years of summer, means I also use an asthma pump more often than I used to. I’ve been working hard on my fitness levels ….but phew, that was a tough walk up that historic hill! I had to stop several times en route up to catch my breath, appreciate the view and slowly keep ploughing onwards and upwards.

A mission burning inside my belly.

I had sunglasses on against the wintry glare and my brightest, reddest lipstick for a morale boost. By the time I got to the top after an amazing 2-hour walk from my home, it was so goddamn windy no one could stand up straight. Everyone, young and old was crawling along holding onto something or someone, trying not to get blown right off the summit. I literally could not stand up straight and felt drunk and daft shimmy-ing along with my butt against the rocks so as not to get knocked over. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do what I needed to right at the top – so stumbled across to a more protected section just off to the side, a little below the summit or Arthurs seat.

I found a little heather enclosed mound. No one else was around – it was perfect! I lay on the ground on my jacket, with the ring and a pendant I’d worn for years in my hands and started sobbing. Thank goodness for sunglasses – even though no-one was around I felt protected from my own vulnerability ! Thank heavens it was secluded.

My self-annoyance and irritation peaked. I just let myself feel it deeply, again and again and again. I believe that NO ONE takes our power without us giving it away. I know this to be true.

I was having to breathe that deep knowing back into my body.I wasn’t angry with my ex. I was pissed at myself this time!

Taking control once again.

I had been holding myself hostage too long now. Enough Kate.

Stop the lip service and get real.

Come on – we can do this!

I even thought about making a live Instagram of me flinging them – as I was so emotional and was shouting at the howling wind just how much of myself and my self worth I had given away ……but I thought better of it. This felt too personal to share live with you all in that very moment. All at once I stood up, yelled and grunted and FLUNG them. The ring and the pendant! FLUNG them as as far and high as I could. The wind was so strong they didn’t fall straight to the ground – gusts of wind made them dance in the air momentarily ….until they finally dropped out of sight into the heather covered rocks below me.

Tears streaming, gulping while breathing, mascara running in black rivulets. Yet lipstick miraculously still intact I discovered later in the bathroom at the cafe. I started walking down the other side of the mountain where the steep steps are cut into the side of the hill. It started pouring with rain and I started laughing through the tears. I didn’t stop to put on my rain jacket – just carried on crying, laughing, getting wetter and wetter, wearing my sunglasses looking daft and walking carefully. Trying hard not to slip.

Feeling relief and energy started surging again.

I found my wet way to the café called Nicolson’s – where JK Rowling wrote many volumes of Harry Potter. I had been wanting to check it out for my community writing group here in the city, and had decided today was the day. I arrived at about noon – luckily it was not full. I was all Hollywood like and kept my big dark sunglasses on inside, tears streaming and proceeded to order the largest glass of red wine to both warm and cheer me up.

It was done. DONE. Not an ounce of regret. I did however sleep for most of the following 24 hours!

THE GIFT OF RELEASE: This last weekend, just 6 weeks after my heady highland fling, I realized with a grin on my face that I was hiking up a different mountain. A well-timed connection. Huffing and puffing up a new mountain with a fresh perspective and a different guy in front of me.


What’s the point of today’s sharing?

Ritual is the point. The mere fact that a spiritual connection happened after all this time, reminds me of the power of Ritual. Life can change in an instant! Possibility can show up in flash – WHEN YOU ARE READY! Are you ready? My heart feels truly open and ready for a courageous shared life. Why? Because I have rediscovered myself and my space, and am grateful for the deep work I have done the past couple of years.

Release is the gift that creates space.

If you’ve read this far I’m guessing there is resonance in my story for you, right?

WHAT’S YOUR VERSION OF THE HIGHLAND FLING?

What is showing up in a tangible way right now to finally be released? Scan your life, your body and your energy to see what is being put on notice and has reached its sell by date? If it sticks around any longer it might start to fester and poison you.

YOUR QUESTION:

What one thing do you need to release and heal today?
How is this specific issue represented / showing up (e.g. my ring) and what can you offer up as a ritual of release now. Hit reply to share with me and call up your best friend to commit to releasing it over the next couple of days. You know what is begging to be shifted – so it’s time to simply do it! That’s why you read this far, right?

I wish you deep healing and releasing and flinging
Kate

P.S. Some Ideas to ponder – especially before the end of the year:

Burning photographs / journals or an item of clothing
Flinging jewelry or re-modelling it at last
Passing on books you have outgrown
Re thinking a concept you’ve held on for too long
Signing those papers at last
Saying yes to selling your business
Cutting your hair / wardrobe / makeover
Entering that competition
Destroying those letters
Putting your home on the market
Having that courageous conversation
Initiating Divorce or asking for therapy together
Asking them on that date?
Decluttering some space representing the stuck part of you
Firing that member of staff
Saying no to your business partner
Tidying out your grocery / medicine cupboard for renewed health

Join Kate for a sacred IONA Island retreat – read more HERE

When Habits are Abandoned, Dancer’s Pose is Elusive

By Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Food for thought, Insights to help you #quickshift

Fancy a laugh at my expense again? Not as much running and mad-dashing through airports this time…. more like simply too much horizontal time….

I know the power of ritual and ingrained habits. As a coach, it has been one of the cornerstones of my business and of course my own personal practice. One of my habits/rituals that serves me super-well is that of my morning ritual during the week. So  the only way I know how to do it, is that the instant my morning alarm goes off on the phone, I fumble for the screen to switch it off and I hit the floor – I am upright before I can blink and I don’t even allow myself the luxury to think about it because in that split nano-second of pondering it – well suffice it to say, I’m totally screwed.

So at 5.15 am this morning, said alarm squeaks and beeps……and I dare, for some stupid reason, to think. Not “Daring Greatly” as Brene Brown suggests, or daring to lie back for a cuddle; just daring to stop and think. It’s called negotiating with the alarm, and I have always found it both futile and daft!

But for a stupid moment this morning,  I imagine that maybe I can have just five more sweet, little minutes. 300 seconds!  But I never have a backup alarm because I don’t need it, do I? DO I??

Truth is, to put it in context,  I had been up in the middle of the night not able to fall back asleep, so I just got up and was drinking tea and working. For about 2 hours in the dead of night, I was reading all about Northern Spain and the Camino, contemplating all the wonderful walks and hikes in the Asturias for our retreat in October…so I was ”justifiably” tired when it squeaked at that ungodly hour.

It beeps at that hour because I haul my butt to Yoga – and YES, you guessed it, because I am also an early-morning-exercise-ritual-person. But the Gods were beaming down on me because a few minutes later, a much louder alarm yelled at me and then I did my usual LEAP. I looked at my phone, it was now 5.32, and I KNEW that I could still make it to yoga. Dash to pee/teeth/dress, and as I grab the keys I cannot find my red-rimmed glasses – oh well, sunglasses it is! At 5.36 in the morning on a cloudy drab day. COOL!

I hurtle to the car and feel decidedly BREEZY – only to look down and realize I am only wearing my little bra-let / tank top and no vest layered on top. Now yes, I MAY practice Bikram/ Hot Yoga, but I am not one of those scantily clad “bear-my-middle” yogibears. Damn – I dash back in to grab my vest, thinking I MUST remember to put it on at the studio. I have never had the horror of staring back at my midriff in the HUUUUGE mirrors.

Ok, let’s GO! I speed reverse and hit first gear. I did think, “wow it’s quite light this morning”, (even with clouds and my sunglasses) and then as I get onto the flat part of the road before I join Conrad Drive, I see about 20 cars ahead of me…..huh?

This is more like morning traffic that I NEVER venture into, reserved for the poor souls who have to commute out of our neighborhood. This is more like 6.45 am traffic – WTF??? My drive time to yoga is pretty carefully calculated, but this has put a spanner in my Downward Dog Dammit. No inner calm for me as I stare at the cars in front of me, bewildered!

I flip on the radio, wait for the dial to show and realize with horror, I am going to have to really hurry now as it is already 5.45 am.  Hang on,  HANG ON ….waken the brain… it’s 6.45 am!!!! SIX FORTY FIVE AM. Aaaaargh. And class, by now, is about to hit the floor after the standing series, and will soon be humming internally in Savasana. You know, the Dead Corpse Pose you revel in at the END of class. When you have BEEN to class.

All I can do is burst out laughing, knowing that Jay will just wag his tail with glee at seeing me so soon, and I will have time to grab some coffee before we hit the load shedding schedule for today.

This butt will sadly not get to do Tree, Camel, Dancer’s Pose, Tortoise or anything else remotely yoga-like today.
Oh…. if only I had realized it was not my alarm. I hadn’t quite computed that I had fallen back into a deep, delicious, dribbling sleep for another hour, only to be jolted out of it by my Argentino Valentino’s alarm. I should have just continued practicing Dead Corpse Pose all along.

So I try again tomorrow – oh no wait, it’s the weekend, where alarms are not welcome. Except that I am going Hot Air Ballooning for the first time, courtesy Argentino Valentino. So at 4.00 SHARP am my feet WILL hit that floor with a little jiggy jig.

Love Kate

#LIVELIGHTLIVELARGE