Into the Bones // Digesting 2021

aliveness article power rest sensing vulnerability Dec 17, 2021

The end of the year invites us into our bones.

Whether it's landing our learnings in our bones, being grateful for life's blessings down to our marrow, feeling stripped to the bone by challenges, turning inward to nourish ourselves at the bone level, having the desire to curl up and rest our bones... May we listen and learn from the bones.

Here's a conversation Larissa and Nick had recently to land their learnings and sensing of 2021 in their bones.​​

Nick: Would you mind inviting me into the house that you speak from when you talk to this community in our newsletters? 

Larissa: Yeah, the vibe is really warm. It's well lit, cozy, clean, and beautiful. It has lovely music playing. And even though it's close enough to office buildings — this place is different. This place feels more like a house than anything. There are unexpected, magical things that happen here. There's a beautiful garden and we talk about our connection with nature. There's a kitchen and we talk about how we take care of our bodies. We have a really rich library of wisdom texts and talk to people to find the chords that resonate with them deeply in the moment.

All of us are being bombarded with content and noise right now. In this house, we uplift and find the true tones of enoughness. Here we set a beautiful seat at the table for our guests.

Nick: Incredible. Thanks for inviting me in. Let’s pause in the kitchen of this place. As we head into winter here in the Northern Hemisphere I’m noticing my body starting to recognize it. There are very specific recipes that feel aligned with this time that I crave. As you enter this season, both for you and for Wayfinding, what are the recipes that you find you’re returning to?

Larissa: As soon as the weather gets cold at all I start going towards warming, grounding, and hydrating foods (e.g. bone broth, spices, root vegetables, tonics and teas for the season like rosehip tea, licorice, hibiscus, ginger, nourishing soups and stews) to land me in my body and support my digestive fire. And rich doses of adaptogenic herbs to ramp my nervous system down. The colors I take in are earthy and quieting too. 

For Wayfinding, our recipes right now are about Landing the year well. That third and final phase of Wayfinding — Landing. The ways we’ve created space as a team these last weeks to learn, reflect, celebrate, release. How we wrap all our programs and commitments in a good way and really make space for ourselves to wrap up work (rather than sprinting through to the end). Doing that together makes it more spacious for us individually to go do that within our own lives and families over the holiday and to come back renewed and refreshed for the New Year. 

Nick: And beyond the obvious reason that it's colder outside for many of us, what about warmth as nourishment is so important right now? 

In the realm of the body, warmth in food makes it easier for our digestion. Eating raw food is harder to digest, especially when it's cold outside.

After two years where we've collectively been gorging on information and intensity within and around us, our physical digestion needs great support as do our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual digestion.

There's this sense of fatigue from gorging and a longing for simplicity. A stripping away of that which clogs. At the end of Halloween each year, I start to ask, “What is my calendar like at the end of the year? How do I stop taking calls? and How can I make sure that my sacred spaces for rest and renewal in the next year are planned?” 

We always must be tending to our inner hearths and

returning to that inner warmth during the dark times.

Even if we don't live in a deep winter ecosystem, we've been a collective winter and we each know about the dark times. Our inner fire is what keeps us warm at any scale: in ourselves, our relationships, our teams. A lot of people's fires have burned low, burned out, become dim, or strained. All of that makes this tending all the more critical right now. 


Nick: I wonder too about the recipes of this time of year. Many work as batches. Cook it once and it feeds over time (soups, curries, lasagnas, chilis, traybakes, roasts, casseroles). It seems to meet this obvious energetic need of the resting times. What recipes is the world of business needing right now? What support is needed for digesting right now? 

Larissa: Digestion of addiction. Addiction to constantly saying “Yes” to new contracts, and not paying attention to the actual capacity of your team or whether you can fulfill them. Addiction to ideas of what growth “should” look like, instead of the organic growth cycles that we, as part of nature, are designed to follow. 

Digestion, too, of larger questions of fear that have seeped in in different ways. We are in this  newly adapting time and asking ourselves “Will I still be relevant?”

We are digesting the grittiness in ourselves that has been called up in each of us to endure these hard times. Some of us haven’t paused to ask “Are these times still so hard? Is there actually space to take a breath?”

Nick: The energies I'm sensitive to are the forces driving this “Great Resignation”. There are many jobs available, but the workforce isn't interested in those jobs or those cultures. People are preparing recipes of transition — leaving work or distancing themselves from a culture that is no longer digestible or tenable to their system anymore. 

And there are also people who are gritting it out. Telling themselves “If I just go a little bit further, maybe X will happen.” People are looking to do work that is meaningful but that doesn't demand they self-sacrifice or self-violate themselves to a point where they don't recognize their container anymore. 

In order to do that, to take that leap, people are trying to figure out, what are resources I will need — my finances, my home situation, my family situation — that will last me through this period?

Larissa: What's interesting, is that many of those people are transitioning away from situations where there's been a buffet or abundance in certain energy forms. An abundance of money, of work, of promotion opportunities, of prestige. 

What’s underneath the longing for these things?

It’s often safety. 

It's often seeking things that bring us a sense of safety that at some point in our life we didn't have. 

To cope, we find these workplaces with huge banquets laid out. But people are realizing “I'm not nourished by your food. I don't want to eat it anymore. I don't feel good when I eat this and, frankly, I'd rather go eat more simply.” We might even start to realize we feel sick taking in these types of foods of work. 

It's been really beautiful to see through the experiences of our community this year that the people who have been taking the courageous leaps find solace in the togetherness and their wholeness as people. To watch our people be nourished in community by other people who are exceptionally talented leaders and professionals. It’s so nourishing. 

That’s the safe harbor we want to be nurturing into 2022. After we have rested.

Join the Wayfinding Community

Sign up for insights about wisdom-based leadership and systems healing at work