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Hello,

Welcome to Dark Moon Musings #03. 

It is time for your regular reminder to retreat, reflect and reevaluate. 

If you would rather listen than read, click here for an audio recording of this newsletter. 

If you prefer to read, grab a cuppa and continue on. 

The past month flew by especially fast! For you too? 

We hope to move into our new home by Christmas, so the lead-up to the festive season feels especially frantic this year. 

After five years of squeezing into a tiny home, we are well-and-truly ready to move into something a little more sensibly sized. 

Right now the ball is in our court; the builders have left the site, leaving Mike and me to paint the inside before the floor polisher can come back and do his final polish. 

Everything is on hold until we finish this painting. 

There’s been lots of juggling of priorities and letting some balls fall.

The publication of Greenhood was one of the balls I dropped. Just for now. I’ll pick it back up in a week or so.

My book launch date came and went. I quietly logged into my website and changed the publication date from a specific date to a vague 'coming soon', and I’m okay with that. I've realised the timing of the publication of Greenhood is part of the story.

Greenhood is a book about giving in to the urge to retreat.

At forty-five years of age, I declared a midlife ‘gap year’—a year off to focus on living life rather than earning a living. A year to pause and ponder before moving on to the second half of my life.

I didn’t understand my desire to retreat at the time. All I knew is that my body and mind needed it. My intuition was screaming at me to slow down; to take a break before moving onto the second half of my life. 

I know now that my yearning for quiet was biological. 


There are certain times in our life when we get more bang for our buck when it comes to rest: puberty, pregnancy, postpartum and perimenopause. 

Or more specifically, it is at these moments when the consequences of ‘pushing on through’ are most dire. 


There’s a whole lot going on: brain recalibration (as our mind gets used to a new mix of hormones), baby building, body healing, and then back to brain recalibration (as we are weaned off those reproductive hormones). If we expect too much of ourselves at these times, we can actually do ourselves long-term harm, particularly when it comes to perimenopause. 

Lara Briden, in her book Hormone Repair Manual, describes perimenopause and the early years of menopause as a critical window for health … as a sensitive period or inflection point, during which time small health problems could, if not addressed, amplify into larger and more permanent health problems later in life. Particularly so for our neurological health. She outlines how the temporary cognitive decline that happens at perimenopause can become more permanent and ‘amplify to become dementia later in life’ if this brain recalibration doesn’t go smoothly. 

Perimenopause is not a time for ‘pushing on through’. The cost is too high. In a perfect world, we would be doing all we can to avoid stress, lack of sleep, overwhelm and information overload during perimenopause. It is an ideal time to take a breather and tune in to yourself and your needs. To give yourself a tune-up so to speak.

I could have pushed myself and published Greenhood by the deadline. I’d initially planned on spending my days painting and my evenings in the office. But then I would be going against the whole message of the book. And likely have undone all the benefits I’ve gained from slowing down and tuning in the seasons and cycles of life and nature. 

It’s now five years since I declared my midlife gap year, and I’m in what Lara Briden identifies as the final stage of perimenopause: the waiting room. It feels comfortable here, and I do sometimes worry that I may never feel ready to step out of my intentional retreat. But all I know is that I (and the work I do and the people I care for) deserve for me to be at my best. And if that means Greenhood doesn’t come out when planned—then I am okay with that. 

Have you wanted to retreat lately? And ignored the feeling when you probably shouldn’t have? 

With love,

Tricia

P.s. Continue below for a chance to win a copy of Greenhood. Last month’s book was won by Kate. Kate’s comments have been landing in my inbox for over ten years now. I love that many of you have been following since my little eco footprints days. I truly appreciate your support and my heart jumps with joy each time I receive a reply. 
 
Register for an Inside Time Outside retreat - 2022 dates are open

Greenhood is a nature memoir about discovering the delight in being dormant. 

It is the story of a tree-change, of living in a tiny home, and of focussing on living life, rather than earning a living. 

Available soon (ish) :-) 

A chance to win a copy of Greenhood


I would love to hear from you. So tell me—Have you wanted to retreat lately? And ignored the urge when you probably shouldn’t have? Are you truly too busy to set aside time for yourself? Even five minutes of standing barefoot on the earth and focusing on your breath can make the world of difference. 

By replying to this email you go in the draw to win a copy of my upcoming nature memoir Greenhood: the delight in being dormant.

Your replies are private; between only you and me. 

The giveaway is open to anyone in the world. 

So, no matter where you live—simply reply to this email to enter. 

Entries close at the full moon (Sunday 19th December). 
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PREVIOUS ISSUES OF DARK MOON MUSINGS: 
Dark Moon Musings #01: A regular reminder to retreat (Read
Dark Moon Musings #02: Give your brain a break (Read) (Listen)
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I acknowledge the Wanaruah/Wonnarua people—the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and write. I recognise their ongoing connection to this land and its stories, and pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

Copyright © 2021 Tricia D. Walker, All rights reserved.


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