Tending your spark

Posted on: February 1, 2023

Happy St Brigid’s Day.

If you’re thinking “What can a 5th century Catholic saint teach me about the modern world?” bear with me while I explain…

Brigid is commemorated on the Celtic festival of Imbolc, the mid point between the darkest day of the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox in late March. Winter is waning and the first signs of spring are here.

Brigid was one of the patron saints of Ireland – much less well known than St Patrick, who traditionally gets all the glory.

Born in the 400s to a nobleman, she spurned all offers of marriage and instead set up a monastic community, the first woman in Europe to do so. Famed for her skills in midwifery, poetry and tending the fire, she was an independent “woman unto herself” who refused to be defined through marriage or motherhood.

In her homeland of Ireland, she is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Starting this year, her day is now a public holiday in honour of the contribution that women have made to Irish life. 

The Ireland of my childhood holidays was intensely patriarchal so I’m thrilled to see this growing recognition of women and the feminine principle in Ireland.

In our women’s leadership groups at Purpose Power Presence, participants often ask: “Who am I beyond my roles and relationships – mother, wife, leader, professional?” 

While most of us wouldn’t choose to live in a convent, we need a protected space in community with others to tend the spark of our inner flame. Coming together in focussed, and supportive groups allows us to uncover and share our unique gifts – “the stitch that is mine to sew”.

So, on this Imbolc ask yourself: 

  • How do I tend my flame? 
  • Who with? 
  • What sparks do I need to nurture as we emerge from winter into spring?