Reconciling the push/pull of change; the letting go and the receiving in our lives and our spirits
I always have such a push/pull feeling with this time of year. She emits both a sense of change upon us and a longing to stay just where we are. Transition whispers within my ear and I resist, denying her presence…I’m not ready. I don’t want to let go. I’m happy right where I am.
Fall peeks out at us from around the corner. Standing in my kitchen at the sink staring out into the yard and trees behind the house, I catch a glimpse of a few leaves gently cascading to the ground — a harbinger of what’s to come. I want to sweep them up in my arms and paste them back on the branches. Not yet. Stay just a bit longer, my spirit quietly pleads.
Endings and beginnings. Holding on and letting go. Expansion / constriction. Life.
I’m grateful for the respite from heatwave temperatures we’ve experienced quite a bit of this summer — and for the ability to thrust open our windows and sleep amidst fresh mountain air. But it’s also back-to-school time…back to more structured routine…back to earlier nights…back to letting go of late-night dinners by candlelight on the screened in porch listening to Mother Nature’s orchestra of summer sounds. It also means sending my “boy” (now 21 years old) back to college. The ebb and flow of allowing things to shift.
I had a beautiful and unexpected summer with my son home — a Covid consolation prize as I refer to it. As he worked remotely from our dining room table instead of a Manhattan office, it was their loss and my gain…a summer full of sweet moments. I never take those for granted and instead gathered them up like a harvest to sustain me. As he prepares to leave this week, my momma heart pangs. Sigh. Transition. It never gets easier.
And yet within those emotions I also embrace what is on the horizon with enthusiasm. Once I release my resistance, I welcome a renewed sense of anticipation for my work and creativity — what I am building and where I am going. It’s been a big year of incubation and retreat. I’ve been making serious lemonades from pandemic lemons; writing up a storm, taking programs and receiving certifications — and feeling less need to be visible.
Summer was the season of “being”, not necessarily balancing (which I feel is a myth anyway). We strive for this so-called life balance, chasing our tails endlessly and beating ourselves up for not achieving it…and yet, there really is no such thing.
My version of balance is being present in the present moment — which honestly, sounds a lot easier than it actually is — and often takes some practice.
Here’s the thing: going with the flow is not about achieving and to-do lists. It is not about tangible accomplishments, it is more of the feminine essence of ease, nurture, quiet, gentleness, softness. Sometimes I would look around at my desk and think, OMG, I have so much to do. And then other times, I would recognize that it will still be there when I return, waiting for me. Then I’d ask myself, where do I want to be right now?
The beauty of living in an environment of seasonal change is that it is a tangible demarcation of shifting tides in life, work, relationships and our personal evolution — a built-in reminder. There are seasons to emerge and those to retreat, seasons to reap and those to sow. Eventually I get onboard despite my initial hesitancy, but it boils down to trust — trust in oneself and in the higher power you connect with.
My beautiful office is on the 2nd floor or our house. It was once an artist’s loft infused with the spirit of all those who created here before me. With a cathedral ceiling and lots of windows and light, I can glance to my right while sitting at my desk and catch a glimmer of the mountain peaks through the trees. Each morning as I tiptoe to my little sanctuary with a cup of hot coffee, I’m serenaded by the chirping birds outside. Sometimes these sweet little creatures even speak directly to me. I kid you not. Quite often one will appear right out the window closest to me and chirp right at me. Our conversations are always delightful.
Recently, however, a stunning red cardinal (which is a representation of my father) flew directly into the window above. If you’ve ever heard the clunk of a bird flying into a pane of glass, you know the undeniable, awful sound. I immediately jumped to assess the bird’s condition. Oftentimes, they are only stunned for a moment and fly off. Other times, they knock themselves out and take several moments to revive. This was one of those times.
I gently spoke to the little guy, but didn’t want to stress him any further. Dad, what are you trying to tell me? Why have you flown into the glass? Come on. Get up.
A few moments passed and nothing. I was beginning to worry. I didn’t want to have to climb out on my roof top to retrieve this bird and bury it. I wanted him to fly off into the sunrise. But he was stuck, frozen in position.
And I realized so was I.
Why are you banging your head against the wall, my spirit whispered.
It was kind of like Einstein’s theory of insanity…doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. How often do we complain about something that continues in our lives without taking the action steps to support that change?
The good news is that the little guy began to slowly move. He stared straight at me as if to say, did you get the message? And then he flew off.
Message received. Things change and I need to support that change.
Where had I been feeling stuck, like I had been banging my head against the wall? Was I ignoring the cues? It’s easy to do. I don’t like change in my life any more than I do with the seasons. Eventually I get onboard, but I like to take my time, to test the waters.
Any time you are ready to make a change is the right time, but there’s nothing like a quick life assessment at the onset of a seasonal transition to get real with yourself. If not now, when?
Is there an area in your life where you are repeating patterns or incorporating limited thinking that is working against you?
Is there something (or someone) holding you back or draining you?
What’s working / not working?
And finally, who are you living your life for? We all say, “ourselves”, but are we? It’s easy to get caught up in the validation of others and their opinions of what we should be doing.
My dad (in the form of that red cardinal) alerted me to a need for some self-evaluation in this department — and though not always easy to look at, it’s a welcomed reprieve for the soul when acknowledged. We carry many burdens that can easily be released. Yes, change is upon us, but I’m going to approach it differently this time around. I acknowledge sensitivity to letting go and saying goodbyes, I witness where I am stuck and no longer want to be, I give myself permission to lay my suffering down…and allow a sense of excitement to bubble up within me. I trust that change is good and that it is leading me to my Best Self. Want to join?
Are you resistant to the tides of change, but secretly craving it? I’d love to hear from you — how you relate to and navigate transition in your life. Please share with us in the comments below where all the good stuff happens! xo