For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction – Cynthia Occelli
For a good while now, I have felt optimistic. Grateful for blessings, practising detachment and trust, feeling inner calm and strength, moving as much as I can with the flow of life.
But earlier this year, it was anything but. I experienced over three months of low-lying slow-crawling in the swamps. Exhausted, anxious, angry, tense, sad, resentful, impatient… all of it. There was a generous side helping of frustration that I was in stinky swamp land, and it was all iced very thickly in copious layers of victimhood.
Aside from the fact that I was resisting (kicking and screaming) a new chapter in my life that was trying to unfold before me, I was experiencing a natural ebb, and instead of listening and retreating, I fought and mourned the highs of flow, thereby perpetuating the discomfort and dragging it out far longer than necessary.
There’s a season for everything in nature. As we dream, plan and create our visions, we must also accept that after the bloom comes a time for reflection, for integration – for shavasana in yoga-speak. We can’t be in non-stop warrior mode, in the same way my mango tree doesn’t keep fruiting all year long. We picked the last ripe mango in March and so now it rests, which doesn’t mean it won’t go on fruiting again. It’ll grow some more, expand some more and fruit again.
Once our bloom starts to die down, we need to be skilful in recognising the start of the downward spiral. Being aware of our autumn means we can be prepared to shift through it, asking for support if we need it, so that we don’t end up heavy on our knees. The trick is knowing that this too shall pass, not regretting the passing of the last chapter, because change is part of living.
A time to bed down gracefully and lovingly towards ourselves, holding onto the thought that spring is right around the corner, that we’re getting ready for our next vision.
Very often, that feeling of ‘flat’ is the contraction before the expansion. This is how we grow! If we could only stop from identifying with that state and just let it be, without trying to fix it. Learning to at least accept the contraction can free us from so much heartache and doubt. But we’re trained to worship productivity and notions of busy and ever-mounting success. As if being able to stay forevermore at a euphoric level is a true measure of how ‘together’ we are. But in truth, we’re setting ourselves up for soul-destroying disappointment.
Let’s tell each other this, let’s tell our children. Let’s open our arms and hearts to change and growth. Let’s tell them this: go dream, make it happen and then be prepared for a lull, some quiet turning inwards and a good cry. It’s all good.
Because there’s always a winter.
If this helps you in some way, please share it or forward to a friend who needs to hear this so that they too can feel some spaciousness in their life.
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