One of the goals of my personal and professional work is to facilitate being in flow—with life, with others, with energy, and with the Earth. What’s the benefit of being in harmony with the world around us? The answer is that there’s a sacrosanct relationship between the macrocosm—the earth and the collective conscious—and the microcosm—what’s going on inside our own minds, bodies, spirits, and consciousnesses. To be in flow is to be connected to and in sync with Mother Earth, and honoring the seasons.
Being in the flow of the seasons allows for many opportunities for greater connection. This Equinox, I feel called to share about the gift of honoring the endings of things. Don’t worry—this isn’t going to be a downer! Instead, it’s a celebration of the work we all get to do around loss.
Here’s what’s been on my mind: endings are just as important as beginnings.
This idea came to me in a conversation with my friend Chelsea Granger, who shared her sentiments about the lack of cultural support around loss. Our culture, in its over-identification with the egoic masculine (read my last post on transformation and duality) loves to extol birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries, yet the endings of things are swept under the rug. The end of life. The end of a relationship. Leaving a home or a job. I see these moments as missed opportunities, and believe they affect us in big ways!
Women who suffer miscarriages are given no opportunity to grieve properly. A client who confronts her abuser feels apprehension every year on the date of the confrontation. A friend feels shame around the anniversary of a divorce. A client feels lost and bereft after the ending of a friendship—but there’s no outlet for her feelings. Perhaps more ameliorative rituals are in order.
Yes, endings involve loss, grief, sadness, fear, confusion, and anger—all emotions and energetic states our culture has trouble reconciling. But thresholds are doorways into greater consciousness. They are openings. They are opportunities for letting go.
Fall is a time for letting go. We are like trees that are ready to shed our leaves. The season represents an opportunity to release the energy attached to endings so we can move forward in greater equanimity.
Working in the flow of Fall, I see a great opportunity to be very discerning about what you bring with you into winter—the darker, more introspective time of the year. If you don’t let go now, you run the risk of bringing energy (think: stories, memories, thoughts, behaviors) into another cycle of rebirth. Why suffer for another year with icky, painful stuff you are ready to let go of now?
Our culture may not provide us with cultural cues that it’s time to offer up certain issues and shed the energy like so many dead leaves. But the cues are all around us in nature. So let’s honor the work we’ve done and shed! Here’s how it’s done: Name the issue. Describe how it’s affected you. Then lay it to rest. In honoring this ending, we can finally accept the circumstances in which we’ve found ourselves. Will you feel in acceptance easily, and at all times? Will forgiveness happen immediately? No. Not at first, anyway. But if you feel in your heart that the time for an ending has come, find a way to honor it this Fall. Write a letter, or make a painting, or take a small journey to commemorate the personal work you’ve done over the last year. Or gather your tribe on the full moon and release together.
For me, just writing this letter is a liberating exercise in itself.
This past winter a friendship I valued very deeply came to an end. I mourned the loss like a death, wailing and crying for days. I really let myself go there. It was necessary for me to do this. I drank a lot of Lemon Balm tea and took nearly a whole bottle of David Winston’s Grief Relief. It’s still hard sometimes. Songs, places, and memories bring up great sadness. (I find Honeysuckle to be very helpful for melancholic nostalgia.) But I set the intention of being at peace with the ending of this friendship. In so doing, I have come to know that the end didn’t come because I wasn’t good enough. (One of my classic programs.) Rather, the end is here because our work together had simply concluded. On a vibrational level, our resonances were no longer harmonious. For those of us on a spiritual path, it’s important to realize that this is a common scenario: We are always changing our vibration, so it’s inevitable that old relationships will fall away, and new ones will come into our trajectory. I can now honor the happiness and teachings of that relationship and trust that it fulfilled its purpose.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fall is represented by metal and the lungs. The lungs are where we store grief. We are more susceptible to infection, allergies, and lowered vitality as the season transitions from Summer to Fall. Energetically, one of the key functions of the lungs is letting go. The lungs work closely with our large intestines and our hearts. In knowing whether or not it’s time to let go, ask yourself: Does it feel ok to let go and keep my heart open? If not, it’s not time yet. If it feels okay, then close your eyes, take a deep breath, and walk through the doorway of letting go.
Essences for Exploring Endings and Letting Go:
Alaskan Essences Soul Support – does what it says
Blossoem Essences Stropharia – for thought forms that get stuck in the head, aids releasing into the Earth
Blossoem Essences Snowdrop – for releasing pain connected to being overly in service to others, and not to yourself
Delta Gardens Canada Thistle – for releasing family trauma
Delta Gardens Marshmallow – softening, for those who have a tendency to hold onto pain
Delta Gardens Wormwood – for letting go of old identities and stories, especially connected to the heart
Flower Essence Society Chamomile – for tension associated with difficulty in letting go
Flower Essence Society Sagebrush – for releasing attachments that no longer serve our evolution
Woodland Essences White Cedar – for letting go of negativity, also protective
Woodland Essences White Pine – for adjusting to letting go, moving through grief
For those who are following the astrology* we are in for a wild ride in the coming months, with energies amplifying duality in all facets of life: personal, interpersonal, and environmental. Continued heavy polarization in politics, human rights, and personal and collective health are also expected. I feel like a broken record, but the lesson again seems to be about surrendering to the illusion of duality and separation. It’s more important than ever that we go into each day with our feet on the ground, and our eyes and hearts open. Bring into these times only what you need. Give everything else back to the Earth.
*For more information on the current astrological transits, please see the blog of Juliana Swanson. Juliana is a gifted astrological consultant, teacher, writer, and healer. She is a true light of wisdom and compassion in our times.