Season of Change
by Jade :||: Cathy Chicoine
With the turning of the great seasonal wheel of life, we once again enter the time of harvest here in the Northern hemisphere. We see the fruits of our labours and we begin to reap what has been sown.
And while autumn is certainly a time of great celebration, and of giving thanks for the abundance in our lives, it also marks an important time where we have an opportunity to evaluate and take stock not only of what has grown well, but also what could be improved upon, along with the things that may not have worked out at all as we had hoped. In doing so, we can become the alchemists of our lives by honouring our grief and turning our lead into gold!
Autumn, in other words, is an opportunity to make sacred this symbolic phase of life that is death, and the coming period of rest and renewal that is winter.
While we joyfully celebrate our successes, we may also look at the many endings that have occurred in our lives, and make space in our hearts by honouring and processing these losses.
Much like doing the dishes after the preparation and enjoyment of a beautiful meal, the emotional clean-up is a necessary part of the journey, and this process might be approached with both reverence and playfulness.
For several weeks this summer, a stunningly beautiful white pigeon visited our yard on a daily basis. In my mind, it was a dove and it led me to seek out what message this bird might have for us. From Ted Andrews Animal-Speak Pocket Guide, the Dove brings the message of Peace. “A new cycle of opportunities is at hand. They bring a time of peace and prophecy. Mourn and release what has passed for new birth.”
By consciously making some time and space in our lives to actively engage in the process of mourning, we can help our personal waters to flow. If we can honour and move through our grief, big and small, we can continue to move forward in life more smoothly by not becoming stuck or burdened with unresolved emotional baggage. There can be tremendous benefit in the simple act of acknowledging a loss. Sometimes, all we need to do is allow ourselves the grace of feeling it, in order to heal it. Rhythm, percussion, song, dance, music, ceremony, ritual, and community are all available to us as vehicles for harmonious transformation.
Consider how you might create your own grief ceremony, either solo or by gathering with a small group of friends. You may wish to express your losses through drawing, or writing, and offering it to a fire as a way of letting go. A silent walk in nature, near running water, can also be a way to walk with grief. Placing a small offering from nature into the water to watch it be carried away can be healing as well.
Get creative and participate in the ceremony of your life by welcoming grief as part of the human experience. It has been said that “our issues are in our tissues,” and maybe it is time we learn to “Rest in Peace” while we are still living. Be present with our pain and reach out to those who can safely assist, and be with us as we honour what has passed, being reminded that we are each “doing our peace,” and from the ashes comes the invitation to write the new story.
Based in Saskatoon, Jade works with individuals one-on-one and in small groups, playfully using music as medicine with an emphasis on honouring and holding safe space for the important emotional work being done in transformations, both big and small. Her services include Sound Soul Journeys, group Drum Circle facilitation, and Zen Space Clearing. More information can be found on her website at zenrhythmco.ca. Also see the display ad on page 16 of the 29.3 September/October issue of the WHOLifE Journal).