It is fall in Canada. The leaves on the trees are colourful; the skies are clear and blue; the air is cool and crisp. Thanksgiving weekend is just past and in the stores the bounty of a northern harvest are piled high: squash, potatoes, beets, leeks, kale, turnips, and of course pumpkins.
This year I feel the need to express my gratitude and thankfulness more than most years. 2012 has been a strange year. Much has happened and I can’t say it all was great — but neither was it all bad. It just was what happened and it changed life for me and around me quite a bit. The easiest way to summarize it may be that this has been a year of change, of letting go, of grieving and coming to grips with the reality of loss, death, and life. And judging by the issues my clients have had this year so far, I am not the only one having this experience.
This year I lost one of my best friends to cancer, with another close friend following right on his heals. In my wider family there have been realizations of endings and new beginnings, and in my own life I had to face that a) my body isn’t going to go on without problems forever and b) that if I need help all I need to do is ask.
And this is where the gratitude comes in. When I looked up the word gratitude I learned that it is related to the word grace as in praise and blessing. And so, I wish to express my gratitude to …
… my clients and students who have not only stuck with me through two lengthy periods of absence this year — one very sudden and unexpected, the other one planned and announced — but keep sending me their well-wishes and positive energy for quick healing. I feel honoured and grateful to be allowed to work with you and I am looking forward to being back with you very, very soon.
… my colleagues who have picked up my work where necessary without a question asked and who keep supporting me in every way possible, physically and energetically. Thank you for making this healing journey so easy for me.
… my friends. We have been there for each other through the losses this year and you are here for me now in my healing process. Thank you for the calls and the healing energy, the delicious food ☺, and the ongoing and unwavering support.
… my family who, although far away in every case, keep thinking of me and supporting me with their words, thoughtfulness, and kind little actions. It means a lot.
… and last but in no way least, my husband who hasn’t once complained about the extra load he has been carrying this year because of my grieving or my illness, who has supported me every step of the way over the past almost 20 years to allow me to get where I am, and who brought me to this country and this life we are living now in the first place. I know that none of this would have happened without you. Thank you, my love.
Of course there is more to be grateful for: our cats, nature, colour and beauty, healthy food, my recovery process (thank you to my wonderful doctor, too), life itself, etc. The list is long and I’ll probably be spending more time on this over the next few days.
It is fall in Canada and traditionally this is the time to begin the journey inward again; a time of letting go of the activity and busy-ness of summer and of focusing once more on what we want to develop, grow, and nurture in our lives. It is also the last quarter of this moon cycle and thus time to do some letting go before the manifesting energy of the new moon reaches us in a few days. Expressing our gratitude is a good way to start this process of letting go: being grateful for the gifts we received from the person we lost will help us accept the loss better; being grateful for the ability of the body to heal and function again will allow us to let go of the functionality that has been removed or limited; being grateful for the help we received from our engraved patterns or habits will help us let go of their limiting energy.
And so I invite you to spend some time this weekend, after having expressed some gratitude maybe last weekend, to think about what it is that you would like to let go of, transform, or change this winter. You may not be able to express it clearly right away but you’ll likely know what it is deep inside yourself. Maybe that can be enough to start with. For me, it is about needing to do it all — well, fast, and on my own. How exactly it’ll look once I’m through to the other side? No idea. But that is the beauty of spring, isn’t it: we don’t have a clue what may come out to bloom and grow when, we just know that spring is coming and that there will be some growth and a lot of change there.
Happy Thanksgiving — belated — to everyone,