Lesson from the Trees
Fall. Take a walk outside and you see the trees shedding their leaves and dropping their seeds. We know that the bare branches of winter are a temporary and necessary phase for the new growth that will occur in Spring. But somehow, that doesn't translate to our understanding when things drop out of our lives ~ jobs, relationships, loved ones ~ especially if the loss was not one of our choosing. It is precisely the spaciousness that is created by these shifts that provide us with the opportunity for seeing beyond our limiting beliefs, thereby allowing us to unfold our infinite possibilities.
Six years ago, I was faced with a trifecta of shedding; within a 9-month period of time, I was fired from a position, my youngest child graduated from high school and left for college, and my 25-year marriage unexpectedly ended. As I was working through all my pain and heartbreak, I couldn’t possibly comprehend that it was all necessary to bring me to the beauty of where I am today. There were two things that were instrumental in seeing me through the grief of losing my roles as a professional, mother, and wife: my connection to family and friends and my yoga practice. My family and friends provided external nourishment and support. My yoga practice was how I learned to nourish and support myself. Whether is was an active Vinyasa class to discharge the energy of my emotions or a Restorative class that taught me to let go and let be, my mat became the sacred place to create space, heal, and eventually dream of what might grow from it all. Just like setting an intention for my yoga practice, I began seeing more clearly my intention for my life. It certainly hasn’t been a direct path (there have been other major losses since then), but today I am a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher fulfilling my vision of empowering others to breathe, move, think, and live in healthier, more vibrant ways.
When you are faced with an unexpected 'shedding', find the external and internal support and nourishment you need and allow yourself time to grieve. Consider working one-on- one with a Yoga Therapist or join a group yoga class to learn tools and techniques that can help you along the way. Remember the trees that go through this process again and again. You never know what beauty might emerge from that new-found space!