The natural way of things

I love autumn.  The leaves of trees turning that beautiful golden and red colour, and then falling on the ground, covering footpaths in patchwork colours.

I’ve written before how nature saved me.  This year, I feel very connected to autumn.  The falling leaves and the symbolism of letting go.  To witness that nature has no angst in laying all things bare.  Because soon enough, spring will arrive.  And with spring comes hope and renewal.  A time for blooming.  There’s a lot for us to take away from the natural way of things in the changes of season.  We have to let go of our fear.

This week I booked myself in for a yoga and wellness retreat.  One review says that it is a transformative retreat that gives you a full physical and emotional overhaul.  It looks like it is in the middle of nowhere.  I like the thought of that.  Unreachable.  For just a little while.  Paul Coelho writes that if you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.  We all need our moments of solitude. Living in this world can be very tiring.  

So of course, amongst the changes of season and my upcoming retreat, I’ve been reflecting on how I’ve laid myself bare, connected to myself through solitude and what is ahead.  I read an interview with Laurie Larson who left her life in Washington to live and work in an ashram in India.  Of her time in the ashram Laurie says:

My spiritual practice has definitely deepened.  I’ve learned to let go of attachments.  I can see more fully that it’s possible, even necessary, to incorporate our spirituality into our everyday life and infuse it into who we are.  It’s really about peeling back layers to discover who we are at our core.  And to be present to that.

Grief does this to you.  You have no choice but to peel back your layers, question who you are, what your life is worth, and where your place in the whole scheme of things is.  I always go back to the words of Nick Cave whenever I think of how grief has changed me.  He speaks of grief being a catastrophic event:

We change from the known person to an unknown person, so that when you look at yourself in the mirror do you recognise the person that you were?  That the person inside the skin is a different person?

If I can use one (or two) words to define how I have changed after my catastrophic event it would be that I now have a deepened spirituality.  I don’t behave the way I did before and my spirituality is now infused into every part of my being.  As I look at the autumn leaves I feel strength to keep going inwards.  I will let go of my fears and be open to what’s ahead.  An emotional overhaul?  Fine by me.  It’s all part of where I’m meant to be going. Of that I’m certain.