The first Thursday of each month I offer you a meditation to use during the month. Here is the meditation for March.
Even though winter is still very much with us, at least here in Minnesota, the air is just a little different, fresher, lighter, yes, springier. The other day our neighbors' tree with its berry-filled branches extending into our yard was full of robins. I kid you not! Stores display pastel colored lightweight sweaters, and when I grocery shop I am drawn to the forsythia and tulips and pussy willows in the flower section. I no longer get up in darkness when my alarm goes off at 6:30, nor do I need to turn on lights quite as early at the end of the day.
We are in a time of endings and beginnings.
This has been a harsh winter in many parts of the country, not just Minnesota, and many of us welcome these signs leading us into the beginning of a new season. But we are realistic and know that the ending leading to the beginning is a process and may include delays and false starts and yes, more storms and freezing temperatures. And yet, spring will come.
This is a good time to consider what endings you are confronting in your life right now and what beginnings you glimpse ahead of you. Some endings are clear--the death of someone you love or the loss of a job or a status you have held for a long time--and others are more subtle, such as an awareness of a change in your own stamina or energy as we age or a shift in how you want to spend your days. Many endings are unchosen and unwanted, but you know, even though it is difficult to imagine the beginning, it is time to confront the status quo.
A Meditation of Endings and Beginnings
I invite you to sit in a quiet place and close your eyes lightly, not tightly. Take a couple deep cleansing breaths and allow your body to relax into slow, even breathing.
Imagine yourself looking out a window, seeing the landscape change before your very eyes. One season is ending, blending into a new season. The color of the sky is changing from an icy grey-blue to a warmer pink. The trees begin to look just a bit fuller --no sign of green yet, but you can sense branches beginning to welcome their own new growth. What do you notice?
Open yourself to your own new season. What endings are beginning to happen in your own life and what beginnings are dawning for you? What changes are you almost ready to welcome--not quite perhaps, but the almost imperceptible direction is in your heart and on your own branches?
Imagine yourself shedding heavy coats and gloves and hats. How does that feel? What else needs to be shed in order to live fully in the new season? What is melting? As you enter spring what remnants of the colder season do you need to leave behind? Is there a chance of flooding and how will you prepare?
How do you feel as you take these new steps? As you embark on a new beginning? Are you excited and eager? Scared? Uncertain? All of the above?
Now is a good time to take another deep breath. Relax and restore yourself to slow, even, in and out and in and out breathing. Remind yourself of all the seasons of life you have moved through. So many endings and beginnings, beginnings and endings. You know how to do this. You can do this one, too.
Spring will come, and then we will have summer and fall and yes, another winter. More chances to practice endings and beginnings. What is it you want to begin in this new season and what is asking to be ended?
Take a couple deep breaths, and when you are ready, open your eyes and return to this time and pace. Take a few minutes to note, perhaps in a journal or by whispering to yourself, what you felt, noticed, or learned during this brief time of meditation. What will you now bring into your life?
A Gift and a Blessing
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
T. S. Eliot
May all be well as you move from season to another.
May you do so with awareness and intention.
May you honor your own steps.
May you find peace as you end and as you begin.
What endings and beginnings are present in your life right now? What are the gifts and the challenges? Of course, not all endings and beginnings are major, but even the minor ones have lessons for us. What are you learning? I would love to know.