Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end – Seneca
At a macro and micro level, I’m really starting to see and appreciate that endings and beginnings are the foundation of life. In fact, it just IS life!
Nature shows us this all the time, with examples you’ll be familiar with…
Night turns into day
Winter turns into summer
Caterpillars become butterflies
Fallen trees become nourishing mulch.
There’s a theory in the world of change management – that we need to have, even celebrate, an ending and go through a transition period (or neutral zone), before we get to the new beginning. That the fear and uncertainty of the ending makes way for disorientation or resistance in the transition; before new energy and enthusiasm is found in the new beginning (google Bridges change model if you want to dive into this more!).
This year has seen many endings and transitions for me and for many of us. But having listened to astrologers, mystics, magicians and healers of various kinds over the past 6-12 months I know deeply the truth of it all just being part of a process; and have mostly been able to trust that process. It’s an ending to enable a new beginning. As humankind we’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again both individually and collectively.
The key for all of us is to find some balance as we go through the neutral zone. To feel and grieve what is ending but also maintain a level of hope and optimism that we will come out on the other side just like the butterfly who eventually spreads her wings or the new buds that emerge every spring.
Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow. – Tony Schwartz
How will you honour this transition we are in and prepare for your re-emergence? Here’s a few ideas!
Journaling is my go-to for re-energising and re-thinking my life, acknowledging what’s working and imagining what I’d want to be different. You might like the ‘stream of consciousness’ approach and just write, or use a prompt to get the juices flowing – check out my article on Thrive Global for some ideas.
But there are endless options for creative activities that might be more your thing and help you review, re-imagine and embrace the new – drawing, painting, singing, dancing, cooking, poetry, photography, mindful colouring – the list is endless! There’s a little bit of magic in making something out of nothing.
Plant some seeds
I mean, literally plant some actual seeds or grab some seedlings from your local nursery! There’s something immensely satisfying in tending to and watching plants grow and change with the seasons (though from my own experience, don’t worry if they don’t thrive or survive – enjoy the process anyway!).
For some more figurative seed planting, set intentions and initiate new projects on the new moon (come along to my New Moon Reiki Meditations for a little more support with this!). Make a vision board. Light a candle and meditate on or pray about your hopes and dreams. For ladies that bleed, you can use this cycle to honour the new every month.
Learn something new
This has almost always been my way through the darkness and out of my troughs. When I mapped out my life timeline, I noticed that it was always a book or a new idea that sparked fresh inspiration and sometimes a different direction.
Read, watch or listen to something different to your normal choices – notice how your perspective changes when you consider life and issues from different angles. Find a short course in a topic you’re interested in. Maybe it’s learning Indonesian, the clarinet, or coding. There are so many options out there these days – online providers, independent teachers of almost anything you can imagine, local community centres, podcasts and (if you’re ready for the commitment) VET courses and university programs.
Connect with other people
We all know how important connection is to us as humans. Especially through change and when we're embarking on new journeys, it can be really supportive to seek out like minded people and different view points. Send a Facebook or LinkedIn message to that colleague you lost touch with. Write some letters to old friends or your family on the other side of the world. Invite someone you haven’t seen in a while to catch up for coffee. Look at MeetUp groups that align with your interests.
If all else fails, scream into a pillow, get some sleep and know the sun will come out tomorrow. Trust the process of life and know that you are strong enough to deal with whatever comes your way.