This Fall as been particularly beautiful here in Western Massachusetts.
The skies have been so blue and the leaves so colorful. As I sit here at my desk looking out at the sun rising and the way the rays hit the trees that have a few leaves remaining…it’s quite amazing. Were these colors always here, maybe I just didn’t notice.
I have been very aware of this natural progression of the season this year. As I go on my walks – the squirrels are in over drive. Running and gathering, as the weather tells them time is running out. There are so many of them, or maybe they’ve always been here and I didn’t notice? The tress drop all their beautiful leaves. No one is worried.
What else didn’t I notice?
I joined a new bereavement group and we were given a challenge to discuss the seven stages of grief. Most of the women in my group had emotions such as annoyance and anger come up for them. When we went deeper into it, they felt that these stages didn’t do the process of grief justice. It offended some to put this tremendous pain and experience into just seven stages. I agreed, but was more overcome with the fact that no where in the discussions or on paper did we talk about the blessings and the love. The gift of having loved this person and having them love you in return. Knowing that this was MY person. The blessed time and space we shared. The bond that nothing on this earth, no person, no amount of time can ever take away from me. Despite the life altering pain and suffering, I find that I hold the duality of those emotions with an intense appreciation, joy and love for having had the gift of us. Was my grief always like this, or did I not notice?

I’ve been trying lots of new things lately. Building a self love practice that doesn’t follow anyone else’s idea, something that feels right to me. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. For the first time in my life, designing what feels sustainable and life giving. I have never been good at setting boundaries for myself, but I have learned that part of self love is making safe space for me and that can be done. I spend a lot of time with myself and it has been an experience that has come in the form of a gift, because most often I know I am not alone, but with the strength and love of those that have gone before me. Have they always been here for years did I not notice?

Awareness is the gift that my love gave me in the process of this grief. We often talked about Spirit and Source in the trees and the rain and waves. Knowing now that he IS in all of those and more, makes all those conversations so precious and powerful. As I write this, I can feel his smile, see the twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes, and feel the deep passion we had for life and for each other. The joy that that offers me is as deep as the pain of not having him. Duality.
As I appreciate the beauty all around me and make my practice to be in this moment, to find that peace inside of myself, I know one thing for certain. Before this grief, I didn’t always notice. I was waiting for the next problem to be solved, the next project to be completed, the last 10 pounds to be lost and after, a business to be successful….and THEN it would be okay. An unfortunate state that we as spirits in this physical experience often find ourselves. IN that process of looking only forward for the next, we can miss the power in the present. This moment is all we have, when it is gone we can not get it back.

It WAS always like this, but I just didn’t notice.