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  • Sue M

How do you honour endings and beginnings?

Leaves falling in the autumn

Whether it is a change of seasons, schools, jobs or relationships, whenever we transition from once chapter in life to another there is a natural stirring up of emotions.

Depending on how and what we have experienced of endings and beginnings earlier in our lives, the magnitude of the emotions that arise can greatly vary. Sometimes it can take us by surprise if a seemingly nonchalant ending or new beginning prompts what appears to be a disproportionate response. This can happen if we have unprocessed emotions in relation to an earlier event that was perhaps too big or difficult for us to adequately respond to at the time when we experienced it.

By celebrating and honouring the changes in our lives we can support ourselves in allowing, slowing the pace and allowing sufficient space to be more present to the experience of the natural cycles we move through, the people, places and things that come and go, and the chapters that end and newly begin.

Whatever role we find ourselves in where we have a relationship with others in a group, whether that is a family unit, a cluster of neighbours, sports club, or team at work, we can significantly benefit from acknowledging endings whenever they are afoot, and honouring them.

Endings instinctively matter to us, yet in the busyness of our everyday lives the importance of honouring them can be overlooked. Culturally many of us have been also been conditioned to resist endings. Rushing past them is often indicative of this. We may subconsciously disconnect from the potential emotional turbulence that being present can bring, opting instead to prematurely exit in order to avoid acknowledging potential sadness, heartache, feelings of loss, confusion, failure or rejection.

Those of us who resist endings often find it easier to cut and run emotionally, moving on to the next person, event or scenario. Instead of being present to the endings, we rush towards the new beginning that ushers in the excitement of potential and possibility.

There may be a short-term gain when we hurricane from one thing to the next in this way, however we miss the opportunity to intentionally close and complete cycles in our life. In the long-term we end up with unprocessed emotions, unfinished projects and people energetically ‘holding on’ because there hasn’t been sufficient closure.

How can we be mindful about honouring endings and beginnings?

We are cyclical by nature. As a starting point for being more mindful about honouring the changing of chapters in our lives, a good way to begin is to intentionally allow ourselves to be present to the change of seasons as we move through them and to do something to celebrate them passing.

Some inspiration to celebrate the transition from Autumn to Winter:

  • Lighting a candle each evening when you eat your evening meal

  • Taking time to contemplate the things you’ve been grateful for about autumn

  • Making an autumnal mandala

  • Hanging an autumn wreath on your door

  • Having a bonfire

  • Going for a walk with the intention to allow yourself to soak in the beauty of the changing colours of the leaves on the trees

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