Endings and Beginnings....
Sometimes you don’t know an ending is ahead and it catches you by surprise. But, most of my life I’ve known when an ending is ahead; a turning point. I feel it in my body and my whole being. I am sometimes not happy about the change and the knowing gives me time to process the grief along with excitement and wondering about what’s next. There were moments, several in fact, over a couple of years, where I’d sat perched on the green chair at the front of my beautiful Chinese medicine clinic with the light streaming in the front door and looked around, feeling the warmth of the atmosphere. Colorful flowers on the front desk thanks to Nancy, who brought fresh flowers every week for 17 years — along with her sweet humor and flower-arranging expertise — giving everyone so much cheer, drawing many compliments.
The Asian decor, scrolls, and the golden screen in the back with the cranes and pine trees symbolizing long life. The large, gentle scroll of Kuan Yin, pouring her compassion and healing into the world, surrounded by the Chinese calligraphy of the Heart Sutra. The sense of peace and quietude, the atmosphere of calm and harmony I created and guarded so that relaxation and healing could begin at the subtle levels as each person walked through the door.
And sitting there, taking it all in, I felt — I knew — with certainty that this was all coming to an end. “But I like everything the way it is!” I said out loud, to myself, in a weak appeal to the forces that be hoping for some alternative. Endings and change are so much work! But from my experience of having been through this before, many times, I just knew to trust the process and with a sigh I let go and let the feelings wash through me, knowing that the time was coming and I’d be ready.
Another transition ahead; not knowing how or when it would come about but knowing this chapter was ending. I breathed in and took it all inside me: the clinic, all the people I’d known, our lives touching; the gifts I’d given and been given; the challenges, difficulties, and blessings. And, breathing out, gave thanks for all of it, letting it all simply be. Still, a lot of soul searching and outer searching too, had already begun. I’d had a sense, long ago, of what I might be doing in my elder years. And, somehow, suddenly, I arrived here, at this threshold. Unknown vistas ahead.
It’s been two and a half years now, since I closed my clinic. Three years since my Dad passed away, peacefully. We were blessed to have time to prepare for his passing, as well. A matter of months were precious time indeed and yet another blessing that he passed before the time of Covid; he did not have that stress on his already challenged immune system. And we were able to gather as a family for his funeral and life celebration only a month or two before things shut down. I inherited my love and appreciation for Asian art and culture from my father because he brought these into our home and life, with Chinese art, the game of Mah Jong, and books on the science, philosophy, and culture of China. So it seemed natural, when I left everyone and everything to venture out on my own at age 21, landing in Hawai’i, that I immediately connected with Lily Siou, a brilliant and skillful Chinese woman whom I was fortunate to study Chinese medicine, philosophy, and Qi Gong with for a number of years. I found my path in life and it had carried me deep and far, from Hawai’i to Southern California, and then to Ashland, Oregon where I practiced for 21 years.
Also for about 20 years, I've taken time off at year's end and New Year's beginning. Solstice season through the start of the year, my energy naturally turns inwards and I take time off for rest, reflection, and visioning for the year ahead. And plus, I took most of this year as a sabbatical — time just for myself! imagine that! — and feel renewed and inspired.
For one thing, I found my new hobby — weaving on a rigid heddle loom; small enough to rest on my dining room table, large enough to create some really fun and practical things. I did some hand weaving and macrame as a teenager and enjoyed creating colorful quilts in the 1980s when I took a year off during another big transition. I love working with colors, textures, and yarn and I find it so relaxing to stand or sit weaving the colors of the weft left to right, right to left. So peaceful in the quiet of the evening before bed. (Plus I read it helps harmonize the right and left brain; hooray!) So far, I’ve made a simple weave scarf and am setting up my next project on the loom. Early next year, I’m set up to begin an embroidery class and create a sampler book of stitches. I’ve always wanted to do that. I hope my 68-year old eyes will cooperate. The eyes of needles seem to have goten smaller, even with magnifier glasses!
I’ll also be focusing on my writing this year with several projects in mind and my challenge, as always, is to develop and really commit to my daily writing practice. My intention is on going deeper to really write from my heart and experience. Here, I am also a weaver, weaving together colorful strands from years of practice, Asian and Western practices and philosophies, spiritual and medical studies and practices; sharing experience and insights to guide and inspire us all on the path of healing ourself, people around us, tending the earth, and creating ripples of loving kindness and heart-centered growth around the planet.
And, I’m super excited to launch my online women’s collective group and membership; creating and offering connection, community powered courses, and coaching. Seeing who shows up, meeting everyone, and learning how we all connect, share, and grow, as we journey together. I’m not sure how it will all evolve. My mantra right now is basically trust the process and I’m taking one day at a time as the path opens before me with each step I take. I hope you’ll come along with me, or check in once in a while. And I’d love to hear from you!
As women in particular, our kindness, creativity, and contribution of our gifts is really needed right now. Our voices and actions in expressing both the fierce and tender feminine aspects of love, caring of ourself, for each other, and the earth are essential during this powerful transition time.
I'll leave you with this. One of the keys to transitions that I have found is the practice of simply being still. Allowing your thoughts to fall away; finding your calm center. Grounding in this field of stillness; a kind of spacious emptiness, full of nourishing quiet and potential. Eyes open or closed. Open, aware, relaxing. And simply Be. Here. Now. Resting in this profound silence. Listening deeply. Nowhere to go, nothing to solve or figure out. Just listening with your heart, your awareness, your body — your whole being.
I invite you to explore this as a daily practice. Perhaps for a few moments before you open your eyes in the morning. Or in the middle of your day. Or several times a day. See how this experience is for you.
I will write more about this another time.
Meanwhile, Ginger and I wish you a all the best in the coming year!
In celebration of countless endings and beginnings,
From my heart to yours,
Life Resilience Coach & Founder, Women's Soulful Resilience Collective
As a Life Resilience Coach, I love working with purpose-driven women, like yourself, ready to deepen in your knowing and expression. You may be a life coach, wellness practitioner, or creative solopreneur. You may be struggling with overwork, overwhelm, or not sure about your next steps. You are ready to deepen in your growth, change direction, or grow your impact.
As women, we face unique challenges. We have unique gifts. And we are stronger together.
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