Reflections: Autumn and Aging
Inspiring links: Events, artists and nature
Reflections: Autumn and Aging
A few days after you receive this I will reach my 61st birthday. Today I picked up my copy of Anam Cara by John O'Donohue, which I haven't dipped into for a long while. There were two book marks I had left in the book, though I couldn't remember why exactly. I opened the book at the one closest to the back and smiled as I read, under the heading "Autumn and the Inner Harvest":
"It is customary to understand autumn as synchronous with old age. In the autumn time of your life your experience is harvested." and then: "Aging is not merely about the body losing its poise, strength and self-trust. aging also invites you to become aware of the sacred circle that shelters your life. Within the harvest circle, you are able to gather lost moments and experiences, bring them together and hold them as one. In actual fact, if you can come to see aging not as the demise of your body, but as the harvest of your soul, you will learn that aging can be a time of great strength, poise and confidence. To understand the harvest of your soul against the background of seasonal rhythm should give you a sense of quiet delight at the arrival of this time in your life. It should give you strength and a sense of how the deeper belonging of your soul world will be revealed to you."
Reference: p.208, Anam Cara, John O'Donohue 1997 Bantam Books (my copy - later editions are available)
These words bring me comfort and hope. Comfort that this time will see a benefit from the 'harvest of my soul' and hope that the 'deeper belonging of my soul world will be revealed to me'. I have been reflecting recently on how to calm what I call my 'busy-busy mind' (also known as monkey mind) and listen to the messages of my soul, my heart, my inner wisdom. It is proving difficult to do this at the moment, I am so used to using my mind to make decisions, usually based on what I 'ought to do' or 'should do'. When I follow the guidance and use meditation or flow writing to try to distinguish the deeper knowing, I am still not sure. I receive different messages. Which one should I follow? Should I do nothing? (Knowing that 'doing nothing' is a choice in itself). Is there another answer, another way of being, that I just cannot yet see?
Reading other people's words can help, but their way need not be my way. As my way will not be your way. The literal autumn happening around me here in Cornwall has some inspiration. As I write, our sheltered garden is still looking like summer - flowers are still in bloom, including the passion flower producing blooms outside for the first time ever this year. The trees on the more exposed banks and hedges are shedding their leaves. In this part of Cornwall the salty sea wind usually means that they are blasted straight off the trees without a chance to turn to those wonderful autumn colours seen in more sheltered woodland. (As in this picture below taken in the New Forest)
Everything in nature is being itself, standing proud as the beech trees do: when their autumn colours are all gone then the beauty of their trunks are fully visible. The winter has a special gift enabling us to see the structure of the trees, the sturdy trunk, gnarled branches and tiny twigs, the buds already forming, waiting until the time is right in the spring to burst into life for a new year.
For you: whatever your age at present, some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What messages does this season bring for you? (if you are in the southern hemisphere this will be spring)
- What can you do for yourself to connect to nature and simply enjoy this time?
Another mention of the Euro Coach List Conference coming up in November (16-17th) at Eastwood Park near Bristol. I hope to meet some of you there, it is possible to attend for one day or two, residential or day visitor. The grounds have a wonderful display of autumn colour at this time of year. As I think I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, the website this year contains links to interviews with all the speakers and these make interesting listening even if you cannot physically be there with us.
Some time ago I linked up with Kathy Kane of Kane Creative Consulting, based in New Jersey, USA. We have such a lot in common and it is wonderful to share that across the miles and by reading and commenting on each others blogs/newsletters. Just recently we arranged to have a talk and now I am about to embark on some coaching with Kathy to support my own personal and and professional development. Every coach needs a coach of their own at various times and Kathy has a perfect way for me of 'catching' what I say and reflecting it back to me. This enables me to truly 'hear' myself, which I may not be able to do otherwise, as described in my reflections above. I will share some of the process as time goes on.
Soon it will be impossible to avoid thinking about seasonal gifts, especially if, like me, you will be sending them off around the world. The wonderful artist annie b has a beautiful 'Magical Trees' calendar this year, plus her Angel card packs and greetings cards. Patrick Gamble has his original paintings, plus calendars, prints and cards of his own work and other gifts from far and wide available in his gallery in Polperro. Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards are exclusively available direct from me, I can gift wrap and send direct to the person they are destined for if you wish, contact me by email for details of this.
Finally a film about underwater creatures to marvel at and amaze you with the wonders of nature.
Thank you for reading. Please do leave any comments or feedback if you feel inspired. Or email me direct if you prefer your remarks to be private, either way it is so good to know that people to read my monthly musings.
all best wishes