While preparing for my Retreat Day in December, I listened to a tape I had recorded of a talk by Michael Meade in 1994, entitled “Standing at the Threshold.” Michael was speaking of the upcoming millennium. It led me to consider the relationship of beginnings and endings and how the ending contains the seeds of the new beginning.
We are now approaching the ending of 2005 and the beginning of 2006. We are also entering into the beginning of the returning of the light from the time of darkness. Each moment we are saying farewell to one aspect and greeting another. Our lives are full of events and relationships going and coming, coming and going. At the extreme of this, we are born and we die, the two major bookcases of our lives.
Every organism in the universe is constantly in this dance of renewal, of dissolving and reforming into something new.And yet, for some obscure reason, we are so often reluctant to enter into this contantly changing milieu. We resist change, even when we desparately want to rid ourselves of some quality in our personality, a job or relationship that is no longer nuturing or enabling us to grow creatively, in fact, is downright toxic.
I have constantly puzzled upon this seemingly incongruous dichotomy. It was only when I was in my Somatic Experiencing training, that this began to make sense. We cling to these aspects because in some way they are incomplete in our psyche and our bodies (nervous system especially.) They are not resolved and so they keep us “stuck,” like a child who keeps calling out “Pay attention to me.” I find it amazing that in the simple act of “paying attention,” without judgment or demands, with love and attention, things began to shift and change and flow again.This is the process of “open attention” in Continuum. Shift does happen and in the shifting sands, we move “from fixidity to flow.”
It was with pleasure and awe, that I facilitated the rituals of the endings of my classes this fall and the retreat day in December. For many of us, the simple act of attending is much enhanced by enacting out a ritual in a community setting.
Upon reading Deena Metzger’s book, Entering the Ghost River, I was struck by her definition of “ritual.” For Deena, a “ritual” is the act of preparing oneself, in order to come to the doorway (or threshold). The ritual itself does not enact the change or the transformation. Once at the doorway, we surrender to what Deena calls “the Spirits” and what I would call the “Larger Self,” the innate, organic wisdom and intelligence.
We prepare ourselves, we invite and invoke this innate, organic intelligence of the fluid system in the processes of Continuum. Then we surrender and let this larger beingness take us over, letting go of personality and identity. In this sense, so much of what we enter into in the Continuum processes and in therapy, is really ritual.
And so, I invite you to consider as you stand on the threshold of this coming year, what is passing in your life and out of that seeding from the composting of the dark time just ending, what is emerging in your life right now.What would your life be like for this new seed to emerge and what does it need to grow and prosper? What do you need to let go of for this to happen? How do you want this enacted and witnessed?
With love and blessings for many fruitful endings and beginnings,