As we move into this new year, I must admit that 2014 was a challenging one for me. The year had an undertone for me of loss and letting go, as both my mother and my dear mentor, Emilie Conrad, were dying. Every time I saw my mother, I felt the pain of witnessing her condition and her mind deteriorate. I felt a similar sense of loss and helplessness as Emilie’s amazingly young, not quite 80-year old body suddenly was overcome by cancer. A shock wave passing through the community of Continuum teachers and practitioners continues to leave its mark as we explore what fluidity and resilience mean in this unexpected situation.
In the midst of these losses, my life provided some wonderful new experiences and people. I loved teaching Continuum in Ireland and my first trip to Italy. I was blessed with time to write over half of a book, which I hope to send to the publisher in 2015. My new studio/office was finally built in our garden. I felt myself deepening into my new life, relationship and family in the UK, finally feeling this become my home, after having moved here and married in 2010.
Yet, after my mother passed in July, I realized my entire time in this new country had been characterized by death and dying. Not only had I let go of my life in North America, including many belongings and habits, but my father who was very ill when I moved to the UK, died in a year and a half later. My mother’s inability to function became apparent once my father was gone, and I became responsible for her life and well-being. I let go of being the child and became the parent in our relationship.
When my mother passed, I realized on a new level how significant one’s relationship is with mother, regardless of how that relationship has manifested. Mother is a reference point from the very beginning of life. At conception, we are inside mother. Even before that, we are inside mother as a tiny egg, when she was just a tiny fetus herself. We were inside mother inside our grandmother! When mother passes, that reference point is gone.
Now, the year has also changed. Another reference point has changed. I’m aware all of this could sound quite depressing, and certainly I still feel some sadness writing of my losses. On the other hand, letting go makes way for what is new. As we let go of 2014, something else can arise in 2015.
This is the time of year people make resolutions. We are encouraged to focus on setting new goals. In an odd way, I feel strangely free. My life is no longer about taking care of my parents! I miss them, but I am now more available for other pursuits. All that I have let go of has also nourished and enriched me along the way. I enter this new phase of life with an open heart and curious mind. I move through yet another birth into a new life.
I imagine that as you let go of this past year, you may also have some sense of loss, even if it’s just of time. Another year has passed. What have you accomplished? What have you experienced? What has been important to you of this time? This is a good time of year to review our lives and orient to what we want to create and experience next. What do you want to birth in your life now?
May this coming year be a rich, peaceful, nourishing, creative and heartful time for all of us!