Cat From The Mat

The more I say goodbye, I say hello

As we move into April, we transition from the end of winter into the beginning of spring.  Myself, I am much better with starting than completing a project, better with “hellos” than “goodbyes.” Sometimes endings are seen as a death and therefore hard to accept.   According to Swiss psychiatrist/writer Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  The Kübler-Ross Model can be used for multiple situations where people experience a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one, major rejection, end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, change in office environment, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, as well many tragedies and disasters.

Denial can be a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the situation. It is a defense mechanism, so some people can become locked in this stage. Next, anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, and especially those who are close to them. Bargaining, the third stage, rarely provides a sustainable solution.  It involves the hope of somehow postponing an end or negotiating a compromise. Depression could then be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the inevitable, as a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It's natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that a person has begun to accept the situation.  This leads to the final stage of acceptance.  If you cannot accept something, then you cannot move forward.  It’s hard to endure an ending when you don’t see how it feeds into the next creative venture.  It’s through acceptance that you can take action and continue to evolve, rather than avoiding change or wallowing in a holding pattern. By finishing what you start, you can begin anew.

This is the perfect time of year to act, whether spring cleaning at home, shifting energy in your office, or ending a personal relationship to make space for the unknown next.    However, if you are in the midst of change (which ironically is the constant) and wish to be in different stage of grief, I invite you to accept where you are, not where you want or ought to be.  Not always the most palatable, it is the quickest way to process and move forward.  And ending of any kind sets the foundation for the next natural beginning. Conclusion of a cycle is the starting point of the next succession.

The fertility of spring offers the germination of previously planted seeds of intention as well as blossoming of potential.  When both the inner and outer environs are conducive for growth, then it’s easier to accept being at every stage of grief fully.  So what climate can you cultivate inside to foster compassion?  And what are the outer conditions that you choose to support your fullest potential to sprout inside?  Perhaps when you accept where you are, you might inspire others to do the same, while accepting where they are.  This is not a passive endeavor.  It takes active receptivity to be accountable.  Yoga provides this practice of skillful action and clarity, within and without.

Jump into your seedling self and encourage your seasonal intentions to take root and flourish. There are lots of ways to take action for yourself and amidst your communities.  With acceptance this spring, bloom where you are and thrive!

Cat From The Mat

April 2012