So, as the unofficial harbinger of fall, Lughnasa (named for the Celtic god Lugh) marks a time to begin reflecting on what is important in life. As we head toward winter, what do we want to keep, and what can we safely give away? This can be anything from goods to commitments to friends.
Another thing to look at: what have we accomplished so far this year, and what do we most want to accomplish in the time that’s left before the year turns?
Right now I’m reading a book a friend recommended to me a couple of years ago, but the time wasn’t right until now. Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin, PhD., is about the personal journey to connect with our true nature, in all its messy humanness. Virtually every page has food for thought, but this passage (pp. 40-41) really struck me. He begins with a quote that has been attributed to many people including Anonymous:
A task without a vision is just a job.
A vision without a task is just a dream.
A vision with a task can change the world.
“By consciously honoring our grief—the absence of vision and sacred work—we take our first steps toward soul discovery and personal fulfillment. We begin the return to our true nature.”
I encourage you to take time to honor your own sense of grief. Go alone for a walk in the country or in the woods, breathe deeply, and listen—really listen—to the sounds of nature all around you. If it’s possible, don’t think. Let thoughts come to you, and let them go. Cry if you can, shout if you want to, sing if you feel like it.
If you’re so moved, come home from your walk and write down your impressions. This is when Spirit begins to talk to you.
One of the best ways to tap into the unexpressed grief we all hold inside is through energy work. Qi Gong, Yoga and the like help move the stuck energy inside while calming the mind. Alternative therapies like chiropractic, massage, reiki and reflexology also move energy and help restore balance to body, mind and spirit. I encourage you to take care of yourself regularly. There is so much around us (and within us) to keep us out of balance.