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Autumn: Compost, Seeds, and Possibilities

Dear friend,

For many of us in the world, autumn has arrived in its full beauty and darkness. The leaves turn magnificent colors and then fall, leaving a barren tree and a dark landscape. The days are shorter and colder. Warm sun is harder for some of us to find, and impossible for others.

I'm very connected to the changing seasons, and so I feel some of the beauty and darkness within my own internal landscape. It manifests as a great desire for more sleep… snuggling on the couch with my family… open days on my calendar with no appointments or expectations of myself… canning applesauce… and ample time to meander, change course, or take a nap.

For years, I called my autumn mood depression because I had much less desire for projecting outside my small circle and less patience for busyness. Now I call it an internal request for spaciousness, quiet, and reflection – perfectly in sync with nature.

I'm hunkering down for the winter and reveling in the quiet, spaciousness of it.

Wouldn't I rather be feeling passion and vivaciousness? YES, I would! That's why I called it depression for so many years. And yet I know there's inherent value in all the seasons – so what about my own?

Then, a couple of days ago someone asked me this question: "What part of you can't be expressed when you're in a cheerful mood?" I had to think and write about this for a while before I could get my head around their question. And my answer was finally this:

When I am in a cheerful mood, perhaps I am filled with a kind of innate satisfaction which makes me less likely to stretch and learn new things. Usually, some level of dissatisfaction is what propels me through fear of change toward a new life adventure. Perhaps if I were always cheerful, I might become complacent…

This is yet another reminder to me that autumn is a time to allow my inner self spaciousness for being. When I allow this spaciousness I am aware of gratitude for it – and a deep sense of relief. It only becomes problematic when I label it depression, or think I should be feeling something else.

Recently I read Parker Palmer's blog post called: Autumn: A Season of Paradox, and I loved what he had to say. Here's a short excerpt:

Then I began to understand a simple fact: all the "falling" that's going on out there is full of promise. Seeds are being planted and leaves are being composted as earth prepares for yet another uprising of green.

Today, at age 76 – as I weather the autumn of my own life – I find nature a trustworthy guide. It's easy to fixate on everything that goes to ground as time goes by: the disintegration of a relationship, the disappearance of good work well-done, the diminishment of a sense of purpose and meaning. But, as I've come to understand that life "composts" and "seeds" us as autumn does the earth, I've seen how possibility gets planted in us even in the most difficult of times.

On this day, I welcome the autumn darkness outside and within, knowing it serves a valuable purpose for me: it is preparing me to weather winter and be ready for spring, both of which are right around the corner.

I send you peace…

CNVC Certified Trainer and Co-Founder, NVC Academy
p.s. You may also now read these monthly letters on my blog!

end of this section Special Event. Earth Empathy Circles. Co-sponsored by the NVC Academy and Work Collaboratively. The story of climate change is the story of loss: the loss of trees, of polar bears, of whales, of bees and birds, of human beings. It is the loss of home, security, and even hope. We invite you to come together in community to grieve in the spirit of love and gratitude for the gifts we have received from this ailing planet. Find Out More. end of this section Monthly Gift #1. Internalized Oppression. Responding to the Call ~ 2019. Miki Kashtan. During this session, Miki defines internalized oppression and explores ways of coping with it. Curious to know how YOU may have unconsciously agreed to internalized oppression, and how the role you are playing in life might be supporting it? Listen. If Miki’s exploration and thoughtful discussion of internalized oppression spoke to tender places inside you, you may be interested in her new intensive, Nonviolent Facilitation as a Path to the Future. Check it out! end of this section Monthly Gift #2. Setting Three Intentions. NVCfest 2019 Session ~ Harvest 2019. Kristin Masters. How have have you suffered by making resolutions, and not going as far with them as you wanted? Join Kristin in setting three intentions instead of resolutions: one for your body, one for a close relationship, and one for the larger world! Listen. Intrigued by Kristin’s gentle shift from making resolutions to setting intentions? Check out her 3-day course, Harvest 2019: Setting Intentions with Attention, and see if it might be just what you have been looking for. Take a look!end of this section Courses and Events Beginning in December. All times listed are Pacific (California) times. “Thank you for all of the inspiration, the learning, the connection, and most of all, the hope.” –R.M.

Earth Empathy Circles
Dian Killian, Jessica Vogt, Liv Larson, and Makiko Imai
December 8, 13, and 15; January 12 and 19 • Times vary for each date


Nonviolent Facilitation as a Path to the Future
Miki Kashtan
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: December 18, 19 and 20 • 10:30am - 12:00pm PST


Harvest 2019: Setting Intentions with Attention
Kristin Masters
Thursday, Friday, Monday: December 26, 27 and 30 • 3:00 - 5:00pm PST

Ongoing Courses

Taste of Compassionate Leadership:
Monthly Video Conference ~ FREE:

Jim Manske, Jori Manske, and Guest Trainers
Next meeting in January 2020 (December skipped) • 4:00 - 6:00pm PST

end of this section Connection Central. For new ideas growing along the leading edge of NVC. Discover where NVC is heading! Check into the latest writings from respected trainers like Oren Jay Sofer, Ingrid Bauer, Jim Manske, Susan Skye, Roxy Manning, Peggy Smith, Kathleen Macferran, Mukti Jarvis, John Kinyon, Jamil Popatia, and others. Take a Look. end of this section NVC Multimedia Library. The world’s largest online NVC training library. In the Spotlight. Practicing NVC During the Holiday Season. Do your shoulders tighten with tension or dread when you think about up and coming family gatherings? Here are a variety of tips you may find helpful. By the way, this FREE resource is available to all, even if you’re not a Library member. Check it Out.end of this section NVC Marketplace. Popular NVC Trainer Recordings. Need to add to your personal NVC library? You'll find a wide variety of inspirational and educational recordings in our NVC Marketplace. Check It Out.

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