Losses, Apologies, and Celebrations
A week or so ago, I traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, USA – where I had lived for over 20 years – to participate in the final memorial service of my dear friend, Jenny. Three of her beloved friends and I went to her favorite place to hike in Flagstaff. We brought bunches of her favorite flowers, readings, and songs we thought she would enjoy and slowly walked the trail, stopping to add something – a word, poem, song, or whatever came to us as we moved – and then had a picnic lunch with some of her favorite foods. It was a glorious and beautiful fall day in Flagstaff. The pictures featured here are two of the many pictures I took that day.
Sigh. It was both a beautiful and gut wrenching experience.
The main thing I walked away with is a kind of awe for the process of life when we let Life take the lead. For example: the aspen trees had begun to turn their bright, fall colors. Soon the leaves will start falling and the trees will look barren until spring, reminding me of the barrenness in my heart… I am tired of saying good-bye to my friend: I am ready to start focusing on how my long friendship with her supports my life every day. In a way, I am also wanting to welcome the friendship to continue even if her physical presence is no longer here. Autumn seems a perfect time to acknowledge and respect this transition in all its beautiful and barren moments.
Another thing that's on my mind is something I said in my letter last month that stimulated pain in at least one person: I made a joke about witches. I had Halloween on my mind and forgot that there are current-day witches who are following a spiritual path. I am sad about forgetting this… some of you may have felt hurt and possibly wished for greater care and respect. I want that for you too – and for all of us – and I will do my part to avoid making jokes about witches in the future.
And, finally, I'm celebrating three of the NVC Academy's collaborations coming up this month:
- Our NVCfest is this month! This is the NVC Academy team's annual celebration of YOU, our trainers, and NVC in general. The purpose? To enjoy a fun and enlightened time with our NVC community, and to bring greater sustainability to the NVC Academy so we can keep our work going. And each year, all our trainers continue to donate both raffle prizes and their time, which fills me with an ineffable sense of gratitude and joy.
- In mid-November, I'll be offering our first course to be taught in English and translated live into Chinese. The course is called Self-Empathy: Healing from the Inside Out, and everyone is welcome to register. Many thanks to the Chinese team that is collaborating with us, including Liu Yi, who is the only certified trainer in China!
- Miki Kashtan's brilliant work called Convergent Facilitation is being offered by Lisa Rothman and Aya Caspi starting November 4th. We had such a huge outpouring of interest in this program last year that Miki asked if we'd offer it again. How could we say 'no' when so many of you said 'yes!'
All this is further proof that in all of life the seasons change… We mourn losses, acknowledge it when our actions or words stimulate pain in others, we search for new beginnings, and we celebrate when we find them! All in support of the Life that is in and around all of us.
May your November be filled with warmth and celebration.
CNVC Certified Trainer and Co-Founder, NVC Academy
p.s. You may also now read these monthly letters on my blog!