Beginnings and Endings are Transformations.

August has always been a month of beginnings and endings for me, I wonder if it’s been the same for you?

There is the ending of summer, and these days seem to be the beginning of school- though when I was a kid, we didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day in the U.S. The longer hours of daylight also diminish as we have passed the solstice and are moving into the next equinox. The intense heat and humidity of July ease and here in Colorado late afternoons bring thundershowers and clouds which lead into nights hinting at the true autumnal chill. We are getting close to my favorite time of year when things turn gusty and there’s a snap to the breeze. Still, there’s a lot to appreciate about this ending of summertime and beginning hint of autumn. The turn of the wheel of the world takes us from one season into another without a break. There’s no pause in the breathing of Nature, at least not yet.

This month marked a different kind of pairing for me. It was a Goeswith month.

Alan Watts coined the term, “goeswith”. He meant that many ideas or things which we see as standing on their own actually required something else in order to exist. For example, we can’t have light without dark, so light/dark is a goeswith. Two sides of the same proverbial coin. Other goeswiths (say that 10 times fast…LOL), include, all the emotions, for we can’t understand the experience of one without having at least one other for comparison. How would we know joy if we never felt sadness? Or anger if we never felt love or compassion?

I said goodbye to my best hiking companion, my beloved dog, Velo. She was 15 years old and had a great life and a good death. She died very peacefully on her own terms and without any noticeable pain. That is how I would like to go- with someone holding my hand or petting my side. It was beautiful and sad and there was a whole lotta grace in the process. There still is.

I’ve caught myself hurrying home before the afternoon rains so I can walk Velo. Stepping into my house with that flash of, “Oh yeah… She’s not here anymore”. It catches me off-guard for sure. Then for a few minutes, I remember her antics or the way she raced across a field, and there, in that moment is my goeswith.

Ram Dass talked often about the flow of emotions and being able to find and truly enjoy the moments of grace within the saddest or most challenging experiences.  I have been returning to his words almost every day this month and finding, even before my dog died two weeks ago, the moments of grace inside days that felt lonely or hard or blah. I’ve continued to discover those actions and people who buoy me, make me laugh, and let me see the lovely, divine absurdity that we call life.

On the flip side, I’ve met several wonderful friends who love the outdoors, and a companion who seems to be up for almost any kind of adventure. Our friendship is equal parts laughter and respect with a dose of silliness and the occasional intriguing and existential question tossed in for piquancy. It’s become the goeswith to my loss and a keen reminder that every experience in life is a goeswith at its core.

I’m also reminded of something my teacher, Sadhguru said in various forms, that when we can step back from our individual lives, lift our view from the event or the moment and imagine floating over the scene- THAT is when we get to see the design, the beauty and elegance and the flow without getting trapped in our reactions or who we think we are and should be.

As I step back, first 5000 feet, then 50,000 then 500,000 or farther out- I see the universal goeswith and it is beautiful.

My invitation to you this month is to take a few steps back and look at the patterns in your life. Notice what goeswith. Allow yourself to drink it all in, the wonderful and horrible and divine and terrible. It’s all grace and it’s all beautiful when you see it in context.

I’d love to hear your thoughts- drop a comment below and share your reactions.


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