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The Value of a Good Ending

Recently I had a conversation/experience that shifted my view and relationship with endings. I tend to be one of those “creative” types who has a hard time with clear cut endings. I often feel like I: want, could, should, need to do more or better. 2020 amplified that feeling of not having done enough in regards to my 2020 yoga teacher training. There was a lot we did well together. There was also a lot that was simply not possible to do over zoom. And so, while I’m graduating my students, we are planning to circle back up when we can all share physical space again to work on our observation and adjustment skills. As we were coming up on the last of our core weekends, I struggled to to call it our final weekend. Because of that it was initially hard for me to plan our “closing” ceremonies. One of my dear students really helped me see the value of the official “ending” even though the law of nature says nothing really ever actually ends…. It just evolves. We’re always left with impressions of life experiences and relationships and perceptions.

Acknowledging the shift — the ending of a particular direct experience or relationship — has value. What I see today, thanks to my student’s lesson for me, is that acknowledging an end allows us to better process the experience. It gives us better capacity to reflect on what we got from and gave to an experience. It gives us space to celebrate the experiences we enjoyed, to grieve the things we lost, to rest and recover from the things that wounded us, to offer thanks for the blessings that we received, to acknowledge the memories that we would like fade — and those we want to crystalize & carry forward, to acknowledge our growth and the places we have yet to grow or get unstuck from, to name the habits & thought patterns we want to send to the compost heap, and to create clear intentions around what we want to cultivate in our next chapter/volume/story. So even though 2020 was likely a very rough year for most of us, I have no doubt that if we take the time to look back gently, we can all find little gems in our reflection of it.

This week in classes, I’ll be offering my students space, practices, and gentle encouragement to look back on a hard year from a gentle space in order to close out the year and give ourselves space to cultivate a new growth cycle for 2021 which is sure to be filled with it’s own unique set of opportunities, challenges, blessings. I wish for you all to have a safe, warm, and cozy winter holiday and hope for the very best for all of us in 2021.

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