The autumn leaves are just moving past peak color where I live in the Catskill Mountains. This time of year has a bittersweet quality as the trees draw their energy in; protecting and conserving it till spring. This year, there is an eerie quality, as every falling leaf, every drop in temperature, evokes how I felt last fall. This past year I have explored stress and trauma in a very personal way.
My life was changed on so many levels by Hurricane Irene and the impact it had on my home, my community and my work. Since then, I have felt myself conserving my energy much as the trees are conserving their energy now, as they prepare for winter. Unfortunately, giving up writing and abandoning my website was one of the ways that I conserved my energy !
Since the floodwaters rose that day, higher than ever before, washing out our bridge and leaving us stranded, disconnected from the rest of the world, it has been hard to look at my usually placid stream. Looking at the water brought up too many memories, too many fears. I had always loved living by the water, with it’s ever changing music constantly in the background. But it was not until this past weekend, that I was able to once again sit by my stream and be soothed by the rushing waters, be hypnotized by the sunlight dancing on the waves. And I felt a profound healing, I felt a new level of peacefulness flow into me as the music of the water washed through my heart, washing away the last of the trauma.
I work with so many people helping them to deal with stress and trauma. Earlier last year I produced a guided imagery meditation CD called “Releasing Stress, Finding Peace.” Ironically, that has been my own task this year.
Sometimes healing requires active work, sometimes healing requires letting go, and sometimes healing just takes time… Many years ago, when I adopted a rescue dog, I remember reading that there is often a profound emotional shift, a new sense of safety in a rescued animal when it comes around to the year anniversary of its adoption. I think that there is something about feeling that the world is back to that same time of year again and we are here, and we are okay, that elicits a letting go somewhere deep in our nervous system and deep in our heart. And that is where we release stress and ultimately find peace.