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Falling Leaves; death & rebirth in the aftermath of 2020

"Even with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it's still a beautiful world" Desiderata


So there I sat on the floor of the local library, frozen with gripping anxiety; I had hit the proverbial brick wall. In the last year and a half, I had staunchly carried on and carried forward, braving each new change that seemed to infiltrate us, on the daily. Glancing to my right, the large red duct-tape arrows that had been meticulously taped to the carpet to indicate the flow of traffic in a one-way fashion, had ultimately, been my undoing. There were fleeting thoughts of "Oh no, am I going the wrong way?" and "I hope I don't get told off", then feelings of panic, confusion, fear and subsequent shame. Up until this moment, I don't think I had fully understood the level of traumatic stress that my energy body had been carrying, and much more I'm certain that had been 'filed-away'.

Time stopped, my breathing was shallow and I thought to myself that this is it... this is THE day when I officially lose my grip on reality. "I just can't take anymore of this...", I heard myself mutter and then automatically turned to see who was listening, but then remembered that we all needed to be 6 feet apart. I laughed softly as my brain


unraveled even more with all the contradictions in my head. Lately, I had been checking and re-checking my behaviour, to make sure that I was firstly following the all the new rules of society and political correctness but there was also a silent inner turmoil raging inside me. A pressure to understand, to be ok, to survive and to maintain my sense of self and Spirit throughout all of this. In short, to hold on, to hold it together.


"Maybe I'm just tired", I told myself. But here's the thing; in the quietness of the library, I heard a soft, loving whisper that said: "Dig Deeper..."


I had tried to stayed positive I mused, I had been a good member of society, I had continued to work, and meditated and did yoga and walked, I had tried to eat right and take care of my family....I tried to continue on as normal could be. I had tried to adapt. But something HUGE was missing.


My empathic soul, all of a sudden couldn't cope any longer. I couldn't cope with the endless barrage of social media information, the theories, the misinformation, the arguing, the neighbour against neighbour, simply put: the collective pain & suffering. I was starting to snap. From the mask dilemmas, to wear or not to wear, followed closely by an in-depth investigation into which kinds, the constant learning (and re-learning) of how each and every business operated during this world transformational pandemic, the incessant hand washing and sanitizing, the cold stares of employees when you'd inadvertently gotten their system wrong...the continuous opening and closing and then re-opening of businesses, watching helplessly as friends and colleagues closed their businesses one by one, with their life savings falling by the wayside. Trying to hold my own dwindling business together, watching as 15 years of personal investment and hard word started to slowly go down the drain and wondering if I'd be next? All the while walking friends and family through vaccines worries and medical debates, the ping-pong of curfews, unemployment insurance and finally tax season... watching the world trying to adapt and transform was exhausting. I was done.


All of the things I thought I was supposed to be doing to stay afloat were crumbling like day-old crackers. It was getting harder and harder to convince myself daily to get going and muster up the energy to carry-on as I had been doing. I had been saying things to myself like "I'm super grateful for the experience" and "Things could be worse" and "Everything is a lesson", eeesh. Even me, who has been a Spiritual mentor for 15 years was starting to doubt the words I was telling myself. Nothing made sense, or made any bit of difference. It was all coming undone.


AND...it was all just too much. Suddenly just like a wave that crashes to shore and tows out beach debris, I felt it was leaving, as natural as anything. Old stagnant energy was leaving, it was time for a shift. All of the struggle, the past pain, the uncertainty, the stuck-ness was leaving my energy system. All. Of. It. And I had to let go. It was time.


I realized that I had been avoiding something I knew was coming. I knew it. I mean, I KNEW IT, with every fiber of my being that life was changing, that a new world was being created. So why was I clinging to the old world, the comfort zone, like an old worn out pair of slippers?


It had been coming for some time now, the feeling of death and dying. Like someone who has been through the loss of a family member or loved one, I had been sitting in denial and avoidance for a year, trying desperately to cling to anything normal. The way things used to be. Before 2020 happened to all of us.


In a huge whoooosh, my breath was surrendered and I felt the rush of Spirit run through me. Often times it happens like this, an almost automatic response to pent up tension. The body is remarkable in the way it takes over and knows exactly what to do when you need it, even without you trying.


And yet, here I was with my world feeling like it was collapsing around me and feeling sorry for myself, resisting the steady pull of change, the gentle cycle of life, beckoning me forward. "Why me, why now!", my human side cried hopelessly & inwardly, wanting to keep some semblance of a social and/or spiritual facade firmly in place, outwardly in any case...


"In case of what?!?" I angrily challenged myself, because at the heart of it I was not really interested at all in who cared at this point. I was just plain angry, and worn out, frustrated and fed up.


Like falling leaves, one by one I felt energies around me being lifted and released, returning to Source energy as all things do in time. As I continued to breathe in and out, I looked back mindfully and remembered the acquaintances that had left my life, the people that were no longer in my circle, the things that just didn't fit any longer, the places I used to go, even the food I used to eat. I thought of the old ways we entered a store with no questions or concerns (or mask), the way we travelled freely and easily. I remembered the old ways of accomplishing tasks, even the way people used to be toward one another. The way it used to be to do normal things like eat out for breakfast and have a simple barbecue with my family.


And this left a huge void. I pictured a tree, bare of leaves in late November and thought of the long winter to come. "This is grief" I told myself, we are grieving our old world. I now understood why I had been so drastically tired of late and this was perhaps the answer.



I had been going through the motions but it was time to stop. My resistance to this transformation was suddenly astronomical and heavy, it too evaporating like a puddle in July. I felt the gap between where I had been and where I was, between what I wanted and what actually was. I finally realized that this was where my depression, anger and sorrow sat, in the crevice in between my reality and my fantasies.


With not a little anxiety, I asked Spirit what was next. SILENCE. I will be honest and say that I started to panic. My faith in Spirit and all of life was being challenged to expand. I was at my limit for trying to comprehend how this would all be ok. I just couldn't see past all of the destruction that was around me.


Of course, most spiritual teachings assure us this everything is supposed to be unfolding this way but strangely, I have had to learn this lesson time and time again, each time from a deeper and more complex angle. And so the only thing left to do it seemed, was to surrender to the flow.


Like after any death, endings are always followed by new beginnings. Be it a relationship, a marriage, a physical death or an illness, there is always that period where you don't know whether you're coming or going. This right here, this was that time right now for me, a brand new beginning. It was the time for rebirth...an opportunity for an inner renaissance. A time to let, go, regroup and reshape. Was this the piece that was missing? Was this what I was trying desperately to avoid? Changing and growing and expanding into something else?

It still boggles the mind as to why we hold on and resist change so much. In hindsight it seems so easy to flow with Source, and yet we (the royal WE), tend towards doing things in the same way, over and over and expecting new results.


As I've had a few days now for this new energy to flow and settle in, I now understand the grief, the overwhelm, the desire to remain the same, the incomprehension of unchartered territory and the fear of moving into a new chapter. I've also learned the value of surrendering to Source and the faith that comes with knowing that only love is real. I have learned to honour my human limits and foibles, my urges to control and steer energy in a certain direction, and lastly to know that we are fully supported and loved. We don't need to try so hard, it's going to be ok.


I still am not certain what to do next or where to place my energy, but I trust that something will show up. At this point I'm reminded of my friend who had casually told me a few months ago: "Get comfortable with the uncomfortable..."; so be it.


My intention is for the best possible outcome, whatever that may be.


It will be ok. This I know for sure, that even when we get tired and lost and crabby, the Angels still support us and hold and care for us, even when we forget ourselves. The leaves will grow back in time, don't you worry about that.


Wishing you wellness, Joanna xox


Joanna McDonald is a spiritual mentor, Reiki Master and teacher with an office in Hudson, Quebec. Find more information about Joanna here, book a reading or visit the boutique to find products. Follow our book club today and stay in the loop of current health trends and info.


Natural balance for body, mind, spirit & home, that's Lotus Living. It's good for your health. #fallingleaves #spirit #guides #spirituality #awakening #source #hudson #quebec #joanna #mcdonald #lotus #living #blog #death #rebirth #mentorship

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