Contemplations on the growth and renewal that comes with loss and change.
In my on-going effort to illuminate the hidden gifts which lie within our present moment, I reflect on the concept of change through the lens of regeneration and its effects on our inward Spiritual growth and our outward physical advancement.
Definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
1 :an act or the process of regenerating: the state of being regenerated
2 :spiritual renewal or revival
3 :renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological system (such as a forest) after injury or as a normal process
4 :utilization by special devices of heat or other products that would ordinarily be lost
Regeneration. The regrowth of something that once was. This time stronger, more fortified. Possibly more authentic.
In my morning contemplation, a cup of scalding hot black coffee in hand, I look out at the small snapshot of the yard that is visible from my home office window. The scene of Summer abundance turned almost grotesque in its overgrowth. The flowering plants over-bloomed, the larger bushes laden with branches so heavy they sprawl across the ground. As I quietly sit and view this scene, I’m reminded that it’s time for Fall pruning as the weather turns crisp just around the edges, much like the leaves on the trees. The slight chill in the late evening and the ever so slight change to the leaves, are the only signs of the dramatic change in weather about to take place. I currently live on the East Coast of the United States, and Winter generally brings cold days and snow. But I know that Spring will follow, and with it the first signs of regrowth that bely the Summer abundance that will come again. My faith in the knowledge of this seasonal process, gives me the courage to cut away the overgrowth in my yard at some point this month.
And I wonder at what has been cut away in my life over the past 41 years?
That which had over-bloomed or grown so thick and heavy that I could no longer carry its weight? What part of my physical experience had been removed, cut back, the sting felt as an injury and loss, only to clear the way for something new and stronger to grow in its place?
And I know what has been cut away. An unsupportive marriage. A work environment long outgrown. People. Places. Belongings. All to allow for new growth. But the regrowth of all these things removed, I realize now, started first within myself. The renewal process taking root within my Spirit. Just like a branch of a healthy tree made hard and brittle by Winter, when snapped at its quick shows not brown but green. The inward sign of the renewal waiting to burst forth and show itself outwardly in time. That time, perfectly designed for its regeneration.
As I look with curiosity at the gift of my present experience, I am struck by the abundance of my outward reality. A new and successful marriage. The opportunity to become a mother. The security of a family home. A reconnection to my Spiritual and creative gifts. All things that at one point had been cut away and removed from my life.
And as I look at this new reality for myself, I realize that it started first with an inward abundant renewal of connection to my Spirit. That unique and evergreen part of myself silently waiting for it's time to bloom.
My Spiritual revival triggered by the physical pruning of these outward aspects of my life. Sacrifices I had to endure with Faith. The Faith that knows that Winter will be followed by another Spring, and the darkness of night followed by the dawning light of a new day. Faith in the hidden order that lies within the perceived chaos of ever present change. And I realize now that it is this same Faith, the Faith I have always held for mysterious beauty that lies within the Grand Design of our experience, that gave me the strength to face and accept the changes made to mine. In this Faith I found the courage to traverse years filled with confusion and a lack of clarity, as I waited for the meaning in what was taken away to be graciously revealed. My wait was not in vain, this blog post proof that I received the gift of that meaning.
In further contemplation on the mystery of regeneration, I wonder what in our current society and shared human experience is being pruned away now at this very moment?
To make room for something much stronger and perhaps more lasting and fortified to grow in its place.
Are the branches that are now being pruned by some wonderous cosmic design, our outgrown policies, laws, and accepted ways of thought? Are they our revered but outdated public figures, leaders and teachers? Or are they our outmoded systems, inventions, and technologies? Can we bear the present pain of our communal pruning with patience and hopeful Faith that all will be restored, renewed and regenerated in its perfectly designed time? And where as we wait, can we start to feel the inward revival of our own Spirit spurred on by the pain of our injury?
Does our own personal renewal start with a single new idea? A vision for a new way? Does it start with a moment of divine inspiration for an uplifting story, song or poem that we know must be heard? The discovery of important wisdom we know must be shared? Or does it start with the realization that it must be us who stands up courageously and with humility to lead where others will not? For each of us, this time of internal renewal will be different. It will be unique. It will be singular.
Only time, and the measure of our collective courage will tell what amazing and beautiful new growth awaits us in our Spring. The measure of courage being what each one of us is willing to bear to stay personally responsible in playing out our destined role in our collective regeneration. What we are courageous enough to share, reveal and do. As I am reminded by my own personal experience that outward abundance starts first with a developed inward abundance of Spirit, I take advantage of this present moment to make a decision to spend the next few months of Winter inwardly cultivating my Spiritual garden. I invite you to do the same, and look forward with much hope to our shared Spring.
From my morning musings with Love,
Lauren Ashoff Hickman
Watch the daily oracle card reading that inspired my reflections by clicking on the video below:
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