What does October make you think of? If you were born in a climate with four seasons as I was, it makes me think of falling leaves, and the colors are a magnificent array of yellows, auburn, reds, purples etc. In addition, it makes me think of winter coming and a time to turn within or spend more time eventually indoors. Although I have lived in a warm climate for a very long time now, we see a sort of autumn in Florida with leaves falling off trees too and some turning colors. Of course, since Hurricane Irma, we see a lot more dead trees and debris of trees all over the roads, in rivers, lakes, etc. waiting to be picked up.
Also, depending on your background; how you were raised, for example, your religion or spiritual beliefs or culture, many holidays prepare us for this season of autumn as well. For me, although I practice mindfulness meditation, and have studied many other religions and practices, I still return to my humble roots in Judaism as the end of September was the “holiest” day of the Jewish Lunar calendar called Yom Kippur. It is a time of fasting, reflecting and praying.
I find it interesting that as time goes, I just got my computer back a few days ago after Irma wiped out its memory or something did! The fact is that I have the time now and the opportunity to write my monthly newsletter and blog. We all have experiences in life besides having holidays to remind us that life continually changes though we may not be aware of it. Some changes are bold and dramatic and others are more subtle. Who are we to question why certain things happen to us and not to others? Or, to go a step further, to be so fortunate as to not suffer what others do. There are never any comparisons.
For me, the only ideas that make sense at my present understanding are there are no answers. Rabbi Kushner’s book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People reminded us don’t ask why, ask what can I do about it? That is how many good changes come about because people work together to change something they want to improve for everyone. There are also Dr. Brian Weiss’s books which suggest that there are many lifetimes one can live and perhaps that can explain why we are born into the families and situations we are. I am grateful that at this stage of my life I no longer question why things happen. I try to be a compassionate observer though I do admit that sometimes I forget that. It is easy to get caught up in the drama of life.
I often remind my students who leave behind difficult lives to come to America as my grandparents did in search of freedom and a better life that while we don’t usually have answers to many questions, we do the best we can one day at a time. I am grateful I grew up in a loving family and find it easy to share that love and kindness with others. Having said that, I will close with a line that I remember from my father. “Do your best and let God do the rest.” If you don’t believe in God or a Higher Power you can substitute the words universe, nature or whatever you prefer. If I can ever be of help or assistance, I am available by appointment on phone, Skype, email, and of course in person.