Where I live the fall leaves are just beginning to turn.  The trees are making their yearly transition as they do every fall.

tree 1

first tree transitioning to fall leaf color

Times of transition for us humans are very uncertain and don’t always flow so easily. Recently, I visited family and  saw drastic changes in my mother.  I was a witness, and at times I let go of the sorrow I felt, but then I just sucked up my tears.  I needed to let go like the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. I needed to cry some more and sit with my own sorrow about the changes I had seen. I was resisting acknowledging what I had witnessed.

pile of leaves

pile of leaves

This is an informative article about why we humans, cry and how important it is to cry for our mental and physical health.

tree 2

another tree in transition in fall

We humans have so many challenges with change: losing or changing jobs, moving, divorce, illness, financial issues, deaths of friends and family members, war, and even radically changing weather. There is a lot of suffering in the human condition. I am glad I have found groups of people who have had similar problems to my own and friends who are supportive. I also live where I can be around nature which helps ground me and shows me beauty. Nature has this way of reminding of me why I am here spiritually, and that I am connected to all that is around me.

Here is an article that goes into more depth about this:

tree 3

third tree transitioning

So often in the past, I tried to make transitions on my own and did not ask for the help I needed. Yes, I complained to a few friends, but I only managed to prolong my own suffering.  Today, I am glad I have reached out to spiritual resources in my community. For example: 12-step programs, therapists or counselors, and a spiritual community, which gives me practices to accept with more grace the transitions I am experiencing. Also having faith in my source has added to my peace of mind. I have choices now on how I can deal with the transitions in my life.

Asking for help is not a weakness, but a great way to take care of ourselves. Here is an article from the New York Times:

tree 4

Fourth transitioning tree



“An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Plants normally grow given water, sun, and healthy genetics. This Christmas tree from 2013 looked like this:

christmas tree 2013

Live Christmas tree from 2013

It was barely one foot tall. I planted that tree in a pot and now it has grown to over three feet tall.

Live Christmas tree 2014

Live Christmas tree in 2014

There is growth which is physical as this tree, and there is growth which is spiritual.

2 year old girl

3 year old girl

A three-year old girl has certain behavior, and she has her own spirit.

13 year old Celine

13 year old girl

A thirteen year old girl has different behavior and areas of growth both physically and spiritually.

Spiritual growth requires behavioral changes from most of us and that included me. This kind of growth is about striving to become mature and responsible for my life, and not blaming others; for example: learning the things that trigger me, changing old habits that don’t work for me, making new choices, and letting go of the past. However, first, I have had to learn what that past was for me to grow spiritually. Facing my past has required courage and a willingness to be vulnerable.  In a ongoing process, I am becoming freer and less encumbered by my past.

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  – George Santayana

This quote has often been used when speaking about human history, where it is very true. I find it has also been absolutely true about my life before I sought deep personal spiritual growth.

Another thing spiritual growth requires is that we NOT just do it alone. I have reached out for help from various groups and people. We are not weak when we ask for help; we are courageous and honest about what we need, as are all people who have done the same. This, to me, is the best way to heal the planet. One person at a time.

This TED talk by Matthiew Richard, a Buddhist monk and scientist explains a way towards spiritual growth.