A couple of nights ago, I was honoured to be the speaker for Women Making a Difference, a local group with a global presence.  Nancy Hertel-Bolton, founded the organization on the belief of supporting the progression of women by encouraging and empowering them in a positive and safe environment.

This month’s gathering was about the changing seasons, the growth and renewal of Spring and how family life can be comparatively similar.

The fate of each season, depends upon the relationship between the earth and the sun; much the same as our family experience depends upon the relationship among and between each other. Family life is wonderful during good times, just like the warm and sunny months of summer.  It can be however, cold and dark as in winter, during times of sadness and despair.

Family typically begins with the union of two people and the beginning of a relationship is much like the heat of the summer. Your appetite for the heat is insatiable and the intensity of the sun warms your soul.   It’s new and everything is green and flourishing.  Life is fun, carefree and relaxed.

The couple share ideas for new adventures and their future life together and during the summer, seeds are planted for crops that will provide food and nourishment for the long winter.

 Autumn represents the harvest and reaping the benefits of what has been planted. If the crop is plentiful, celebration and joy accompanies the harvest.

 Sometimes however, the harvest isn’t what you had expected and we may second guess ourselves.  Additional factors such as financial strains, differing opinions, or sudden illness may make you feel like you are being pulled apart from so many different directions.  We may question whether we should have chosen a different path.

Our family has certainly experienced so many challenges over the years and I have done a lot of soul searching. I have come to conclude that if you are willing to have an open mind and appreciate the opportunity in the challenge, there is reward in every crop. One of the most significant things we can do during the season of harvest is to be thankful.  If we look at what we have, rather than what we don’t have, we will see the bounty and what is plentiful in our lives.

As the Fall turns to Winter, the activity of the harvest ceases and life becomes more still and silent.  It’s a time to quiet the soul and to heal.  During this solitude we can feel cold and dark, lonely and isolated.  This is when negativity can take over.

Your healing may depend upon the support that is around you. Sometimes our supports don’t come forward for they may not know what to say or how to help.  It’s important to let others know how you feel and it’s okay to ask for help.  It’s your responsibility to do so, to create an environment of positivity for you and your family.

The Winter can also be a time to reflect on our lives and find comfort in the season.  This may involve taking the time to enjoy the beauty in the first snow, the celebration of the holidays, and with the approach of a new year, making resolutions for change, and following through on those resolutions.

The arrival of Spring brings renewal.  In our own lives, Spring can be symbolic of starting new projects, sewing new seeds and coming forth with new ideas.

Take a moment to close your eyes and think about a change that you want to make this Spring.  What kind of renewal do you want? What do you see, hear and feel as the change unfolds?

You may have noticed the symbol of a robin taking flight in the logo. In my personal story, a robin is very meaningful.

After some research I learned that Native American beliefs shared the same significance of a robin as I did in my own life. I chose a robin for what it represents, especially for people who are experiencing a personal challenge.

The robin is associated with spring –  the season of growth and renewal. It symbolizes a fresh new perspective in many areas of life. It reminds us to let go of the past, embrace the present, and look toward the future.

A robin teaches us that changes can be made with joy, laughter and peacefulness.   It shows us how to accept change without fear and to become independent and self-reliant when me may be feeling vulnerable and uncertain.

Robins will prepare you to move forward with grace, tenacity, perseverance and assertion. It guides us to have compassion and patience in our mental, spiritual and emotional being. A robin will show us how to incorporate new beginnings with trust and by restoring faith within our hearts.

The message of the robin is this – it is time to believe in yourself and use the inspiration that is given to you in all of your life experiences. Listen carefully.