I had an experience awhile back that made the above quote come to life for me. A person on our team, after a seemingly collegial and productive meeting, sent an email within a couple hours of its completion telling us he was resigning from his pivotal position and leaving the company as of that moment. The excuse for leaving was vague at best, which spoke to me of colors I suspected in him but had not clearly seen or addressed. The event caused me to reflect on the many shades of grey, green, red, and orange there can be within us without taking notice of them.
For me, it’s not just failing to take notice of the outer reaches of inner space. It’s also about noticing the subtle hints that get dropped along the way and choosing not to deal with them in myself and others. It’s about ignoring the color of the falling leaves. As I pondered this dilemma, I mused that maybe we don’t want to know about the colors that our Octobers reveal. Maybe we hope that what we’re sensing is not a big deal so we can justifiably let it go. Do you know what I mean? For those of us who don’t like conflict, it’s ultimately a flawed and faulty defense.
So much of the time, when confronted with what I consider oppositional or antagonistic, I simply make no comment or a brief neutral comment while judging and ultimately dismissing the other person or situation as unlikable. Metaphorically, just because I don’t like the color red, when someone wears it, I might judge and dismiss them as unworthy of my approval. In reflection, I have to ask what this says about me. What colors am I hiding, repressing and denying and what is this season of soul revealing to me about my own October colors? Hmm. . .
Have you ever taken issue with someone or something to find out that the very thing you don’t like falling from their tree is the very thing you hide, repress and deny in yourself? When I took issue with my former colleague in private, I eventually woke up to how I also want what I want when I want it. I too take issue and rather than face conflicting issues and working through them, I walk away and feel righteous in doing so. In these moments, we’re set free only when we reveal our hidden colors rather than continuing to hide, repress and deny them. What a revelation!
In pondering this experience, I began reflecting on the many times I revealed my hidden October colors and the outcomes of doing so. The outcomes depended on my awareness, attitude, and willingness to see with new eyes. Was I able to reflect on my inner disposition that made the conflict all about ‘them’? Could I see my own judgements and off colors clearly in the moment to own them rather than projecting them onto others? Was I willing to accept the color of my falling leaves, own my pride, prejudices and perspectives? Before awareness, the answer was No!
When we recognize that we all have Octobers, that our leaves have different colors, fall at different times and eventually bare the tree; we can begin to work with these repressed projections that cover what we want to hide. The work is to stop projecting our colors, own them, and see how they can serve us and others in positive constructive ways. In the example above, my former colleague could have owned his projections, shared them and worked through them with the appropriate people. Instead of leaving, he could have helped the team become stronger and more aware, thus opening a whole new conversation about how to transform transitions. . .
The older I get, the more I find my wonderments bringing new wisdom that I thought I had but didn’t. When I take the time and make the effort to deeply reflect on the things that bother me, I find new ways of being and becoming. When I pause to wonder about the whys of my life, I’m able to look more deeply and honestly into my October color scheme. I’m more able to look at the falling leaves that lay bare the obvious flaws in my limited reasoning. How about you?
If October is about revealing colors that are hidden all year and we all have Octobers, might it be helpful for us to seek and find these hidden colors within ourselves? Might it be possible to notice the falling leaves as they fly from our words and actions to fall on the ground of other beings? Might it be beneficial to the whole of creation for us to awaken to this season within us that shows up so often without notice? The more I practice this presence the more I say ‘YES!’
- During this day, week, and month, give attention to the color of the leaves that fall from your tree. Become aware of your thoughts, words, and actions. Notice how they affect you and those around you. What are they laying bare for you to see?
- As you notice the falling leaves from the trees, from you and others; smile at the reminders being given to you to awaken to the October revelations!
- When you remember to remember the October leaves and colors wherever you are; give thanks for the seasons of soul that are here to help you find greater love, joy and peace!