Valueing the Ending

The most ultimate ending we experience is the death of a loved one. A moment of reflection on somebody’s life. A moment where not just the life of a person comes to an end, but where – for a certain period – time stops for all close relatives. And where a sudden period of reflection knocks in. A beautiful ritual to honour a life that has come to an end. When somebody dies we are forced into a ceremonial period to value the ending.

But… Endings are to be valued in many aspects of life. During the last Breath LAB of 2019, we moved and breathed with the theme Ending. Because often we rather forget about allowing proper time for ending something, for ending a project, for ending a contact, for ending a year. Or for properly ending our exhale…..

Do you have the patience for a real ending to happen? Are you rushing around to get everything done of your to-do-list? Are you always making new plans? Where is your focus? What gets your attention? Do you really allow for full endings?

Why would we value endings?

Endings get value

  • When we can give meaning to what has come to an end. Which we naturally do when somebody dies, when a relationship ends or when the year is about to finish. But, which we often fail to do when a small activity is ending or when a project is finished. What would happen when everything we do can be valued for ourselves or in a larger context?
  • When we can use it as personal growth. What are the successes and what are the lessons? Successes allow our self-esteem to grow. Lessons allow us to experiment with new ways in future situations and to improve ourselves.
  • When we can allow for the silence and not-knowing after the ending. It’s like allowing for the silence after the exhale and before the inhale starts again. For a moment there is a whole range of possibilities…. until we start something new that asks for our attention.

How to value endings?

It does not need to be compelling. Small practices can support honouring endings.

  • Take a deep breath after finishing an email. Or consciously look at the results of what you have done, even if it was vacuuming the house. Give yourself a compliment.
  • Move the body for 30 seconds before you start a new activity. Your body will love that…
  • For larger projects you can consider to make a small list of successes, learnings and lessons. How did this enrich you? What did you learn? What would you do different next time?
  • Place the project in the context of the larger whole. What is the value for others? How does it contribute to the world? What have you contributed? Make time to honour contributions made.
  • As a team celebrate smaller and larger projects when finished. Make time for the endings and share with colleagues.

Finally, value the endings as much as the beginning and the doing. Deliberately make it part of the activity or of the project.

Enjoy celebrating endings!


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