Ancient cultures welcomed the changing of seasons by adapting to and synchronizing themselves with nature’s cycles and rhythms. For many of us in modern day society, autumn is marked by the leaves changing color, back-to-school sales, and the arrival of fall décor in department stores.
While you’re pulling out your favorite cozy sweaters and sipping pumpkin spice lattes, mother nature is busy pruning her limbs and preparing for what’s to come. If you slow down and look a little closer at what the fall season represents, it’s an incredibly auspicious time for doing deeper work within yourself.
Fall Is for Self-Reflection
Autumn is symbolized by the balancing of light and dark—both in the world of nature and in your own psyche. As you transition from the longer days of summer to the shorter days of fall, you may sense that a new harmony must be created so that you can manage the way your life flows. Fall is a time for winding down and going inward for self-reflection as you prepare for the coming months.
Shifting the conversation internally invites you to consider what practices will enable you to slow down, enter into a quiet space, and consider how you may benefit from doing some pruning of your own. As you adapt to shorter days and cooler temps, it’s the perfect time to light a fire, open your journal, and establish an effective practice for letting go of anything you no longer need.
Fall Is for Letting Go
You may struggle with the concept of impermanence in your life and yet, the one thing you can be certain of is that change is always occurring. The more adaptable you can become to the changing of tides—or, in this case, the seasons—and the more fluent you become in the art of pruning useless thoughts, behaviors, and patterns from your life, the better prepared you are for receiving the next round of gifts life has to bestow upon you.
To learn this art of letting go, you only need to look to nature and how she transitions through each of her seasons. There is a continuous cycle of birth, transformation, and death occurring—literally and metaphorically. One season comes to an end and another begins—sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly. Phases of your life will come to an end before another begins. Notice what energies are asking to be brought to completion in your own life at this time. Ask yourself the following:
- What action do you need to take in order to honor your own cycles of beginning, middle, and end?
- What are you holding onto that’s no longer necessary?
- What baggage are you still lugging around that’s weighing you down?
- Where are you struggling against the inevitable?
Negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and behaviors that sabotage your career, health, and relationships need to be released the moment they are presented to you. This is your own internal guidance letting you know that this “thing” that may have had a purpose in your past is now ready to come to completion and be released. Often times you may hold onto the old in fear of the unknown, and that can be scary. However, releasing the old and letting the energy transition into something new can be a beautiful thing.
Fall Is for Being Open to New Opportunities
Holding onto negative emotions, limiting beliefs, and sabotaging behaviors creates stress and is bad for your physical, emotional, and mental bodies. It’s harmful to your well-being, your sense of self-worth, and your ability to be the person you are meant to be in this world. You cannot expect to begin a new journey until you’ve brought your previous one to completion. If you do, you bring old, dead weight onto your new path, which is sure to cause problems down the road.
You may be familiar with the old saying by Alexander Graham Bell, “When one door closes another door opens.” This excerpt is actually part of a longer quote, which reads “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
If you don’t take the time to mindfully (and regularly) prune your branches, the dead weight you carry forth won’t have the fortitude to birth any new seedlings in the future. In other words, there may be other things waiting to come into being that you aren’t even aware of because you’re still caught up in your old junk. This is an example of opportunities lost, and there’s nothing worse at the end of your days than having regret for not living your life with passion and purpose.
Even worse, the effects of stress may overburden your physical, emotional, and mental bodies to the point it creates illness or disease. If you want to live a life where you feel energized, passionate, motivated, and fulfilled, this is the perfect time to stop and take inventory of what you need to dump. Use this guided visualization to assist you with pruning what’s ready to come to completion and prepare yourself for what’s to come.
Guided Meditation for Fall
To begin, minimize your distractions by silencing your cell phone and letting others know you need some quiet time alone to meditate.
- Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and begin to wind down by taking several slow deep breaths.
- Use your breath to go inward and connect with any sensations, images, feelings, or thoughts that may be present.
- In this space of stillness and quietude, set an intention that you are ready to let go of anything that is ready to be released.
- Take a few moments to consider how everything has its own cycle of beginning, middle, and end—that the energy of completion is actually a good thing. It’s required for your continued growth.
- Next, bring to mind something in your life that you know has reached it’s time to be brought to completion and breathe into the knowingness that to accept impermanence is healthy for your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical evolution.
- Ask yourself what you would need to know in order to feel safe and secure in letting go of anything that no longer serves you. Listen for the answers, allowing them to come forth from your heart or intuition. Trust whatever comes up for you.
- Now allow yourself to see a vision of what would be possible for you when you let this go. What new possibility awaits you on your path once you let go of the old? Enhance the visual details of your vision (color, contrast, size, and brightness) to be as powerful, as positive, and as rich as possible.
- Now that you have had a glimpse into what awaits you, ask your internal wisdom to tell you what action step you need to take in order to prune away any old branches in your life at this time so that you can fully step into this new vision for yourself and your life. Listen for the answers.
- As you hear the messages from your heart guiding you in where and how to take action, open your eyes and take out your journal. Begin to record any insight or messages, as well as any action steps you got in your journal.
- Close your eyes again, take a few deep breaths, and thank yourself for taking this time to go within and make a commitment to follow through with the action steps you need to take to clear out the old.
You may often find that letting go of things that have run their course is easier than you may have previously imagined. And, in the case where you weren’t aware that it was time to release something that was ready to be done, it can feel like a massive weight has been lifted off you. Now, it’s up to you to keep your newly pruned path clear to receive new insight, new direction, and infinite possibilities.