Each of the seasons has its own particular energy that represents where nature is in its recurring cycle of birth, transformation, and death. As a being who is closely connected to—and directly affected by—the rhythms of nature, you can capture and use the energy of the season by moving through your own seasonal process.
In the months when summer transitions to fall, nature prepares for the coming changes by shedding what it no longer needs. In many ways, the energy of winter is synonymous with death—as foliage appears to die, the ground freezes over, and the days become darker.
However, winter is really about hibernation and the incubation of what will be renewed again with the coming of spring. In actuality, there is no death—just a long, deep sleep as nature’s energy changes form.
Fall is the season that prepares nature for the pruning process which will ultimately result in seeds being planted for the next chapter. It’s a great time to take an inventory of what you need to trim back or tend to differently as you settle inward for the coming months.
Shedding Unnecessary Baggage
Imagine, for a moment, you are about to begin a journey of preparing for a long winter. During this time, you know that the days will be shorter, the temperature will be colder, and some of your creature comforts won’t be available. What do you want to let go of? What has become too burdensome or unnecessary on your journey?
At some point, it becomes apparent that you have accumulated far too much baggage. You’ve been lugging it around for far too long and life feels heavy. It’s time to unload—drop a few thousand dead leaves and prune a couple hundred branches.
Like nature, you need to clear out the thick brush and rid yourself of things you’ve been afraid to let go of. It’s time to abandon the rules of society that seek to convince you it’s not acceptable to speak your truth—to quiet that voice that convinces you to stay uncomfortably comfortable right where you are.
Now is a good time to shed anything that binds you to your indignant and stubborn ways of sabotaging your dreams. Without pruning, there can be no new growth.
During this fall season, retreat inward, light a candle, and see what cobwebs need clearing.
Try this guided meditation to tune in, listen, and reflect on where you are in your life.
- Find a comfortable seat on your couch, chair, or in your favorite place in nature.
- Settle into your body by connecting with your breath—slowly inhaling through your nose, slowly exhaling through your mouth. Notice how your body and mind begin to soften and relax.
- Visualize a scene from nature during the fall: the reds, browns, darker greens, and yellows of the terrain around you, a cool breeze blowing, and the dryness of the brush, branches, and earth.
- Now, imagine that your body, your breath, your emotions, and your mind are an extension of nature. Perhaps you see yourself as a tall oak tree, the mist rising off a lake at dawn, or you’re simply basking in the late afternoon sunset or the golden glow of a harvest moon.
- Be aware that you are about to embark on an inward journey. As you prepare to rest and prepare for the budding of a new you after the winter ice thaws, dare yourself to dream of:
- the person you would like to be
- the activities you want to do
- the environment you thrive in most
the lifestyle you want to have when you wake up from your deep sleep
Let your imagination run wild and allow yourself to see what you would see, to hear what you would hear, and to feel what you would feel if your dream came true.
- Next, notice an area of your life where there is some heaviness—a burden or an unnecessary load. Maybe it’s physical belongings like an accumulation of furniture, clothing, old trinkets, or stacks of papers. Perhaps your baggage is within the area of your intimate relationship, your career, your health and fitness, or family. Let yourself see where there is an over-accumulation of physical stuff, emotional upset, mental challenges, or spiritual disconnect.
- Next, reconnect with your dream of what your life could look like, feel like, and sound like once you are free of the burdensome weight you have been carrying. What would you be doing then that is different from how you are living now? How would your relationships begin to thrive? How would your energy levels and mental clarity be propelling you toward your goals? Create an internal representation (a visual image, a feeling, or a sound) of how you, your life, and your surroundings could be different.
- As you bask in your picture of how things could be, ask yourself what qualities you would need to embrace to be the type of person who could powerfully catapult yourself from beneath the weight of what you now carry to the new you that awaits? Do you need to have more compassion toward yourself or others? Do you need to listen more attentively without the need to fix things or justify your position? Do you need to cultivate more strength so you can set and maintain boundaries? Do you need to be more honest and find a loving yet direct way to speak your truth? What characteristics would be most beneficial to acquire so that you can begin to take your next steps?
- Now, envisioning the traits or characteristics that are empowering you to create change, ask yourself “what action steps do I need to take to feel inspired and motivated to charge powerfully forward? What emotions, beliefs, or behaviors do I need to let go of so that I can stop being a victim and become the person I am meant to be?” Ask your heart for guidance rather than your intellect, and allow yourself to hear what practice you need to cultivate or what action you need to take to prune your inner-outer world to clear a path for your next journey.
- When you are ready, take a few slow, deep breaths and open your eyes. Take out your journal or notebook and make notes about whatever came up for you during the guided meditation. Write down:
- How you want to be living your life
- What needs to be cleared out or pruned
- What qualities or characteristics you need to embrace
- What specific action steps you need to take, including something you can do today
- Go do that thing today. Tomorrow, do the next thing, and so on.
This will help you take charge of your life. It’s a process of letting go of anything that isn’t you—toxic relationships, limiting beliefs, and obstacles that prevent you from living your dream. It allows you to take responsibility for every choice you make and every action you take (or don’t take). Whenever you begin a new path, anything you haven’t cleared out or brought to completion will follow you onto the new path, so now is the time to let go of anything you need to leave behind as you begin a new season.
Approach the fall with anticipation, preparation, and excitement. Observe its energy and watch as it cyclically moves through its phases—transitioning from one moment to the next, sometimes intensely and sometimes gently.
Nature moves slowly and deliberately toward harmony and sustainability. It intrinsically knows what it needs to do and simply does it. You can learn a lot by tuning into this process in your own life—if you slow down enough and pay close attention.