An ode to autumn – the season of change and letting go
The most obvious change in autumn is visible in nature. The wind is picking up, the days become shorter, and most importantly, the colors are changing. The lush greens of the summer are making room for a more earthy palette of oranges, reds and yellows. When strolling through forests, the leaves on the ground make that distinctive autumn sound. Knowing that a hot chocolate is waiting when coming home, the cosy vibes are complete.
The transformation of nature however, is not the only transition we are experiencing. This season invites us all to generally embrace the energy of change, of letting go and starting something new.
Does that mean that we need to regard our "old" habits or behaviours as bad and that it's time for improvement?
While it can be that reflection brings out some truths about negative habits which we want and need to change, the season of autumn is much more about embracing and acknowledging everything that was and celebrating a natural progression from it. It is not about good and bad, but about opening up to development and learning.
Letting go of certain things can be scary, but there are several practices you can try that will help you to open up your arms to the changes ahead of you:
1. Commit to inner work and reflection
The season of autumn is the time to turn inwards and reflect on your life in the last months. What stands out to you? What are you proud of? Which memories make you laugh, and which make you cry? What has your role in those situations been? What are your biggest learnings and where do you feel you can still grow?
Taking time to reflect on those and similar questions can be uncomfortable and confronting. Doing it nonetheless is however the key to better understanding yourself and to figuring out what it is that you actually want to let go and where you want to change.
2. Think about your roots and what makes you special
Sometimes a reflection on the past months doesn’t go deep enough to fully understand your motives and drivers. Maybe you need to get a clearer picture of who you are and where you are coming from. What are your roots? Which life events did have a great impact on you and on your environment?
Thinking about your roots and about everything that grounds you, can also lead to thinking about your social support network. Who are the people where you can truly be yourself? Autumn might just be the time to spend some extra time with them and to fully immerse yourself in that safe cocoon of family and friendship. There is no better place to contemplate changes and letting go than a safe harbour.
3. Increase those cosy vibes to really nourish your soul
Use the time you have on hand to finally (?!) do the things that make you happy, that nourish your soul. This can be anything, from going on nature walks, meeting friends at the local cafe for afternoon tea, to grabbing your loved ones and spending the weekend in a cozy secluded hut away from the usual hustle and bustle. Whatever you do, do it because it makes you feel happy and at ease.
4. Mark your accomplishments and celebrate even little successes
Autumn is also harvest season, the time to enjoy the bounty of hard work. Most of us probably don’t work on a farm and are thus not likely to celebrate a real harvest, but that doesn’t have to prevent us from thinking about our accomplishments and celebrating our successes.
As humans we are hardwired to give more attention to the negative than the positive. Being grateful for what we have and being proud of what we have done, doesn’t come easy and naturally to everyone. In order to still reap the rewards of those practices, make them a habit. Write down daily what you appreciate and are pleased about and find ways to reward yourself for your successes.
5. Plan for the future
The shorter days and longer evenings might just give you a little more time for yourself and for your thoughts on future goals and adventures. What is it that you want to achieve in the coming year? How can you break those goals down into actionable steps that give you a clear roadmap on your journey? What makes you happy? Are your goals and objectives aligned with your passions?
Just grab your notebook and a pen (cosy fire, a blanket, and hot chocolate / thee are optional) and start writing about your future. Use the above questions as prompts to get going or check out our free intentional journaling guide for more inspiration.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that this season of change only lasts a couple of weeks and months and that winter is right around the corner. In other words, enjoy it while it lasts and make the best of the time you have now.