Sunday Football, Apple picking, pumpkin pies and fallen leaves are all signs of fall season. Many traditions look upon fall as a season of reflection as they draw their parallels from nature.
Fall has become a time of letting go, the time of introspection, a time to assess how far you’ve come throughout the year and what else is left, before years end.
As you watch nature, there is much that you can learn. You will notice animals preparing for the cold of winter, squirrels storing food, animals building shelter below ground as they prepare for hibernation. Perennial trees are shedding their leaves all in anticipation for winter. Look around you, even in the process of shedding and letting go nature has a way of showing up in all its glory. If you live in an area that has clear definitions of all four seasons, you will notice the beauty and multi colored fallen levees representing artistry in the process.
Nature teaches us patterns, providing opportunities for us to live our lives by constantly re-creating who we are, what we do and what we have. As the earth goes through its cycle of changes so can we.
Throughout history many traditions have embraced earth cycles and have adopted rituals around shedding, letting go and reflection.
In the Jewish tradition as an example the High Holy days are during the autumn season. In actuality they represent the beginning of a process in nature and preparation for fall. The 10 days between the Jewish New Year and atonement day are honored by self-reflection. According to tradition that is the time where you evaluate your relationships with other people. How did you treat them, what is your moral character? You also evaluate your relationship with God. This tradition culminates with the day of fasting and atonement with the process of letting go of all your wrongdoings and sins, washing them into the river and asking for forgiveness.
According to traditional Chinese medicine the season of Autumn is paired with the energies of lungs and large intestine, both which are organs of elimination; thus providing you with the opportunity to let go of both physical and emotional charges. By letting go of those charges, you now make room for new opportunities for the upcoming year.
In Buddhism, fall relates to Anicca the practice of impermanence, the understanding that nothing in life is permanent, therefore releasing attachment which allows you to release suffering. It is a similar to the Hindu practice of Samsara which relates to the cycles of birth and death. As the earth and Mother Nature prepare for winter, hibernation and the season of dying, there is always the knowledge that spring will follow with new birth. Know that in your life things will come and go whether relationships, jobs or opportunities.
I invite you this fall, to embrace some of those practices.
Find yourself a quiet spot, may be at home or somewhere out in nature. Grab a pen and a notebook or journal, and then take a few moments to center yourself. Whether you choose to meditate or just do some deep breathing, bring yourself to a calm state where you have a clear mind and you are free of distractions, ready to go within.
Begin by taking personal inventory, slowing down just enough to notice how far you’ve come this year. Find out what it might take for you to stay on track with your goals and possibly surpass them. Review all areas of your life to assess where you stand. Are you happy with where you are? What do you need to let go of? Can you let go and shed aspects of your life, putting them in the past in a similar fashion to nature with grace and beauty?
As you take inventory, perhaps focus and reflect on who you are being, rather than what you have done or have not. In the same way Fall Equinox represents the balance between darkness and light, figure out what areas of your life there’s still too much darkness, what areas do you choose to bring more light.to? Shedding thoughts of limitation, thoughts of lack and failure, will empower you and do exactly that.
Regardless of whether it is business or personal the process is the same. You are the common denominator in this process. The success of any area in your life is based on the foundation of who you are, how you show up in any area of your life and who you are being.
As you enjoy Apple picking, pumpkin pie and the start of football season, remember that fall brings with it a deeper meaning. A meaning you could embrace should you choose, bringing more significance and deeper value into your life and the lives of those around you!
Now it’s your turn to share your beautiful voice. Remember to be clear since many members in our community can benefit from your comments. Post your thoughts below and I’ll be sure to read them and personally answer any questions you might have. What meaning does fall have for you? What is your favorite fall tradition?
I’ll leave you with quotable tip, feel free to share, post or tweet as well as share this blog with others
“ @drkarenjacobson Autumn is the Time to shed the past “Fall” into Focus, review your goals & Finish the Year Strong!”
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(* Image courtesy of Susie B at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)