As we gathered last month for our Nurturing the Fields of Change webinar to explore how the seasonality of nature translates into our work projects, I felt inspired to share a particular theme of Autumn that I was being asked to more fully embrace in my own life last year. While I think it’s essential to become more skilled at imitating the wisdom of each season, the effortless transition that nature demonstrates often feels far from simple for most humans, especially when it comes to letting go.

In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to…

Year 2020 brought even more evidence that ‘normal’ wasn’t working. Complex and turbulent events wrought by the pandemic has shunned most of us out of our comfort zones and the lessons in letting go became even more powerful. Less travel, less consumption together with reignited discussions and trials around shortened workweeks. Two years of uncertainty and disruption was challenging to say the least, but it was also an opportunity to reassess our priorities and I personally was no longer willing to go back to work full time. Compromises needed to be made but letting go of certain material comfort felt relatively easy in exchange of more quiet time with a warm cup of coffee and new ideas.

When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender more…

Last year, however, I was being guided to experience the gifts of this theme in an even deeper way. With the arrival of the autumnal equinox, the task at hand was to slowly begin to declutter, retreat and work even less. While pausing and clearing away the old is detrimental in order to replenish our energy, reducing my hours when I was already working part-time triggered a lot of discomfort. As I continued to meditate and inquire into this unexpected dare and was quickly shown to take inspiration from a tree in autumn as it sheds its leaves with grace and confidence. Though exposed, the tree stands steady surrounded by a dazzling show of autumn leaves which will provide vital nutrients back to its roots. Just like the leaves, our past will always be a part of us. Each moment that we release becomes the soil beneath us. It changes us, it prepares us for that moment when we are feeling bare and empty again, without what we know.

But letting go of last season’s leaves opens up the blue sky above, just like releasing unnecessary baggage creates a sense of mental spaciousness. Yes, I needed to learn how to live on a smaller budget for a while, but I could spend that time nurturing things that matter to me and thinking about the seeds I want to plant for the spring. Tree trunk is our life experience which built our character and our resilience enabling us to move forward and meet new challenges. Though a lot slower the roots will continue to grow and we can simply direct our energy towards getting more rooted in ourselves, reflecting on what may have been in a way of us getting taller and taking nourishment from our experience for when it’s time to bloom again.

It isn’t my intention to preach on what should count as a good life, yet both the pandemic as well as a more recent deepening task of letting go, feel like natures way of reminding us of the kind of wealth that comes from having the time to fully experience life.

What nature-based metaphors of transformative processes inspire you?

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