Transformation is a necessary and consistent part of our lives. Taking time to observe our natural environment, we can see that our world transforms in beautiful cycles and that nothing truly ever remains the same. Change is the only thing in our lives that we can count on with certainty and although change is unavoidable and at times scary, it can be both manageable and beautiful. The time between summer and winter is a particularly poignant time to feel the wonders of change in the air. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer is winding down and autumn is upon us with it’s crispy weather, leaves changing colors, and the promise of rain just around the corner. Just like the cycles of nature, humans transition through mental and physical states of transformation throughout our lives.
Autumn conveys the message of “letting go”. It can be a powerful practice to literally prune your goals for the following year, clean out an old junk drawer, or release those ideas about yourself that no longer serve you. We all have areas of our lives that need pruning and to release these metaphorical leaves will free up more energy for the healthy and passionate parts of ourselves.
Sharon Salzberg, meditation teacher and author of Loving-kindness interprets the idea of letting go differently: “Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, to give generously—these capacities spring from the same source within us. When we practice generosity, we open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. They carry us to a profound knowing of freedom, and they also are the loving expression of that same state of freedom”. Salzberg states that letting go also means giving to others compassionately. Autumn is a unique time because it simultaneously embodies withering, but also abundance.
Take the time to pay attention to the changing colours this season. The leaves are reminding us to embrace change, let go of what burdens us, and give away what we store in abundance. I encourage you to spend a few moments among the trees this season and see what wisdoms they have to offer you.