- Change is the constant. Did you just roll your eyes? Honestly, I roll my eyes at the cliched memes, “Fall reminds us how beautiful it is to let go.” And it’s not wrong. I love how the earth goes out in a fiery blaze of glory before settling in for a long winter sleep. The earth models for us that change, whether subtle or explosive, is our life constant. I can rage against this natural order, as I often want to, or I can try to take a note from the celestial goddess that is the earth and breathe into change.
- There is another cliched meme associated with fall, but this time, it doesn’t make me roll my eyes. It is that fall reminds us that we aren’t made to bloom in every season. The earth unapologetically models this as she stops her work, slows her growth, and settles into rest. Why do we chronically expect ourselves to grow, perform, excel, or “have it all together?!” The earth embraces her own chaos and models that there are seasons for growth and seasons for slowing down and resting.
- Speaking of resting, hibernation isn’t just for bears. As fall invites us to have more psychological flexibility with ourselves, it also invites us to have more physical flexibility. The longer nights and colder days invite us to slow down and collect ourselves from the frenetic, energized experiences that were spring and summer. Just as we are programmed to have daily rhythms, it makes sense to me that we have annual rhythms. I believe there is beautiful intuition to noticing how the foods we crave change throughout the year, turning in the winter towards more hearty, comforting, and warm foods. I also organically want to sleep longer, which makes sense with less sunlight, but I also think holds an intuitive piece to it. I mean, honestly, who of us wouldn’t benefit from more sleep?! This is a time of year when the invitation is really clear to tune into what our bodies need and honor the soft call towards more rest.
- Changing seasons bring changing moods. We can be gentle about changing moods that accompany changing seasons. I have a repetitive conversation about fall that mostly goes like this, “Fall is my favorite season! I just hate how short it is before such a long winter!” Winter is the season that shows up most disruptively and abruptly. And then it is long, dark, and hard. I have to psychologically prepare myself for it every year. And in anticipatory dread, I often notice my moods feel erratic and unpredictable in fall. My moods spike with profound feelings of happiness, joy, and aw, and then plummet to sadness and a sense of ambiguous grief. And I am going to offer myself compassion for an internal roller coaster that shows up right now. It just is what it is, and that’s ok. The earth doesn’t apologize for her big moods. She just lets them wash over her and around her and holds them as they do their work before moving on and changing yet again.
I hope to continue to soak up all that is fall for as long as I can and to be open to all its wisdom.