The Fall Season In All Of Us

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Fall in the Midwest is a beautiful time. As the leaves change and float to the ground, making room for new growth in the spring, we can also reflect on the meaning of fall for each of us.

Over the last two weeks, whether leading an Inseus retreat, participating in a corporate mindfulness session hosted by Google, or just traversing daily life, I’ve had the pleasure of being asked to pause, pay attention, and then proceed. Luckily, it’s fall in the Midwest. The changing colors of leaves on the trees lining Lake Michigan’s beautiful shores and our midwestern roads serve as a present-moment reminder that this is a time of change.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "The only constant is change." Fall reminds us that our bodies, minds, and surroundings are always developing. The impermanence of life invites us to remember to embrace the present.

Thanks to the changing nature of life, each and every day presents us with new mysteries. The crisp fall air and changing leaves symbolize these unknowns. By accepting the mystery and the unknowns, we are invited to live life fully.

As animals prepare for the winter by storing food and creating cozy hibernation spaces, we also retreat indoors to create a warm, safe, comforting home. In a way, the fall season offers us a chance to reconnect with ourselves as we head inside and turn inward.

Wearing warm layers and nubby, thick fabrics, we focus on our body warmth and protection from the harshness of the coming winter. The fall season is prime time for seeking comfort in the midst of dropping temperatures. Cozy sweaters, outdoor bonfires with friends, and the first hot chocolate of the year remind us about what makes us feel warm and safe.

And, as the temperatures drop and leaves fall, we are reminded of the beauty in letting go. We can apply this concept of letting go to the things in life that no longer serve us. The idea of letting go reminds us of the temporary nature of everything.

And so, I invite you to spend a few moments reflecting on the fall season inside of you. One of the journaling exercises we engaged in at our Inseus fall retreat went like this:

This fall, as you reflect on the concept of the impermanence of life, embracing the present, accepting mystery, turning inward for nourishment, and letting go:

What is ready to compost in your life?

What is ripening in this present moment?

What is perfectly ripe and ready for you to delight in, savor, and enjoy?

And, what seeds do you intend to plant in anticipation of the spring and summer growing season? What are you cultivating, nourishing, wanting to grow?

Take several moments to reflect. Grab a sheet of paper, a journal, or your iPhone notes to pause, consider, create intentions, and to take note of your observations and intentions.

Each of us can experience and reflect on the fall season that lives within us. Take a few moments to do so now….why not?

With peace and love,
Ashley


Ashley NelsonComment