The days become shorter and what remains falls from the trees and the vines, as we usher in the season of fall.
To recap: I am writing posts on seasonal wellness, starting with the season of spring. If you are new to this series, here’s a quick snapshot: “Seasonal wellness simply means that you live in rhythm with the cycles of nature. We can tap into and use this energy to live in balance with the natural cycles of wellness that nature provides. All we need to do is look to nature for guidance.” Seasonal Wellness: Spring
Fall: Harvest, Giving Thanks, and Release of the Dead & Dying
As I look out my window writing this, there is a light drizzle of rain. My sedum has turned rose-tipped, birds fly overhead. There’s a hint of color turning in the leaves. It will continue this way until the trees are bare, it’s a spectacular grand finale here in Minnesota.
Fall offers us the opportunity to rejoice, give thanks, learn, take inventory, and then release the dead and dying.
HARVEST & GIVING THANKS
It is honorable to bless the journey.
When we pluck the ripe tomato from the vine, it’s easy to forget that every fruit, every tree, started as a tiny seed. In gardening, we learn to pick the plants that provide the tastiest, most-robust produce and save the seeds for next year. This simple act, acknowledging what’s working, helps to refine and transform a garden.
So we know I’m talking about life here, right?
Since January you have planted many seeds, watched things grow and fall apart. As you look back on those months, it’s important to acknowledge all the things that have worked: moments, travels, projects, and new friends. Acknowledge and bless all the good things, however big, however small.
If you are like me, and you want to go deep, let me suggest a practice I use every fall: a 30-day gratitude practice. This simple technique written about and introduced to me through my sister-in-law, Josie Robinson, has created tremendous growth for myself and others. For details on her book and this practice, you can visit Josie here: josierobinson.com
RELEASE THE DEAD & DYING
In our acknowledgement of what is working, it is equally important to bring attention to the areas of our life that are not working. If you look at the gardener in fall, he or she is cleaning out the remnants of plants that no longer bear fruit and composting what remains. A gardener knows that, come spring, the compost will help to regenerate the soil for new growth.
The process of death and letting go teaches us about life.
Attachments come in all forms. We can become attached to people, habits, things, even energy. Not all attachments are bad, only that sometimes we move through our lives without awareness regarding the things that fill our spirit and the things that deplete our spirit. Fall is a great time for taking inventory.
You might want to ask yourself: Are there people, places or things in my life that no longer serve me?
The truth is that until we’re able to recognize what’s just not working anymore, we clutter our lives with draining forces that get in the way of future opportunities, new ideas, relationships, and resources.
Let’s take a closer look at the process of releasing attachment:
Career & Projects
As a facilitator, I learned that I cannot help all people. Everyone is in a different stage of their journey, some people are open, ready and inclined to heal their lives. And others of us are not. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, only that desire and willingness are necessary to catalyze positive change. I learned quite quickly, that the desire needs to rest within the client, not just the facilitator. Though rare, there have certainly been a client or two that I have graciously needed to bless and release. I know, that should the desire come knocking for that client, my door will open and the work can begin.
So let me ask you: in your line of business, are there people or projects (or project people, for that matter) that stifle your ability to do your work? Or perhaps you spend your working energy doing things that are not in your “zone of genius?”
To release this attachment, it’s important to set boundaries. The easiest way to set a boundary is to ask yourself: What do I need to be successful (with my clients / on a project / at work)? Outline what those basics are and make a commitment to release all people, projects, and energy drains that rest outside these boundaries.
Negative relationships can cause mental, emotional, physical and spiritual toxicity in our lives. Some toxic relationships are easy to spot, and others slow moving, and require us to step out of energetic autopilot to identify. An easy way to bring more awareness to toxic relationships is to look at the energetic exchange that is taking place:
- When you are around this person, do you feel inspired, happy, able to give and receive? Or do you find yourself over-giving, taken advantage of, and drained?
- If you leave your house in a good mood, does that high vibrational frequency match when you share space with this person? Or do you feel slightly or radically depressed when you leave an interaction with this person?
- Have you established boundaries, or communicated concerns in the past, but the patterns of imbalance continue?
- Do you like who you are around this person?
To release this attachment, it’s important to release imbalanced energetic exchanges. This can be done verbally, by communicating what you are no longer willing to contribute to - (remember, others can only take your energy if you give him or her permission).
Another way to release attachment to people is through a "bless and release" visualization. To do this, visualize yourself and the other person in your mind's eye. Thank this individual for what you have learned or gained in the process of this relationship. Visually see yourself cutting the cords between you and this person. You may recognize certain cords, for instance, a cord that symbolizes emotional co-dependency, or a cord of hurt feelings from a trauma or experience with this person. You might decide that all cords between you and this individual need to be cut. With your arm (in the visualization), cut the cords. Say aloud a verbal affirmation, such as: “I am cutting the cords of our energetic relationship [or specific cords], I release all negative mental, emotional, physical and spiritual attachment to [person’s name] now. Good bye. And so it is.” If you need to remove physical totems of this person in your life (photos, gifts) that is also a suggestion. A sage cleanse following a release is also recommended. You can repeat this process as much as needed. Be gentle with yourself in the process of letting go.
Negative systems of belief are also recommended to clear at this time. If there are experiences, mistakes, and / or regrettable decisions made about yourself, money, life, relationships - fall is a great time to release these.
To release this attachment, my favorite tool (aside from Emotional Healing) is a fire ceremony. My sister-in-law, Josie, and I are partial to this process. Perhaps because we are both Leos, and perhaps because fire is one of the most catalyzing elements of change. This is a form of Phoenix energy, burning away old thought systems into the ashes that catalyze new growth. To do this, we simply write thought systems on paper, or find items that symbolize thought systems, and put each one into the fire. We bless and release each as they fall into the flame. Following the ceremony, you may want to state a positive intention for the future, or recite positive affirmations.
This is a great ceremony to do among like-minded friends, a lot of energy can be moved in groups.
Fall teaches us to be active participants in the act of letting go. Not all change need come from sudden, traumatic events. If we keep the garden of our hearts actively free from negativity, we open ourselves to cultivate greater outcomes and greater aspects of ourselves.
Here’s to the season of death and rebirth!
The Gratitude Jar, by Josie Robinson.
Includes gratitude practice mentioned in this post.