Yup! You guess it! Change. The most constant thing is change. And nature has a beautiful way of reminding us of this with the changing of the seasons. Though, living in northern California, we don’t experience a stark contrast from one season to the next, we definitely go through some marked difference that let us know change is a-coming. Could be as simple as the arrival of pumpkins in front of Trader Joe’s or the Halloween candy that appears in early September at Safeway, or the fact that we are no longer supposed to wear white. Regardless of how it shows up, we know when change is on its way.
Fall is my most favorite season. I love the crisp smell of the mornings, how the warm afternoons turn into cool evenings, and the changing colors of the falling leaves. Even the mess of leaves on my patio and in my pool, which can be frustrating, is a reminder of this season which is all about letting go and change. While there is 100% certainty that the trees will become barren, I am also confident in their ability to sprout something new and beautiful in just a few short months. This cyclical cadence is a great reminder of the natural rhythm of the year, paralleling a rhythm of our lives in the process of letting go leading to renewal and growth.
And just like with the trees, new growth can’t occur until the old leaves have dropped. Nature knows this, and while we know this intuitively, it’s easier said than done; we get stuck.
We get stuck in habitual patterns that are no longer serving us. We get stuck in relationships that don’t always allow us to grow or be our authentic self in the here and now. We get stuck in jobs that prohibit true fulfillment. We get stuck in living in a way that is familiar and known, but not always the best for our soul, our evolution and our own personal freedom.
So, why is it we get stuck? Well, it’s a habit. Even if we don’t like it, the “known” is comfortable and safe because it’s familiar and we know how to do it. Conversely, we get stuck because the “unknown” is often perceived as scary and feared to be a worse alternative to the discontent or unhappiness many feel in their known, current position.
We also get stuck because we don’t know how to let go, which requires surrender and a release of the grasp to those patterns, habits or stories that we are so used to. Often what we are holding onto is a beautiful experience of the past, grasping to the way things used to be or clinging to an ideal that lives in our heads. Paradoxically, that gripping is frequently what increases our current pain or distress. The wisdom comes in learning how to release what we hold on so tight to, and allow the natural course of letting go bring with it new opportunity for renewal, growth and positive change. Nature shows us that the leaves aren’t afraid to fall, nor does the tree hold on so tight so as preventing them from falling.
What would your life look like if you weren’t afraid of change? What if change was a more accepted phenomenon and we didn’t resist it so much? Our grip to the “way things were” would loosen and acceptance of the unknown would be easier. All easier said than done, I know…but we do have a lot of insight to gain if we can learn from the natural rhythms of the world around us.
If you are in a place that you’d like to work on the art of letting go, the season for change is now.