In the northern hemisphere, we are witnessing autumn in all its beauty. The changing colors of the trees reminds us of the majestic force within nature. A special seasonal shift that teaches us of divine timing at work within the cosmic order of the natural world. We too, have a connection within ourselves that demonstrates a cosmic order of things. It is revealed through the natural rhythms within and reflected in our natural surroundings. We have only to notice what nature is doing to understand that something similar is taking place within our own expressions. It also provides a wonderful school from which to learn valuable lessons.
The leaves are mixing with the cooler force of wind that eventually brings them to the ground. This gesture echoes the idea of letting go. We witness the spectacular range of colors that have erupted from the trees with vibrant reds, burnt orange, and warm golds now filling the streets with colorful piles to play in. This beautiful display harkens to the abundant harvest of colorful experiences of past seasons to be reflected upon and enjoyed through reminiscing as we enter into the colder months. All of nature is calling us to settle into the new season with preparation for the next and gratitude from the last.
The falling leaves can also create a mess, reflecting that sometimes we must clean away what is being discarded. When we were children one of the tasks, we were given was to rake those colorful leaves into piles to be hauled away. It was a task of cleaning up after nature. However, most of the time it was an excuse to build giant towers of fluff that we would take turns colliding into, rolling around in, and throwing at each other. Children like nature, like to take advantage of being in sync with the natural joy of life. A good reminder that every task can be joyful if allowed.
A friend of mine recently shared that trees release their leaves to protect themselves. The trees release their leaves to prevent having to work harder against the wind by having less for the wind to push against. As my friend said they let go of the little sails that the leaves make in the wind. This reminded me how efficient nature is in divinely timed cycles and the power of non-resistance. It takes precaution to release what is no longer of use and protects itself. The trees will not need to work as hard to stay rooted while also preventing their branches from being ripped or broken. By releasing the leaves, it allows a state of stillness to become more permanent, at least through the harshness of winter storms. It is an important consideration that through non-resistance more is achieved with less effort.
As we move through the season of harvest and preparation for the colder wintery days, we can also release what keeps us from stillness. Similarly, to the trees that are letting go of their beautiful colorful leaves in bountiful masses. Perhaps there are equally colorful emotions that could be released to help make the inner state more still. This is not something that has to be arduous or challenging. In fact, it could be a natural feeling of shedding what is no longer useful or appropriate. Making way for new growth that will come in the spring. Just like the trees are doing with their leaves.
Here is a quick exercise to help with this process. It may be surprising to find how much leaves you when you allow it to be released. This is a simple exercise that can be done as often as you wish. It will help to build a sense of inner strength and fortitude toward future goals while increasing a sense of inner spaciousness.
Letting go 🍁the metaphoric leaves of your inner tree.
Begin by taking a comfortable standing position with your spine straight and feet shoulder width apart.
Allow your eyes to close and body to become relaxed in an easy posture.
Breathe deeply with long relaxed slow inhales through the nose, exhaling out through the mouth.
Scan the body for any tension and send your breath there, relaxing the tension into the feeling of calm with your breath.
As you begin to fully relax, imagine you are a strong rooted tree, your arms are branches that are allowed to hang relaxed at your sides, your feet are like roots that anchor into the Earth.
Standing tall and feeling firmly rooted. Sense in yourself that it is time to release what is no longer serving your highest potential. Allow the mind to watch, witnessing what arrives to be released. Without judgement bless the image.
With the out breath of your exhalation feel it drop away like the falling leaves. Just let it go. Take as many breath cycles as needed to achieve a feeling of release. It may help to mentally say "I am letting this go. This is now released."
Take another deep inhale and as you do, ask to see if there is something else that could be released. Witness without judgment. Let what needs to go, go.
Feel a sense of spacious stillness that arrives with the letting go of what wished to be released.
Notice what is falling away, allow it to be blessed. Do not be alarmed by what is shedding. New growth follows the transformation of the old. For now, bless it. Letting it go in gratitude.
After several rounds of inwardly creating the strong wind of your breathing to shake free anything that needs to leave, breathe a few clearing breathes to open up to inner stillness.
Take a moment afterward to sense your firmly rooted feet standing strong connected to the Earth. Scan the body to feel its new sense of lightness and calm stillness within the mind.
In gratitude recognize you have prepared for the introspection of the winter season with a new spacious calmness and inner stillness.
Open your eyes, returning to your natural posture. Perhaps journaling about anything that came up within the meditation to allow a fuller process of integration.
This depth method cultivates a soul level of awareness to be recognized and processed through physical and emotional mindfulness. The connections found will help to assist in achieving a state of integrated wellness and emotional balance. The insights discovered may lead to a deeper understanding of issues to be resolved. However, it can also increase a sense of autonomy by gaining a sense of inner freedom and fuller self-expression. I encourage you to discover the potential growth found in letting go. By releasing what no longer serves your highest potential through the simple practice of witnessing. With great courage new growth becomes effortlessly fun and easeful.