There are four seasons, yes? Where I live there are four very distinct seasons. For most of my life, I have spent the year resisting the change of the seasons.
Talking incessantly about how I don’t want summer to end and how much I am dreading the cold.
Whining about the cold and how much I hate the cold.
Relenting to winter only in December as Christmas approaches.
Suffering through and complaining about January, February, and most of March.
Aching for the return of spring and truly convincing myself it will never come.
Being surprised when spring does in fact come, but then complaining about how chilly and rainy it is.
Eagerly anticipating summer, then whining about how fast is it flying by and how hot it is.
No? Just me?
Didn’t think so.
But what if we didn’t resist it all so much? What if we allowed ourselves to be in and savor each season, anticipate the transitions and then be in and savor the transitions? What if we fully trusted that each season will return? If we don’t engage in each season fully, we miss the critical work to be done in each season, especially the cold dark seasons: the seasons of rest. Want to learn more about the seasons? I personally love the free download from The Seasonal Soul.
Ready or not, the cold and dark lifelessness of winter is coming. Autumn asks you to ready yourself rather than resist.
How do we do that? There are a ton of ways and the most important thing is that you find something that works for you. Here are some of my personal practices that you might want to try.
Reflect & remember
A lot happened this summer. A LOT. Take some time to review your pictures. Not the pretty filtered ones on I–the outtakes in your photo stream. The screenshots, the pics friends sent you. Start in June (or earlier!) and move slowly through each summer month, letting the memories and feelings flow. A lot happened.
Stop with all the modesty and politeness and selflessness. You’re fucking awesome and you know it. Tell yourself why you are awesome. Write it down. Own it. Share it. Let us celebrate you, too. P.S. Don’t be tricked into thinking you are to only celebrate your beautiful successful moments. The real celebration is how you survived. How you fought. How you showed up. How you were brave. How you let yourself be seen. How your spoke up. How you stayed in integrity. How you apologized when you made a mistake. How you let yourself be a beautifully and spectacularly flawed human being. You’ll see me asking for you to #celebrateyourself this season. I want to see some brags.
Loosen your grip on what you probably don’t need anymore
…you might even be able to let some of it go soon.
It’s time to loosen your controlling death grip of some things. It’s time to prepare to let go of what didn’t happen this year, despite our best laid plans. What did happen, despite our best efforts to avoid it. What happened that was completely out of your control.
Disappointment, resentment, guilt, shame, regret… go ahead and relax about those just a little.
Create a playlist
Here is my Autumn Spotify playlist. I listen to it almost daily and I build it throughout the season. You will see songs sporadically. Think of this as “the soundtrack of this season of your life.” Feel free to use mine or make your own.
What was good about this summer?
What accomplishments am I proud of?
How have I grown?
Where do I feel out of balance in my life? What needs loving attention? (Hint: In your head this may sound more like “Where I am not doing enough?” Try to rephrase that for yourself.)
If I gave myself the gift of rest, what would that look like exactly? Keep it really simple, but really detailed.