Many people enter autumn mourning the summer – as they watch the leaves fall, amp up their workloads, zip up their coats, and await the holidays. A common prescription for the fall funk is often a pumpkin spice latte with a big slice of apple pie. Doctors orders.
There are many plus sides of the fall season; though it can be difficult to see them when you’re in a funk. How do you tap into the positive feelings of fall when you’re feeling the season pull you down?
As you consider nature’s rhythms, see if you can align your energy with the season. During fall, the weather chills, the trees shed their leaves, and hibernation and rest is what nature practices. When spring arrives, all emerges brighter, bolder, and well rested.
To align yourself with the autumn rhythm – and best learn the lessons that fall brings – grab your journal and answer these questions:
- What (figurative) leaves can you shed this season?
- In what ways can you plan to rest and reset?
- What are you clinging to that isn’t serving you or isn’t necessary in your life?
- In what ways can you slow down?
- What would you like your life to look like and feel like in six months? What do you need to learn, address, or resolve in order to get there?
- What can you cultivate now, so that you can emerge brighter and bolder in the spring?
In essence, fall is your chance to let go of the old and make way for the new. When you acknowledge its purpose to invite you to shed excess baggage, the time of year takes on new meaning. Go with it to create space in your life for some magic to unfold. Trim, cut, shed, snip, shave, chop, condense, pare, prune, digest, and tidy up … Once you’ve rid yourself of all the extra weight, you’ll wonder why you held onto it for so long. And you’ll have the space you need to move forward in all the ways you’ve been hoping to.
Try this guided meditation to jump-start your fall journey and face the season with a plan for personal growth.
Fall Visualization Practice
- Sit up tall, get comfortable, and close your eyes.
- Focus on your breath: Deep inhales and slow exhales, in and out through your nose.
- Set an intention for your meditation of letting go.
- Picture yourself sitting as you are, on the chair or couch or on the floor. Visualize yourself at this very moment.
- Now imagine that you get up and walk out the door and down the street. Notice the pace of your steps and the direction you walk in.
- As you walk, you see a giant door in the middle of the street. You walk through the door, and it takes you into a long hallway. You see a light at the end of the hallway and walk toward it, steadily, with curiosity.
- When you finally get to the opening, you step into a beautiful fall scene. A forest filled with red, gold, and rust-colored leaves. You begin to hike through the forest … You notice the trees all around you, the sounds of leaves rustling and crinkling beneath your feet. Animals scurry by.
- Move through the fall scene and watch it unfold, adding details as you go. What animals do you see? What do you hear? Is there a breeze? Imagine the scene unfold before you.
- Bring your focus back to yourself: How are you moving? What kind of mood are you in in the forest? What does it remind you of? You sit down under a tree and reflect on your life. Your mind settles on someone or something in your life that you know, deep in your heart, is not serving you well. It could be a relationship, a job, an activity, a responsibility, or a negative mood you’ve been feeling lately. You know it is time for you and this person or thing or idea to go your separate ways.
- You get up and continue on your way, and you notice the path runs along a river. You follow the river upstream, enjoying the bustling sound of water flowing with strength.
- You see something about 100 feet up ahead and start to get a feeling of dread.
- As you get closer, it becomes clear that what you are seeing is this person or thing you need to release in your life. You wonder why it is here and why it is still in your life and make the decision to release yourself of it once and for all.
- You take this thing that you need to release and walk over to the river. You take a deep breath and gently offer it to the river, and watch it get carried away by the currents, moving quickly in the direction of your path.
- You watch it for a moment and feel a sense of calm wash over you. You look around, the sun shining strong, a hummingbird singing overhead, the smell of crisp fall all around you.
- You see a bench and take a seat, reflecting on all the things that are now possible in your life without this thing weighing heavy on your life. You breathe deep and feel at ease and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
- When you are ready, release the visualization, take a few deep breaths, and open your eyes.
When you’re done, grab your journal and write down any insights that may have come to you during your meditation. What did you release in the visualization? And what steps do you need to take in order to release it in your current life?
Get out a clean sheet of paper and write down or draw a representation of this – and anything else you want to let go of. Sometime in the next few days, build a fire in the fireplace or backyard and burn the piece of paper, along with your need to hold onto this unnecessary baggage in your life.
It’s important to acknowledge this season change as an opportunity for personal change and growth—a chance to turn inward, self-reflect, and cultivate what you really want in your life.
And with that perspective – and your clear intention for autumn – you can enjoy your pumpkin spice latte and apple pie, too.