What Autumn Teaches Us

A person in walking boots stands on autumn leaves that have fallen on the ground

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Autumn teaches us. I take a lot of inspiration from nature; so much that happens in nature can be reflected in our own lives. This season we can naturally feel like turning inwards. This is a great season for reflection; reflection of the year so far, reflection of ourselves (always done with kindness) and reflection of what we want to create going forward.

So here are some lessons I think we can learn from nature:


1. To let go of what no longer serves us

As the trees shed their leaves, it can be a reminder that we can shed whatever no longer serves us. In Autumn the trees let go of their leaves so they can start re-energising for Spring. By shedding the things that no longer serve us can have a similar affect.

This might be beliefs we had that no longer fit. Beliefs that you inherited from someone else or beliefs you had 10 years ago that no longer represent the life you are creating. As we change it is natural that our beliefs change. This might be beliefs about yourself; maybe you’ve surprised yourself this year which has challenged a belief you’ve held.

Maybe it’s time to let go of negative self talk that might be holding you back and keeping you small. Rather than putting yourself down, can you be your biggest supporter and cheerleader? Perhaps it’s time let go of the fear and truly step into your fullness. To be who you truly are, to build that life you truly want and to be fully comfortable in your own skin.

2. To embrace change

Autumn is one of the most radical changes we see in nature and it’s fully embraced and welcomed. Us humans however often struggle with change.

Change can be so hard. It’s scary, can feel uncomfortable and be challenging on so many levels. So of course we try to resist it. But once you’ve gone through the process….wow it can be beautiful! Have you ever thought that by resisting change, we’re actually making the process harder?

Biologically our bodies are always changing. We shed hair, skin, eyelashes on a daily basis. And our experiences in life inevitably change us. Try to imagine yourself 10 years ago….would you say you are exactly the same person? Because I defiantly am not. I’m in a very different place in my life, what I want from life is different, how I want to spend my time, what I enjoy doing, what I want for more future….it’s all changed. And when I look back over the 10 years yes there have been difficult times, but there are also so many beautiful moments. I’ve grown as a person, I’m building a life I truly want and it’s all because I embraced the process of change. I wouldn’t change that journey in the slightest.

So maybe, instead of being apprehensive of change we could see it as a beautiful opportunity. And by relaxing and accepting that change is a natural part of life, we might find it’s not so scary after all.

3. That there are times to bloom and times to rest

Autumn marks the start of a slow down in the seasons as nature takes a well deserved rest after summer. Maybe we should take the hint and allow ourselves to slow down and rest too!

I truly believe that our energy tends to change with the season. I find myself in Autumn, and especially winter, wanting to hibernate more, to slow down and rest. In my yoga practice I’ve noticed I tend to be drawn to yin and restorative practices too. So why not embrace that? I’m not saying to completely turn into a hermit, but at least factor in some space to rest and hole up at home from time to time.

As a society we’ve come to wear being busy as a badge of honour. If you’re not rushing from one thing to the next or don’t have a social calendar booked up weeks in advance you’re seen as strange, not successful or dare I say…lazy? (I hate that word by the way!) Is it any co-incidence then that burnout rates are rising?

So if you need it, Autumn is giving you permission to take some rest. I’m giving you permission to take some rest….anytime of the year. You don’t have to be busy all the time. You’re not lazy for wanting some time quiet time. It’s ok to stop and take rest regularly.

4. Change can be beautiful

Look how beautiful change can be in nature. And look at what happens because of this period of change and rest in nature. In a few months time the earth has the energy to bring about the beauty of Spring and Summer. Change can be just as beautiful in us too.

Human beings are naturally fearful and that fear has kept us alive as a species. This natural instinct means we tend to avoid anything that feels scary, uncertain or different from the norm. Especially if that takes us away from the security and safety of our ‘pack’. If we were facing a Saber-toothed tiger then this instinct is very welcome, but what this instinct isn’t very good at is distinguishing between life threatening danger and the fear that comes from embracing change.

This is where we need to challenge our primal instinct. Is my life in danger? No? Ok, so let’s sit with the discomfort and see where this process takes us. Because it could take you somewhere very beautiful.

For me, quite simply, I don’t want to look back and think ‘what if’. What if I had taken that chance? What might have happened if I had put myself out there? Where might I be now if I had explored that thing further? The fear of ‘what if’ is actually the thing that spurs me on! Looking back, when I’ve taken the opportunity and embraced change there has always been something beautiful to come out of it. Even when the change has been really really hard. And I’m sure it’s probably the same for you?


Journaling Prompt
So as we move through this season of change, what lessons from Autumn are inspiring you? Try this journaling prompt:

‘Autumn is inspiring me this season to….’

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