Autumn reminds us how beautiful it can be to let things go....
The weather has officially turned in Michigan. The colors are magnificent. The leaves are wet and fragrant. There's a chilly bite in the air. Coats, hats and gloves are resurfacing, but my son still went to school in shorts this week. It was 40 degrees. He's 11. I am settling into a style of parenting with him where I am letting him figure it out himself. So one day this week, he got into the car after school (in his shorts) shivering and smiling, "I was only one of two kids wearing shorts today. I see why! It's COLD! I guess it's time for pants."
I guess it's time for pants. Code for "Summer is officially done." Seasons are changing.
For me, it can be hard to hear those words. I guess it's time for pants. To feel the warmth and memory of summer fade and the beauty of fall turn into what's waiting for us. My translation: a barren cold, bitter, grey, dry-air season of winter void of my favorite farmers market goodies among so many other things..including SUNSHINE and blue skies.
I love fall. I love the fragrance of the outdoors. Chunky sweaters. Earlier bedtimes. Chai tea. Soup simmering on the stove. Cozy movie nights with my kids.
But fall reminds me of what's to come. And I know I'm not the only one. I live in Michigan. I know what's coming. Some of you love Michigan winters. Skiing, snowboarding, icy roads and potholes and I love that about you. But if I'm honest, it's my least favorite season. If you follow my instagram feed, you'll know how much I LOVE Lake Michigan in the summer and fall. You'll see how much I love sunshine, warmth, sand, beach time, water. So the end of fall reminds me that it's going to go dormant for awhile and also reminds me of changing seasons. For me, as the autumn leaves fall to the ground it invites introspection, reflection, and its own unique form of beauty as I get ready for a season of pause and hibernation, something that is inherently harder for me to embrace.
And because of this, autumn always nudges me towards the necessary cycle of letting things go.
Right now, I'm waist deep in a season of letting some things go...contemplating what to keep and what to release. Some of it is physical space (i.e. my downtown office), some is emotional (frustration, fear, anxiety), some is relational (as hard as it is, what relationships have run their course?), some are responsibilities (I need to move on from "this" now).
Because what I know to be true for me is that in order to move to the next phase of growth in my life, I need to let go of certain things that I'm attached to that keep me from moving forward in my life. And boy is that hard! Because it imparts a certain kind of death, right? A chapter is done. It's over. There's such a feeling of finality and heaviness to it sometimes. So we cling so hard for the familiarity to make us feel safe and comforted, but in reality, it just prolongs the inevitable and it's often numbing and surely not life-giving.
And so...these words ring true for me as I contemplate letting go..."In order for things to change, I have to change." Eek! What does that look like?
For me, I am letting go of some "if only's" and the "but what if's". I am letting go old stories that no longer serve me. I am letting go of limited perception. I am letting go of stubborn pride as I move towards softening. It is a challenge to let go, no doubt, and also it can be a freeing experience, when I let it be.
So the past couple weekends, as I contemplate the larger things in my life to release...I've been sifting through drawers and piles in my bedroom. I organized and purged plenty of items from my clothes drawer. And that pile of orphan socks that has been sitting in the corner of my bedroom in a bin for over 9 months? Reader, do you quite possibly also have that pile? I finally let it go. I sat down for an hour, sorted them and got rid of the socks that had no match and I gave the rest away. The whole "But I might need them. But one day I might find his sock 'sole' mate. But I hate the waste of throwing it away" was actually not useful and making waste in my own bedroom! Wow was that a great feeling to let.it.go.
And it was totally freeing to spend an hour in the practice of releasing. Which led to a clearing of piles in the playroom and I took my kids artwork off the walls to make room for new artwork. (Gasp! Take your kids artwork off the walls?)!) Freeing.
I'm starting with releasing practical piles and moving into the bigger more weighty decisions. Like my downtown office. It's time. For 9 years I've had a beloved space downtown and it's time to let it go and inside I've known this for 6 months. But it's been so hard to let it go. It represents an important part of me and work that I adore and love. It represents all the women who have trusted me with their interior life. It represents so many amazing stories of grace and healing, vulnerability and bravery. It represents my identity and validity. It represents autonomy from my role as a mother and it represents 9 years of my professional life. But just because I let go of my office doesn't mean that I let these parts of myself go with it. Some things, yes, they must be shed, but because I have had such a difficult decision letting it go, I realized I needed to do some internal work to understand why. 6 months worth of internal work, and now finally, I'm letting it go in 3 short weeks.
All to say, I am letting things go in order to make room for something new. Releasing....
In our 28 Days Calm Your Cravings course this week, we're coaching women through the process of releasing. Releasing old stories. Judgments. Limited perceptions. Victimhood as well as speed. Moving through life so fast, they're "missing" their life. We're working on releasing the judgments and labels we give ourselves that keep us stuck. Wow, it's such a beautiful process to listen to these women making huge shifts in their life.
And so....my question to you in this autumn season:
Is there anything you need to let go or release that no longer serves you?
And old story you're clinging to about your body, your health, your marriage, your child?
Do you need to let go of guilt, worry, control, shame, blame, resentment, victimhood, your limited perception...
Or possibly stuff. You've accumulated so many things in your home or in your basement or in your closet or car and it's impeding on your ability to find peace, rest, space, sabbath, simplicity...
Or time...do you need to let go of some time-sucking activities in order to create more space and time for the things that matter more?
Could the releasing be a gift waiting for you to experience more freedom and joy and connection in your life?
Autumn reminds us how beautiful it can be to let things go....what is life inviting you to let go today?
As I leave you with this question, I leave you with a cozy, warm and simple soup. I have been making this soup for over 15 years with a real pie pumpkin. However, you can create this soup with so much ease simply by using canned pumpkin and dumping it all in your slow cooker. Either way you choose, SAVOR & ENJOY!