3 Tips to Navigate Fall Transitions

Herbstlicht auf buntem Waldweg  Version 1

This time of year brings with it the experience of transition.  All around us the weather is transitioning from warm to cool.  Trees are transitioning from green to multi-colored to completely bare.  Children are transitioning back to school.  We are all transitioning from the carefree feeling of summer to the buttoned-down feeling of the winter months.

None of these transitions are bad.  They’re simply the natural cycles of the seasons and of life.  Yet, often the transitions we experience this time of year bring up difficult feelings of pain, loss, and sadness.  Children going back to school requires letting go and an awareness of the loss that comes with growing up and out.  The process of trees releasing their leaves also brings an awareness of loss, despite the variety of warm and beautiful colors.  The buttoning down that we do is both an exercise in keeping warm during cooler temperatures, as well as a practice of symbolically protecting ourselves during this time of change and vulnerability.

Fall has historically been a difficult time for me.  My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in July, and transitioning into that fall poignantly marked a series of endings for me.  With every leaf that fell, I saw my time with her slipping away.  With each cold breeze, I felt the chill and emptiness of knowing she would soon be gone.

At age 27, I didn’t have any tools to help me navigate my feelings during that time, or for many years afterward.  So, like many people, I simply powered through, trying to get through fall and winter as best I could until the renewal of spring would come again.  I know I’m not alone in this.  I interact with so many women who share their avoidance of feelings like pain, loss, sadness, and even grief.  In most cases, we avoid not only because it’s difficult, but because we’ve not been given the tools to approach our feelings in a healthy way.  Our lives are busy; there’s no time for difficult emotions.

What if we had the tools at our fingertips?  What if we took the time to really allow the difficult feelings to move through us?  

Fall would have a whole new meaning.

I have a favorite quote that floats around social media land this time of year:

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.”   ~anonymous

Letting the dead things in our lives go is some of the most difficult work we’ll ever do.   It also gives us a freedom we may not have ever experienced before.  Imagine if the trees kept all the old, dead leaves AND grew new ones each year.  The branches would increasingly become weighted down, eventually snapping under the weight of the excess leaves.  Or the decaying leaves would create disease in the once healthy trees, which would eventually spread to the trunk, the roots, even to other nearby plants.

Nothing living is nourished by something dead.  Trees know when to shed what no longer serves them and provide space for growth and renewal.  We can learn skills in our lives to do the same.  Below are three simple tips to get you started.

Get it out – Talk to a friend or therapist, join a sacred women’s circle, keep a journal, write a blog, pen a poem, practice morning pages….anything that tangibly gets the thoughts out of your head before they get and stay lodged in your body.  Unprocessed feelings become thoughts which become stuck in your energy body and eventually affect your physical body.  They eventually come out as physical pain, depression, anxiety, or other issues that affect your ability to function in a healthy way.   Getting it out of your system, even if you just tear up the page and never show it to anyone (even yourself), helps process those feelings and let them go from your energy field.

Stay grounded – Salads may be the choice for health-consciousness, but warming root vegetables and hearty soups help keep us grounded during times of unrest, especially in the fall.  It’s natural that we crave warmer foods during this time.  Go with your body’s natural urging (or gently redirect your taste buds toward more seasonal foods) and indulge in sweet potatoes, carrots, fresh dark greens, squash, beans, warm spice teas, and even dark (the more cacao the better) chocolate. 

Balance your energy – Transitions –and the feelings that come with them—often catch us off guard and knock us off balance.  It’s much easier to deal with the feelings when we have practices in place that keep us feeling balanced and secure. Regular energy healing treatments and mindfulness practices (such as meditation) help balance your energy and help you regain your sense of peace.  From that peaceful, balanced place, you can feel safe to open yourself to any feelings that come and process through them. 

If you’re ready for deeper, more transformational work around a transition you’re currently experiencing, contact me for a FREE call to see if my Healing from Transition: 7 Steps to Rebuild Your Life, Reconnect to Yourself, and Rediscover program might be a good fit for you at this time in your life.

Love and light,
Ashley

More

The final day of vacation holds a sadness
a knowing that the hermit life created for a time must end
that all the sandy remnants washed upon the shore
which once housed life
now provide enjoyment for collectors

as their broken parts begin to renourish the shoreline
as your broken parts started to renourish while on temporary retreat

Yet the wholeness is still fleeting
as soon as the water washes upon the shore
it just as quickly recedes
and even an extended solitary stay
cannot stop the feeling
of slipping away

And so the melancholy pervades
even as the others play and walk the beach
in quiet confidence of more time

More time –
     It’s what you always want
     no matter the endeavor

More time to hug your children
More time to finish your work
More time to stay still

More –
     Nothing is ever enough

Why can’t the blessed moments in life be enough
     without wanting more?

Each moment is encapsulated in the now, past and
     future are no longer or not yet real

More implies lack, and looking out at this expanse
     you know you want for nothing
     except for More

Each shell you collected is real today but gone tomorrow
     and you still want More

Each day a gift, never to be received again
     and yet you sit, melancholy on the sand
     counting the hours until you must part
     rather than counting the waves, the shells,
     the single grains of sand that could fill up
     an entire lifetime of More

Waves, shells, sand
     they know everything comes to an end
     transition is the only way to sustain life
     they share their wisdom
     for those who are open to hear
     those who dare to turn their backs on More

SpiritLed 2014