Letting Nature Lead

Fall is my favorite season, always has been.  Much of it has to do with growing up in mid-Michigan and seeing the vibrant colors change in September, and genuinely enjoying the cooler weather.  Michigan macintosh apples are just really good too.

Something that I’m learning to pay attention to for the first time and actually act on it-is that my body is in line with nature.  It’s tired, it’s slowing down.  It’s ready for hibernation.  My body is ready to shed what no longer serves me, and to hibernate and heal in the dead of winter.

I show up to my massage last week, and I just generally tell my therapist, that I’m tired, that my body has this dull ache everywhere.  That it’s lived through the stress of several months of transition and fatigue.  My body is slowing down, ready to recharge.

The first words out of my massage therapist’s mouth are, “Your body is responding to the changing of the seasons.  I’m glad you’re paying attention to that.”

Her words have helped me to ease into fall a little more gracefully, to accept this weary body of mine more fully.

So this autumn, I’m giving myself permission to slow down.  To not rush to Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas.  To be busy just because that’s the social norm.

I’m giving myself permission to say, ‘I’m not doing that this year.”

Permission to take naps.  Or just lie down and do nothing.

Permission to heal in nature and just take slow walks.

Permission to put less on my calendar, simply because it’s fall and I want my body to take its cues from nature.

I’m more and more convinced, that if I accept that I’m a cyclical being, and learn to converse with nature–I will learn how to belong to myself.  And when I belong to myself and the earth, I will be a healing presence in this world.

I will continue to learn how to set aside my people pleasing tendencies and situations in which I would rather avoid conflict–and enter into these with my whole self, risking showing up in all my vulnerability.

The season of fall reminds us about our vulnerability.  The need to shed those beautiful parts of ourselves that are no longer needed.  That in order to become more and more beautiful, we must rest.  We must be willing to be alone-and confront the fact that my journey is just mine.  I may share it with others, but only I can enter into it and live.  There’s a particular loneliness and vulnerability when we show up and be ourselves.

Trees don’t need to be reminded to be trees.  They just are.

“What if I could just be?”

If I could let go of expectations, of limiting beliefs, of old scripts that are no longer helpful.

If I could except that life really is about learning how to die before I die.  To let go. And let go again.

And then live with urgency about what remains.  And know that clarity is a by-product of letting most everything fall away.

But to receive that clarity, I must rest, and accept that I am dying.

But of course, also, that I am still living.