All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
~ Havelock Ellis
Walking the gardens, I notice the changing beauty. The flowers have shed their colors, the red berries are in full bloom, and the plants are releasing their seeds. It seems there could be a message for us here.
Last year I learned to see autumn in a new way. The world circles the sun, but our lives are never the same as we spiral in and out of the seasons. I am learning to pay attention to the changes within as well as the external.
Despite the death and decline abundant in the garden, I am surprised at the amount of beauty, why had I never noticed these passing flowers before? In the process of dying, they transform and release, carrying seeds forward for the next generation. Feeling a general sense of unease within myself, the plants remind me perhaps I too have things to let go.
Our ancestors knew to acknowledge the transitions between the seasons, but their celebrations were spiritual, not commercial like ours. We mark our calendars with our designated holidays, some historical – Columbus day and Veteran’s day, some religious – Christmas and Hanukkah, but these have been overshadowed by commercialization.
The decreasing hours of daylight causes physiological changes within our bodies which we attempt to overcome. Modern life doesn’t allow for us to slow down, and so we resist the signals our bodies send and muscle our way through the “holiday season” hectic and demanding based on unrealistic expectations set for us by the media and advertisers.
Let’s readjust our expectations, shall we?
Perhaps we can find small ways to slow down and acknowledge the signals nature and our bodies are sending us. Can we find a way to take time for deeper contemplation? What significance does this season carry for us personally?
Are there things we can let go of? Unresolved anger, unexpressed grief, unacknowledged fears?
Learning to Let Go
Sometimes we hold onto our problems because they have become a part of our sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us. I do believe it is possible to learn to let go of past anger, shame, fear, and pain. In doing so, we release the hold our past has on us so we can live better in the present and create a more positive future.
Last fall, I talked about the tradition of allowing time to grieve during the season of autumn.
I don’t believe there is ever truly an end to grief, it becomes a part of us as we experience the loss of those we love. But if we don’t fully acknowledge our feelings, they can cause health problems. We cannot separate our health from our emotions. Each feeling is expressed in our bodies as a chemical-electrical response. Our bodies know our feelings, even when we refuse to.
Moving through the days of autumn, feeling the internal change with the season, I am reminding myself what truly matters. I am learning to let go, accept things as they are, and making time for those I love.
With love and affection,
*Thank you Chris, for sharing the beauty with me.