Our weather has been more than a little unpredictable, but autumn is coming. Soon the weather will be cooler more often!!  The world will literally look different as the trees shed their leaves and provide a new cover for the earth.  I read a marvelous description of this change the other day by  Sarah Addison Allen in her work, First Frost:  “It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.”   Isn’t that a beautiful image?

Excitement can come with the beginning of Autumn.  Always I get a little excited…  the winds pick up, the days and nights become cooler, leaves change color and drop from the trees, drying and crunching underfoot or swirling around in the wind. There’s a feeling in the nature of change and movement.

I suppose all my years of being in school is part of what triggers a bit of excitement and change.  New beginnings, new things to learn, new experiences.  However, for some people, Autumn can trigger a bit of anxiety or restlessness.  Perhaps we dread change and the season reminds us of that change. It is difficult to change and to let go of the earlier time in our life. Nature teaches us that we are ever in the midst of this process of change….and it does so with such beauty!

Perhaps this Autumn can be a time to take the opportunity to let go and move with change.  Follow the lessons from trees as they let go of their leaves to conserve energy over winter and to allow for renewal and rejuvenation that will follow.

  • Focus on letting go of negative thoughts, letting go of patterns of behavior which do not help you, letting go of worrying about doing things you think you should but don’t really want to do.
  • Let go of that which you no longer need.  Give yourself permission to nurture yourself.
  • Notice if you feel restless, but don’t worry if you do – it’s your body, mind and emotions adjusting to the change in the seasons. Take it as a sign to slow down and nurture yourself.
  • Try and get out in nature as often as you can and take in the “show” that this season puts on.
  • Go for a walk and listen to the wind in the trees, collect fallen seeds and nuts, notice the change in the quality of the light, appreciate the beautiful colors of the leaves as they change week-by-week.
  • If you can’t get outside, bring nature pictures into your space. There is something about looking at the beauty of nature that touches our souls.

Autumn is a beautiful season of change.  Relax, breathe it in, let go, and be present in this autumn of your living!

Lucretia Hurley-Browning, MDiv, MS, is a guest writer whose recent background includes Chaplain of Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital and the Director of Juniper Tree Counseling Center. She is a therapist and ordained United Methodist Minister. Currently she is a writer by day, a reader by night, and is passionate about living life meaningfully with a good dose of fun.