If I were asked to sum up autumn in one word it would be CHANGE.
As autumn advances, the days become shorter and we are exposed to less sunshine, which has a dramatic effect on our bodies as it disrupts our circadian rhythm and causes havoc on our sleep cycle.
A recent study from Harvard Business school found that on average we all spend 2.7 hours asleep more a night in October the highest of the year.
I have certainly found it a challenge to get out of bed these last few mornings, whilst it is still dark and to be honest Autumn isn’t my favourite season as it represents the end of so many things I enjoy about the summer months. I realise though that without Autumn there couldn’t be spring which is my favourite time of the year.
Thanksgiving in America and Canada is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is modelled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. Thanksgiving is a time when families come together, to share and thank God for all their blessings.
Autumn represents the preservation of life. Animals prepare for the winter months by storing food and seeking places to hibernate. The long dark evenings provide us with the opportunity to pursue some indoor hobbies, or to set new challenges. Autumn can also be a time of reflection and meditation.
As the leaves change colour and drop from the trees they remind us that the trees have to let go of the leaves and all their strength to preserve and generate new life which is visible in spring. The trees teach us a valuable lesson the importance of letting go!
Only by letting go of past hurts and trauma can we begin to grow and flourish like the trees in spring. If a deciduous tree didn’t let go of their leaves the water in the cells of the leaves would freeze causing the tree to rupture as water expands as it turns to ice. The tree has to let go of its leaves to survive. We can carry harmful grudges and destructive thought patterns that prevent us from discovering our true self.
My autumn challenge to you is to make a list of five things you would like to let go of. Just as the tree has to shed its old leaves to allow new leaves, new life to spring forth we too need to let go of old habits that no longer serve us.