Looking out the window, I see a bright blue sky, and big mature trees that have lost all their leaves. They’re casting shadows on a beautiful brick heritage building and the day feels full of possibility.
In this part of the world, it’s fall and that means that some very interesting things are going on energetically. About a decade ago, I learned to look to Nature for answers. Up until then, I had no idea that I was swimming upstream and making life so much more challenging for myself by directly going against Nature’s guidance for so much of the year.
What I’m going to share with you is not rocket science, and yet, it was not obvious to me until someone pointed it out at a workshop I attended. Hopefully this information will serve as a reminder or a starting point for aligning yourself with the energy that’s already flowing. (No need to act like a salmon. Ain't nobody got time for that. Except the salmon, obviously.)
If you look to Nature in the fall, you’ll notice that things are winding down. There’s a lot of letting go; literally. Look on the ground and you’ll see evidence of surrender. The leaves have left the branches. The seeds have released their hold so they can rest before creating new life in the spring.
For humans, the fall is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what’s working and to let go of anything that no longer feels aligned. It’s a great time for analysis and intellectual pursuits (no accident that back to school happens in the fall) and the point of it all is to get clear and release.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I was doing exactly that. There was some niggling intuition that maybe, just maybe, I had too much on the calendar. I let that percolate for a few days and then did two activities that helped me make my decision.
First, I asked my body. I said, “Body, is it in my best interest to let some plans go from my calendar?” My body replied with a yes (meaning that I got an expansive sensation across my shoulders and in my chest). I also asked the opposite question. “Body, is it in my best interest to keep going with everything I have planned?” My body replied with a no (tightness in my chest).
This process of asking your body yes or no questions is called Body Sourcing, and it’s incredibly accurate because your body only speaks the truth. Tightness/pain/density = no. Expansiveness/lack of tension = yes. So the answers I got were pretty clear.
Then, I did some Sitting for Guidance, meaning stream of consciousness writing in my journal. I asked my higher self what I could release from my calendar and I got all sorts of ideas. The main phrase that kept coming through was Leave Space. Leave Space. Leave Space. So that was pretty clear too.
Can you guess why we would do all that letting go in the fall? It’s because the winter is actually a time for deep reflection and going within (hence all the darkness and Nature basically going to sleep).
If you think about the holidays, though, many people tend to ramp things up. There’s a gigantic list of things to do and it becomes about rushing from one place to the next. I know I’ve been there. I used to make at least a dozen different kinds of cookies and deliver them all over the city for people who didn’t even say thank you. It was a great year when I let go of that expectation for myself.
Thanks to the Body Sourcing and Sitting for Guidance, I crossed a few things off my calendar (namely the November and December Self-Care Masterclasses, a 6 week course I was planning on teaching and a 6 month coaching program I was considering registering for). Immediately I felt intense relief and spaciousness.
Ahhhh. (The relaxing spa kind of ahhhh, not the roller coaster kind.) A deep breath filled my belly and I felt so aligned. After all, the courses can wait and I believe that I’m tuning into the need for spaciousness in your calendar as well. If I would have pushed through, I know I could have done it, but there’s a very big chance that I would have exhausted myself, plus been disappointed with the results. Instead, Nature showed me that I’m craving space and the opportunity to go within. Now my calendar reflects Nature’s guidance.
Plus, the other thing about creating space means that there’s room for what I’m manifesting in my life. If I want certain things to happen, they can’t be crammed into a plan that’s already full, right?
Here’s the invitation for you. Is there anything that you can let go of over the next few months so that you can make space for the rest that Winter wants you to take?
If connecting with your highest self was your highest priority, what could you release to make space for that? Consider doing some Body Sourcing, or some Sitting for Guidance to boost your clarity. I’m telling you, once you make some space, you’ll breathe easier and feel like you’ve given yourself the most amazing gift.
Of course, there are still things left in the Courageous Self-Care Calendar, so if you feel like you need some accountability on showing up for yourself and doing some really nurturing practices, check out the offerings below. Regardless of the type of session, you’ll leave feeling nourished, satiated and so proud of yourself for doing something for you.
I’m wishing you a most peaceful and spacious fall so that you can go into the winter fully ready to rest and rejuvenate.
With reflective love and expansive courage,
Creator of Courageous Self-Care
Baker of less Christmas cookies
Follower of Seasonal Guidance, courtesy of your friend and mine, Nature