In the Southern Hemisphere we are moving into Autumn - the leaves are starting to change into wonderful autumn colours and soon will be falling to the ground. What does Autumn symbolise for us in the Southern Hemisphere?
Autumn symbolises a time of taking stock of what we have harvested and being grateful for the harvest. This is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere in celebrations like Thanksgiving. Autumn symbolises ripeness, change, maturity, beauty, sadness or preparing for an end or decline. It reminds us of the impermanence of everything - live every day to the fullest.
Autumn is the time for letting go and releasing things that are a burden. If one looks at the trees, they do not hang onto their leaves - they let go of their leaves because nature intrinsically knows that all things must die before they can be reborn. Autumn is the time of reaping what we planted in the Spring.
However, "letting go" of something implies loosing that something with the resulting emotions of grief and sadness. Examples of letting go :
Hello means Goodbye - let go!
- becoming an empty nester and "letting go" of our children and allowing them to spread their wings and fly
- retirement from a career or a job with the promise of ticking off the items on our bucket list
- ending a relationship and creating space for a new one.
- Organise your life by starting off with doing a brain dump of all the items, activities, etc. that are overwhelming you and creating a level of frustration in your life. Making a list is a great way of clearing away clutter. I would recommend that you watch Marie Forleo's YouTube video on How to deal with overwhelm. Focus rather on what you have accomplished than worrying about the things that remain undone. You should aim for doing no more than 3-4 items on your list per day. Marie Forleo interviewed Dr Ned Hallowell and he refers to his book called CrazyBusy during the interview. Martha Beck refers to the 3 B's of organising your daily to-do list : Bag it (do you really HAVE TO do it or do you think you SHOULD do it? - if you don't have to then scratch it off your to-do list. If you HAVE TO do it, could you possibly barter with someone else and if there is no one willing to do the task for you then better it
- Do a Mental Inventory and examine your attitudes, prejudices, envies, hatreds, jealousies, resentments, etc. Write each of these down on a separate piece of paper being as specific as possible. Wherever possible, make contact with the relevant individuals with whom you harbour old resentments, etc and attempt to resolve them and let them go. If you can't resolve issues directly or for old issues with yourself - burn the pieces of paper you wrote these issues on and let them go! Byron Katie's "The Work" is a very useful tool which helps you Judge Your Neighbour and Judge your Belief Systems. I would highly recommend you use this method. You can find it at www.thework.com. She has many videos on YouTube giving you specific examples on how this method works.
- Cleanse your body. Do a gentle cleanse by fasting. Lent is very useful to help with this at this time of year. Eat healthy fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. And drink plenty of water.
- Create a time for Meditation and Relaxation. There never seems enough time during the day to get everything done, so ... take a few minutes to do NOTHING. Doing "nothing" is something that Martha Beck discusses and encourages in her book "The Joy Diet". She also wrote an article on The Joy Diet for Oprah on her website. If you are not sure how to meditate - no problem - just sit quietly with no interruptions. Don't get caught up in your thoughts but watch them as if you are an outside observer.
- Take time each day to BREATHE slowly and deeply. Feel the old negativity, impurity and pain leave your body when you exhale. Focus on the exhale. Byron Katie asks the question "Who would you be without these thoughts?" Contemplate this.
Hello means Goodbye - let go!