The breath of fall has arrived, sometimes in its fullness and, at other times, as a subtle partner to the outgoing summer breath, but make no mistake, this breath of fall has arrived. Notice the qualities of this breath of fall…cool, crisp, light and full of its own potential. We are asked to let go of the high tempo of summer and its forward momentum. Instead, we are asked to slow down and begin to turn inward.
We turn inward to what is beginning for each of us, for what is new. With the move to our temporary home, immediately followed by my surgery, this turning toward “what is new” has at times felt daunting. A recent lesson of mine seems so very apropos to the new beginnings we all must face and to the lessons that fall offers.
“The truth is that every fresh experience has this dizziness of freedom that we must move through. Every time we reach beyond what is familiar, there is this necessary acclimation to what is new. It is the doorway to all learning. We needn’t be afraid of it or give it too much power. We simply need to keep leaning into what we are learning” (Nepo)
This newness does feel dizzying, disorienting and daunting. And yet, we know that the only way through is to go in, to lean in and to face the newness, the challenge. There is nothing simple about it. There are days when one just needs to pause, catch one’s breath, pick oneself up before the next step can be taken. This pause can allow us to “be with what is” to the extent that we can, with as few of “our stories” as possible.
Traditional Chinese medicine acknowledges that grief and sadness are the primary emotions of the autumn season that, when tended to, are transmuted into courage. Just like in nature…the abundance of summer’s growth must give way, strip down, and surrender to the growth below ground. We need to consider what worked in our “gardens” (inner and outer) and determine what changes need to be contemplated so that what is real and true for us continues to be revealed.
I was struck by what Michelle Obama said in her address to the nation and it went something like this. “Being President has not changed Barack, it has only revealed more of who he is.”
Fall has this incredible potential to assist us in letting go of what does not serve us so that our Truth can be more revealed. Fall provides an opportunity to let go of the old to make room for the new. To lean into what it is we need to learn. We walk this path together and I look forward to seeing you all in this fall session.