I’m sitting in Boston watching leaves fall off the tree outside my window. The leaves are coating the green grass like a beautiful crispy brown blanket. It’s gorgeous.
Look, I’m a girl from Tucson who has lived in CA most of my adult life. The whole “living in cities that have seasons” things is a little startling to me. We never had to make time to rake leaves or de-ice the car in Tucson. I mean…we can’t go outside at noon for like 6-months each year, but the maintenance on a dirt-and-rock-landscaped yard is pretty minimal.
I’m amazed to witness how nature knows how to perfectly maintain homeostasis.
Each year, this tree sheds its leaves. It doesn’t get nervous that it won’t grow more leaves again. It doesn’t worry about what will happen to the leaves once they’re gone. It doesn’t cry about how beautiful last year’s leaves were. It doesn’t collect extra leaves because there may not be leaves in the future. It doesn’t hold onto leaves it doesn’t need any longer.
Nope. It releases the leaves completely. It lets go and makes space for the next season. Winter. When it’s time to shed the excess and go within to prepare for next spring.
If only we humans found letting our clutter go as easy as trees say ‘adios’ to their leaves. Our brilliant human brains are often weighed down with logic and burdens that don’t serve our ease and joy. Instead of releasing what we don’t need anymore, we get caught. We struggle with feelings of guilt, overwhelm, shame, the need to “save the world”, or grief.
True freedom is being able to let go.
When feelings get twisty and complicated around “letting go,” there are options! Here are 3 things you can do to set yourself free:
Notice what feeling comes up. Do you think you need to find the “perfect” home for your old dresser? Do you feel extreme guilt because you never wore that shirt and it still has the tags on it? First, you need to notice what you’re feeling. Take a moment to name it and be with it.
2-Honor the Feeling
Instead of pushing it away and labeling it as “bad”, take a moment to honor the feeling. Take a deep breath, acknowledge the presence of that challenging feeling. Take time to nurture it. Challenging feelings only exist because they think they’re helping us.
3-Act Through the Feeling
There’s magic in feeling discomfort and continuing to take action. There’s no need (or good in) ignoring what you feel. And there’s also not a lot of good in not moving forward with your goals. Each time you organize in spite of your discomfort something magical happens! You rewire your brain to learn that you can experience discomfort and accomplishment at the same time. As you do this you become more resilient and capable of moving through challenges with ease.
Nature has an incredible way of teaching us every life lesson we need to learn. And fall is the perfect time to make peace with letting go of things in your life. Take a deep breath and find that next step.
You’ve got this!