I write today’s post watching a mighty chestnut tree shedding leaves. Soon, I can see the neighbors’ home again. I am not kidding. The trees’ foliage is so thick in summer I cannot see the houses on the other side.
And while I observe another leaf swirling its way to the ground, I cannot but see the bigger picture. It’s my “new normal” after a decade-long awakening experience. I still appreciate the details, but I don’t get lost in them anymore. The view expanded. On myself and the world at large.
Shedding Leaves – Or: A Time Of Letting Go
It sometimes amazes me how many people have gone out of tune with nature. For many, the beginning of November marks a period of melancholy and sadness. The trees shedding leaves may even stand for loss. For years, I felt the same. At the same time, I loved the fall season indefinitely. I couldn’t make much of my mixed emotions until I heard that more than 90% of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions are not ours. We pick them up from other people like our parents, friends, teachers, loved ones, or even strangers in the street. When I got aware of it, I could let go of the melancholy and sadness. It wasn’t mine. In my world, fall shows the joy of nature in more colors than I could name. And yes, I include all shades of gray as colors. No (literary) pun intended!
And then, I started to remember how nature is a wonderful reminder of our natural rhythm. Fall is the season of letting go. Since then, I have seen the trees shedding leaves as an invitation to make an inventory of what no longer serves me in my world. What about you?
An Exercise – If You So Will
Today, I invite you to an exercise. If you so will. Start looking at your life and note what no longer serves you. Maybe you already know something. If not, open your mind and heart and take notes as you go through your day. Are there routines that have outworn their use? If so, think of new ones to instill into your life. Are there things and objects you no longer need? Release them. If they are still useful for somebody else, you can give them to charity or sell them. Somebody else might love what you no longer don’t.
And what about your thought routines? Did you know that we have thousands and thousands of thoughts crossing our minds every day? Now, I don’t want you to look at them separately. It would be way too overwhelming, and most of them are unconscious anyway. But maybe there are thoughts (and beliefs) you wonder why you think them. Maybe you use them to sabotage yourself? Maybe they make you feel bad otherwise. If you notice such thoughts, ask yourself if they are really yours. If not, let them go.
In the beginning, it might be a bit difficult. So you might have to ask twice or three times about one subject. But once you get into the habit of it, it can be a fun exercise. And it feels great to let go of thoughts. It creates a sense of lightness. Try it.
No New Before The Old Is Gone
There’s another thing. Maybe you have heard that change and new things cannot come into your life until you let go of the old. There is some truth to it. And while it is possible to pile thoughts on thoughts and belief systems on belief systems, it’s not a wise thing to do. Sooner or later, they will start working against each other and to your detriment. May it be indecisiveness, general confusion about your life, or the creation of downward thought spirals. It’s one of the main reasons why mental health is so important. We haven’t curated our thoughts for a very long time, and now we see the results of it. The good news is it’s never too late. You can start as of now with the exercise above. And there are more I will share in the future.
Meanwhile, take the trees shedding their leaves as a reminder. And while another one is swirling to the ground, I remember I wanted to sort through some semi-finished artwork today. I will find out which pieces still want to work with me.
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Nicole Erika is a self-realized writer and coach who reminds you of the Ease Of Creation and the Joy of Self-Expression.