As I walked outside tonight, the feeling of change was palpable in the air—no, not the intense in-your-face-kind. It was the subtle, you-might-almost-miss-it kind.
As it just so happens, that is my favorite.
It made me crave, desperately, a decadent pumpkin latte and a yummy, spicy smelling candle.
Summer is turning gently, slowly, gracefully around to reveal Fall’s first crisp breeze and first brightly colored leaf.
The change in the outer weather deeply affects our inner weather, too. It’s about so much more than changing our coffee and candle preferences (although that is pretty freaking awesome, too).
It’s a perfect time of year to revamp on the inside, to literally turn over a new leaf and reveal a fresh and improved version of ourselves.
I think we can learn a lot about change from observing good old Mother Nature:
We can witness how those luscious, sweet, balmy summer nights slowly transition into something crisper, softer, cooler. It’s quite a breathtaking process. The shift takes place so gradually—just a tiny, little bit each day, building steadily towards the season’s change. Nothing is ever forced.
Fall does not walk in and scream to Summer, “Get the f*ck out!” and we should not do this with ourselves either. A seemingly slight change that isn’t twisted or forced can transform us more deeply than we know.
As I’ve (very frustratingly) realized, the more I push for results, the less I see them.
It can feel like a cruel trick, right? But, as we watch the seasons shift, it’s a good reminder to revel in the beauty of our inner process. We are all always transitioning, in one way or another. Although I often want immediate change, I’ve (also very frustratingly) realized, this is rarely how it goes.
It can be so difficult to sit back and have faith, but that is exactly what we need to learn to do, above all else. Look to nature, and see how she beautifully trusts that Summer will turn to Fall. This process is not questioned, rather, it’s supported and allowed to unfold exactly as it needs. We need to mirror this more passive, supportive attitude within ourselves.
On the inside, we are often changing seasons, too.
Personally, I’m trying to transition from the harsh and unforgiving season of “ Intense Anxiety” into the more calm and collected season of “Balance and Confidence.”
There are so many steps on the way. Each of them is equally important, even though sometimes the whole process just sucks. Some days, it feels like I haven’t changed at all. My mind races, and my anxiety surrounds me like a heavy black cloud, following me relentlessly wherever I go. But, there are also days where the anxiety is only there in the background, as though it’s been dialed down to a “low” setting.
On the hard days, it’s hard to remember that the good days exist.
At times, I feel incredibly discouraged and disappointed, and it seems useless to continue to work on myself. Instead of wallowing in my self-pity (with a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and Netflix), I try to make it a practice to look to nature:
It strikes me deeply how despite anything, she is sturdy and unquestioning in herself. She is so darn confident in her process. Sometimes, this makes me feel worse, envious even. But, sometimes, it inspires me to pause for a moment and be more confident and unquestioning in my own process.
It inspires me to embrace my frustration, to scream and cry if I feel the need. Who’s to say that this, too, is not part of the journey? Maybe it’s actually quite a beautiful and key part.
As I’m slowing moving from anxiety to balance, it feels very much like shifting from the hot, intense sun of Summer to the fresh breeze of Fall. I’m just beginning my change, and thankfully nature is there to remind me that this is perfectly okay.
All of these steps, these feelings, and these difficulties are a part of the transition: the beautiful, at times maddening transition on the journey to becoming ourselves.
Whatever inner season we are moving towards, let’s try to embrace the exquisiteness of the process. And, as the leaves start to change, it reminds us that we can, too.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: SumPics Photography/Pixoto