Embrace this change of season

Fall is almost over and winter is coming. This time of year can feel a little bit grim and grey, especially once the holidays are past. But it can also be a time for powerful change and growth.

Winter is the season when the old year dies, and the beginnings of the new year are born. The trees are barren, stripped of leaves, but under the earth new seeds are waiting to spring forth. There is sadness, but also great hope!

What if we let winter take hold in our own lives?

How many of us are carrying around old baggage in one way or another? Injuries, grudges, disappointments, old stories we tell ourselves about the wrongs that have been done to us and the hurts we have suffered—we all have them. Even dreams that we have chased too hard and gotten too caught up in can weigh us down. 

Our old baggage can make our lives harder than they need to be. What if instead of carrying it around anymore, we practice letting it go? 

Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to hold onto things that we forget that loss and death are natural—and important—parts of life. The trees need to let their old leaves die and fall away in order to grow healthy new ones come spring. Similarly, if we can let our old baggage go, we make room for healthy new growth and possibilities in our lives. We can’t experience the beauty and joy of spring and summer without first passing through the winter. 

Winter is a great time of year to practice self-reflection.

Journaling can be a good tool to help us get more in touch with ourselves. Meditation and prayer are wonderful as well. If you belong to a church or a temple, many faiths have mid-winter holidays (I can’t wait for Christmas :), which can be a great time to reconnect with that part of yourself and with your broader community. For those of you who don’t follow any particular religion, a walk in the woods can be a powerful way to get in touch with the earth and feel a part of something larger than yourself. There are so many ways to get out of our heads and into our bodies and remember who we really are.

For me, the changing of the seasons is a reminder that like the trees, we’re not meant to stay the same forever. Watching nature can teach us that it’s okay to change, and it’s okay to stand back and let change happen. Spring always comes around, if we have the willingness to let it.