Back in the day before electricity lit our lives up year round, fall’s longer nights and cooler weather prompted us to move indoors and spend less time engaged in the hubbub of daily life. It was a time of rest and restoration. Harvest was ending and families huddled together preparing for winter’s onset.

Today we’re often too busy to even notice the leaves turning but we can change this. This week, take 15 minutes to go outside in the morning to smell the fall air. Notice the the trees, their leaves, and how effortlessly they let go. If you live in the city, pay attention to how outdoors feels different than last month. Stop to reflect on nature slowing down.

Then choose another day to write down what you’d like to let go of. Put each on a  slip of paper. Maybe it’s guilt over a mistake or pushing yourself too hard. Just write whatever comes up without judging or censoring. At the end of the week, take all you’ve written and burn them one by one, releasing them from your soul. Fall is an excellent time to release the old to make way for the new.

You can also do this with your family/friends. Give each person slips of paper to note what they’re ready to discard and burn them together. Reflect and reconnect with yourself and others, creating space for what you do want to enter your life like the trees shedding their leaves for new growth.

This week’s mantra: “I can shed my outworn beliefs and let go of what’s no longer good for me.”

How Our Children Teach Us to Surrender

One of my most challenging life lessons has been surrender-letting go of what I want to have happen and allowing life to unfold naturally. Sound familiar? I imagine it is. Why is this so hard to do? Because we’re convinced that if we “let go” bad things or at least random things will happen, that will be bad for us. But if we hang on really tight, then we can produce the desired outcome. Right?

What often happens though is that we produce the effect we wanted to avoid. Take our children for example, the more we struggle to make them like us, the more they fight to be themselves. I am not talking about teaching them to be kind, respectful and compassionate. Of course, we want to do everything we can to instill these values. What I mean is trying to control who they become like who they choose as friends or the interests they pursue.

Here’s what Kahlil Gibran had to say “On Children”

“Your children are not your children, They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

This week, look deeply into your child’s eyes and ask “Who are you? Who are you becoming?” Then listen with your intuition. If you don’t have children, look into your own eyes in the mirror and ask the same questions. Finally, release whatever comes to mind and let the universe fill in the details. Ah, the sweet taste of surrender.

Enjoy!