Sunday, September 10, 2017

Autumn and The Art of Gracefully Letting Go

by Tracie Nichols, MA, CCSP

Fall is my favorite season. I love the colors, the way the earth smells, and I especially enjoy having fewer humid days. But, what I most love is how the seasonal rhythm encourages me to deepen my personal development journey.

Every year autumn invites us to distill all we have acquired, learned, and experienced through spring and summer. New habits, freshly discovered strengths, new ways of seeing ourselves - these are all integrated and refined to guide us as we discern the next right steps.

Autumn also demonstrates the art of gracefully releasing what we no longer choose to carry. Take a moment to notice what your wild neighbors are doing, now. Trees release leaves. Plants let go of what is above ground and pull their energy into their roots. Deer drop antlers.

Consider consciously aligning with autumn’s gentle releasing rhythm to let go of beliefs, fears, or habits that no longer nurture you.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Spend uninterrupted time outdoors observing and feeling the pace of life in your ecosystem. Let it sink into your bones. 

As you watch leaves fall, visualize the things you choose to release drifting away from you.

If you rake leaves or pull weeds, imagine gathering those things that no longer serve and composting them with the garden trimmings.

On foggy autumn mornings, imagine that the fog represents the things you are releasing. See them being evaporated as the sun rises.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Listen to the poem here:

Tracie Nichols, MA, CCSP is a Holistic Career Coach who believes we can learn a lot from nature about being happy humans. She offers individual career coaching and strategy sessions, as well as classes helping highly sensitive and multipotentialed people create a meaningful, enjoyable work life. Learn more about Tracie at or connect with her at or 215-527-5457.

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