It’s Autumn: trees are delighting us with a riot of colour, littering the ground with jewels from their branches.
We can take a hint from Mother Nature and enjoy a similar process ourselves, letting go of old, stagnant, nonessentials.
Releasing has many more nuances than just ‘getting rid’ of something.
Pay attention to Nature move through a full cycle of gestation, birth, growth, and decay and you’ll see letting go as making space.
Indeed, Spring blossoms and leaves come to be thanks to vacancies the previous year’s growth has left!
In our modern society, we decide to release or quit something because it is bad. We don’t regularly decide to release or quit something so that we can bring in something because it is good.
There’s a lot we can learn from acting like a tree.
Do you think trees experience grief as leaves change shades?
Or worry about doing the ‘right thing’ as their limbs are slowly striped to their essential nature of wood and bark?
As my Catholic uncle once beautifully pointed out: he lets go of something for Lent so that he can have the space to develop his spiritual relationship to God. It’s not about denying something for 40 days and 40 nights, it’s about bringing in something he wants more.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
And once a tree has shaken off the leaves of one year, the leaves of the next begin to form, deep within.
Our interior natures abhor vacuums as well. Release something without bringing something else in, and the same energy signature will find its way back into the space you’ve cleared.
How to make sure the same ol’ junk doesn’t rebound back to us? That new flowers in new colours pop up in our cleared spaces?
Focus on the benefit you wish to create. Use affirmative language and hold enthusiastic, optimistic images in your mind.
- ‘Losing weight’ becomes ‘Being fit and active and living long with gusto’.
- ‘Ceasing joy-and-time-killing adult responsibilities’ transforms into ‘Saying yes to the things that set your heart on fire.’
If this sounds like the Secret…just disregard that self-opportunistic and materialist book/movie and bear with me: this is about creating quality in your life, not huge bank accounts or full garages in private estates.
Use the steps below to clarify intentions and exponentially increase your ability to bring your dreams into worldly manifestation.
1. Intention/Watch Your Leaves Change Colour
A stock take – what would to release, what to invite; setting up the circumstances for a fast – what, when, where, why, who (you might fast alone but have a support system in place to back you up and cheer you on).
Time taken to do this carefully will be well spent because an intention you don’t feel entirely committed to will not benefit from your full attention and care.
intention |inˈten ch ən|noun
1 a thing intended; an aim or plan; the action or fact of intending; a person’s designs
2 Medicine: the healing process of a wound.
Now, you don’t have to share this intention with anyone. But you are likely to find that being accountable to others adds an extra determination to your experience.
I see this not so much as being chastised by my friends if I fail, but as a reminder to uphold my personal integrity, so that my word is known as my deed.
Being honest with yourself about motivation is enlightening – you might find ‘shoulds‘ in your reasons. They aren’t inherently bad, but they won’t fire you up the way a deeply held dream will.
Craft your intention to remind you immediately and without question about your motivations. Phrase it as a positive statement to emphasize the benefit you hope to achieve.
Bonus points if you can streamline to one word that brings an emotionally resonant image to mind that motivates you.
2. Action/Shake Your Leaves to Earth
The how of releasing – fasting from an activity, food or substance, various forms of media. This is usually all we think of as a fast or releasing action– the restriction and rejection of things.
Fasting doesn’t just ask us to turn away from something, it opens up the space that activity or item held for a new activity; a new idea, a fresh perspective, something that we want to begin moving towards.
It doesn’t mean forever, either, it could just be trying on a day without caffeine drinks. You get to choose the length of time – and push it out further if you find benefit in abstaining.
Actions can include attending to duties in your home or life; meditation or prayer that opens you to your Sat Guru, higher Self, so you become aware of your deeper calling; the next steps that will lead into the ideal life you’re creating.
Your action could be connecting with your support team regularly. Beginning to play with how your daily and weekly schedule can accommodate health and vitality. Buying a monthly yoga studio membership.
In many cases, especially with diet and lifestyle, the first action is to simply journal what is so already – an active stock take is action towards a new reality!
3. Invitation/Winter Nutrients Feed Your Tree and Foster Spring Dreams
The how of inviting new energy in – positive intention, meditation, specific actitivities, affirmations, prayer, etc.
You’ve been doing this all along – that is what makes it effective!
Having a clear idea of what you want to become reality is both an intention and, with meditation and constant reflection on it, an invitation.
Continuing to call in what you want to manifest will create more opportunities to finesse and refine your intention.
Refining it will come most easily through applying actions, reviewing the results, and then applying your findings to the next related action.
However glorious an action in itself, it ought not to pass for great if it be not the effect of wisdom and intention.
~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld
4. Exploration & Embodiment/New Buds and New Life Bloom
Trying on your new life vision. Now it’s simply a matter of walking your walk and talking your talk.
Creating new paradigms and patterns that support the invitation and strengthen our letting go of the old takes time. Most of us are familiar with the idea of 21 days of repeated action = a habit. I’m more likely to bank on the time frame they quote to recovering substance abuser – 90 days.
Be kind and make time for this.
Before you say ‘Whoa, Nelly, 90 days!’ – consider:
- This could be 5 minutes daily meditating on the inspiring qualities your intention holds.
- Rearranging your schedule to allow for 30 minutes of asana daily.
- Asking your friends to join you for after-work walks instead of drinks.
- Halve your regular serving size of pasta/chips/chocolate.
- Placing a nice, large, attractive looking water bottle somewhere visible you’re reminded to drink agua during the day.
- It could even mean treating yourself with something to mark small but notable markers along your way.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~Lao Tzu
This Autumn, till your soil sweetly for the coming Spring.