The Maples are starting to show their colours, the geese are gathering, the air is cooler, and the daylight shorter. I smell the odour of dying leaves and damp earth, and am keenly aware of the transition in seasons; fall is here.  Life is readying itself for the long winter, turning inward, toward hibernation and self preservation.

Nature is a powerful and ancient teacher. The more we look at nature the more we see our own lives reflected back to us. In nature there are no straight lines, only curves and spirals; birth, life, death, and renewal. By actively paying attention we can use nature as a mirror to our life experiences.  Fall shows us that in order to grow into something new, we need to leave something behind. A part of us needs to die. Michael Meade writes that the sense that each life-stage grows out of the death of what existed before was common to ancient peoples living closer to the natural cycles of life and death. At certain crucial levels, the human psyche remains ancient and continues to attend to the indelible pattern of life-death-renewal.

As summer withdraws into the Earth, I too feel myself withdrawing into greater periods of contemplation and self-assessment; an invitation to transformatively nurture my inner self and let go of the parts that no longer serve me.

Mindfulness and awareness practices, and ritual and ceremony are important elements that help keep me steadfast during the Fall Shield.  When I connect to my soul through these practices I remember that reconciliation is possible and I am better able to find equanimity. I am able to walk through life authentically and congruently. This sacred remembering invites my authentic self to emerge from the depths, like a seedling in Spring. 

What helps guide you through the darker seasons of your life?