The Changing Leaves of Fall Growing up and living in Southern California there are only a select number of trees that change colors during the fall. When I was a little girl, my mother would take me to one particular tree every year so that I could see its green leaves turning into beautiful shades of orange and red. The two of us would then build up a pile of the droppings of the tree so that I could jump into a glorious pile of leaves from the year past. As I watch the leaves turn this year, I have found it fun to think about all of the different ways nature teaches us and sends us messages. It seems the laws of nature are guidance tools given to us by the universe. When I look closely, the brilliance of Mother Nature seems obvious. The theme of autumn is new beginnings; shedding all that no longer serves us. This prepares us for the grand rest of winter and the year ahead. When this time comes, a tree proudly sheds its old leaves to lie naked for a while in order to rest for its new leaves to come. Trees have faith that the new leaves will grow when the tree is ready. With each spring we get to witness the beautiful new leaves growing on the trees. It would be strange if trees always had the same leaves and never shed old ones… wouldn’t it? As human beings we are collectively so comfortable with the idea that the nature surrounding us (plants, trees, etc.), must die in order to grow back fresh and healthy. So why is it that when we change, when parts of who we are no longer exist, we experience confusion and terror? When relationships, identities, and beliefs no longer fit on our growing trunk, there is a real panic, a deep sense of fear and loss. I wonder, do trees mourn when they lose leaves they love? Does it take trees time to grow into their new leaves each spring? Do they need the bareness of winter to grieve this annual loss? Trees teach us that living things need rest and care before they can grow into a new season of life. Like me, I am sure most individuals in America have been and are currently undergoing changes internally and externally; some chosen and some not. It makes total sense that we would fear these losses and have trouble trusting what we will gain. What we believe to be true and what we rely on in life helps us to feel grounded and safe. It can feel shattering and unbearable to go through certain changes. I have learned I must allow myself to feel emotions that come with transitions and have massive grace for myself. I believe we look to ourselves first for the most support. If we are unable to give it to ourselves internally, we then seek it externally. I do hope you use this winter to rest and mother yourself back to a place of comfort. I hope you love the hell out of yourself right now and in the coming months. I personally am going to give myself more time and space to grieve the past, enjoy the quiet time, and become excited for what’s ahead. What a beautiful thing that our world is made up of seasons that support our growth! Imagine what kind of new stunning roses and leaves that may come into your life today and the days ahead. This season when you feel doubt or fear, look up at a tree to remind yourself that you are on the exact right path. A changing tree can be a reminder to open up and surrender to the evolution of this life.
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