- On October 25, 2016
The air is getting chilly; waking up to the sheen of ‘frost on the pumpkin.’ The grass is a checkerboard of green, gold, and brown from the oak and poplar leaves that blow from the trees.
What’s to learn from this blustery autumn day? Nature knows when to shed what has served it well.
We don’t always do that. We hang on, even when those behaviors, those things, those people in our life, have outlived their value to us.
Trees know when to drop their leaves, hunker down for the difficult weather ahead, and emerge in the spring with new growth.
Will that work for us? If we shed what no longer serves us? If we accept there may be some discomfort, sadness, maybe even regret in the loss? Will we emerge after that turmoil with new growth?
I decided to take a cue from the trees and shed what is no longer serving me. I started with something simple and tangible–my clothes closet. At first, I was just trying to make sure the clothes still fit and were serviceable. Reminding myself to be more intentional in what I was doing, it soon was apparent that what I was really dealing with was shedding an old image.
I have a perfectly serviceable trio of dark colored suits, very good quality, nicely fit–and I haven’t used them in years. In fact even thinking of putting on a dark ‘lawyer’ suit makes me cringe a bit. I had kept them because of the connection to my past career. I was afraid to let those threads of who I used to be go, even though what I am doing now is more satisfying than what those suits represented for me. I was clinging to the dead leaves of an out-dated image of success.
A huge gust sent the poplar leaves swirling in a mini-tornado of golden color. I snapped back to my task—the image embodied in those suits is not what brings me joy anymore.
They are on their way to a women’s clothing organization; maybe someone else needs that image to grow into their new life.
What are you ready to shed that has served you well and does no longer?
Photo credit: JMaliszewski, 2014, Blackwater Falls WV