Trying to accomplish change and reduce stress seems impossible. Change itself brings on stress, so how can change minimize stress? I thought that, too, until I started practicing mindfulness in the Autumn of 2012. Let me explain.
Let’s go back to the 1980s when I snapped this picture while living in an unassuming community in western Massachusetts. It was Autumn, and I was taking a hike when I came across this view. Many people I know will more often than not get energized, liven up, plan for, and are empowered as Spring moves into Summer. Not that I could do without Summer; however, as far as I’m concerned, I react similarly at the start of Autumn. Autumn is by a wide margin my most loved season (with Winter a nearby second).
For as long as I can recall, I have delighted in Autumn. Experiencing childhood in the northern regions of the USA, I’m used to the colder seasons. Of the relative multitude of seasons, this one is mainly centered around family, traditions, and spiritual rituals. During this season, there are social occasions, gatherings, and the start of school. Halloween and Thanksgiving are close, with Christmas not excessively far away. The cooler weather conditions move us nearer together as we gather inside.
Trying to effectively accomplish change during this season of life is challenging for some. I’ve written many articles on stress and depression during this time of the year. Attempting to reduce stress as the holiday season approaches is difficult for some. For some, this is a time of devastation, with the vegetation ceasing to exist and the daylight more limited. Yet, as we focus on the moment, we can also experience a lot of variety by hearing the leaves crinkle underneath our feet and smelling the cornucopia of fragrances attacking our noses.
Autumn might be a period of rot; however, in the progress of time, we are given a most tremendous and lovely gift; the empowerment of progress. It is, ideally, a gift to rouse us. For my purposes, I see excellence before I see the rot and devastation. There is likewise a wonder in the acknowledgment that after this season of devastation will come a time of resurrection and new development in the blossoming of Spring. Autumn isn’t the end, just the start.
Autumn addresses change as it changes itself. During the time spent transforming, we feel the aggravation before the delight. In our personal lives, we may now encounter and feel rot and destruction as our stress levels rise. Yet our experiences are a piece of the circle of life.
Just as the trees will replicate their leaves and the fallen leaves will give nutrient empowerment to the ground, we will encounter new development of plants and flowers in the Spring. Autumn shows us that through the dark times of life, we will come out with reduced stress as change shows us the possibility of a new and incredible period of life.
Change is rarely straightforward, but it is essential to recollect that change, albeit unique, doesn’t need to be negative. The situations changing our life might be complicated; however, assuming we focus on the outcome, we will see that the difficulties of change and stress will bring us to our goal. As the leaves fall, we are guaranteed there will be Spring followed by Summer.
The pattern of life reflects the patterns of our lives.
The following are a couple of ideas I have thought of to help us progress through our Autumn to accomplish change and reduce stress:
1. Review the recollections of this past Summer. Value your encounters from the past season.
2. Recognize, don’t attempt to stow away, the past with its joys, damages, and assumptions.
3. Being grateful for all we have.
4. Prepare for and act upon what you have some control over, and set aside those areas of life you cannot control.
5. Experience this time of Autumn through the eyes of a child.
In every moment, stay focused on the details of your surroundings, taking in both the positive and negative aspects. Change what you can; ignore the rest. In time, the Springtime of your life will blossom.