The Emptiness of Fall

The light has changed. November skies are upon us. I find a quieting within my spirit as I have gone through this week. I am so appreciative of the unique beauty of this time of year.

This month, more than before, I have become acutely aware of the  personal transition and transformative process taking place in my life. For me, this summer brought with it so many challenges that came fast and furious. During the natural intensity of the summer, there is little time to go inward and reflect. There is so much brightness, activity, and demands to engage fully that we tend to just go through our days living the experiences of the summer season. As I faced my cancer diagnosis and treatment, I was called on to act, decide, move. The situation did not afford me the luxury of time to slowly consider the emotional and spiritual experiences that came along with the disease and my decisions.

But, now as we enter deeply into fall and prepare for winter, there is an opportunity to go inward and reflect.  This week especially the light has become softer, more subtle, less intense. The urgency to act has slowed. The vibrancy of each day has been replaced with a much more quiet, yet still powerful, energy. And I have found within myself emotions rising up, awareness heightened and a longing to connect to my spiritual nature and seek out peace, wisdom and growth.

A few days ago, as the day transitioned into the evening,  I stepped onto my deck and looked out at my yard. I looked at the spot where I sat this summer, sometimes with my husband, sometimes with my children and sometimes with myself, and made decisions about how to respond to and treat the cancer. As I looked at this part of the yard, I was overcome with a powerful wash of emotions. The reality and enormity of my experience flooded me. The yard was still. The chairs where my family had gathered were empty. The light was fading. And it was as if the autumn energy in all its subtlety, was calling me to pay attention; that in this moment there was an opportunity to deeply understand my experiences and the changes in my life. The quiet emptiness and the stark beauty was an invitation  to connect to something much larger than myself.  The silence and the chill in the air, and the grayness of the light were all invitations to take the summer’s experiences into my heart and soul. I was being invited through the always present spirit of nature, to enter into a place of deep knowing and profound connection to something that surpasses our everyday experiences. In this moment, I felt that the greater universe was letting me know that in spite of the pain and grief and fear, we can have peace. In spite of adversity, love prevails. We are always more than our experiences.

The fall, more than any other season, calls us to consider, contemplate and profoundly connect to our lives and the lives of others around us. It whispers, “Slow down, listen to the quietness, and open yourself to the transformative spirit”. During this season, life shifts from an intense, vibrant, external energy to a quiet, introverted one. The things that carried so much impact and energy during the summer are now settling. It is time to look closely at how our lives are changing, how we are changing. It is time to open ourselves to the lessons in the challenges, the struggles, the times of suffering. It is time to go inward and learn that while the intensity of the summer is over, the fall is asking us to integrate the summer’s experiences into our beings. It invites us to go inward and deeply reflect on how those experiences are powerful gifts that help us all to evolve, grow and become more connected to our deep spiritual nature. It reminds us that we are more than our suffering; that if we open ourselves and say yes to the invitations, we discover that  powerful, loving energy resides within us, is present throughout each and every experience and can never be taken from us.

 

 

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Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Couples and Family Therapist with twenty years of clinical experience. She specializes in intimate relationships, sexual challenges, sacred sexuality, and helping clients embrace their true erotic nature. She supports women in discovering their most radiant, vibrant and powerful feminine essence.

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