Autumn is my season. When the weather cools, I retreat. Into what feels like home. Into myself. Warm clothes, snuggling under blankets, sleeping in. It has become my time to look at my year so far, and to look at myself. Who I am. How I feel about my external world and inner self. It’s much less brutal than new year resolutions. That time of year feels like looking at all your faults. Like you are broken and need fixing.
But Autumn… Autumn is about reflection and growth. About finding clarity and shedding what no longer serves me. Letting my leaves fall, exposing my branches. Exposing myself to the bones. To my deepest truths when everything else is stripped away.
For me, the stripping away has been simple things like clearing clutter from my house. Old clothes. Things that haven’t moved from their place in the cupboard for years. Things covered in dust. Moving boxes never opened again. Art supplies I never use. It’s also about people.
In the last year, I’ve begun to learn about self care. About putting myself first, not last. That my choices, my wants, are as important as others. Understanding the desperate need to be protective of who I allow into my space and how I let people effect me. How easily wounded I am by other people, regardless of my feelings towards them. For a long time, wanting to be liked (because we all want to be liked) was so important, I didn’t even consider if I liked them. If they were really my people. The need for friends has transformed into feeling fiercely protective of myself. Danielle LaPorte talks about having a wide open heart, but a big f*cking fence. My fence has been easily pushed through in the past. But now, I’m fortified baby.
I’ve begun cleaning out social media accounts. Unfollowing, unfriending. If you aren’t part of my close inner circle – gone. If it doesn’t make my heart soar just seeing the word, the name – gone. The idea of keeping your circle small has become a necessity for me. The online clutter has been distracting me from what’s important. It’s been clouding my priorities and has dragged me badly off track. Pinterest does not = being creative. What it really is, is hiding. Hiding from the work I need to do. Hiding from making ugly art but in the process, I deny myself from the breakthrough I’m desperately craving.
My Autumn is going to be especially reflective this year. I’m feeling aware of my mortality in a different way than I ever have before. I’ve been holding myself back for a long time. Because of wounds inflicted by others. Because I haven’t truly known myself. I thought I did but I am discovering it was only in the shallowest of ways. By flooding myself with outside influences, I was drowning out what I needed. What was calling to me.
Looking at your mortality, at the ridiculousness of playing small, makes you look at things differently. I’m only just starting to comprehend the impact of it all. And I don’t like what I’m beginning to see. How did I let myself be pulled so far away from my truth. From my path into the forest. How did I become so lost?
And so, the retreat of Autumn begins. I don’t know if it will extend into winter? It might. Maybe it needs to.