Bernie Petrie tells us as autumn begins it’s time to take a leaf out of nature’s very wise book.

Autumn returns and it’s hard to believe that it has been 12 months since I first wrote for Local Life. Autumn really does come around so quickly and once again it is almost time to put away our flip flops and wrap up in cosier clothes. As I write, I am sitting wearing my shorts and the sun is shining, whereas two days ago I was in wellies, a woolly hat and my big coat. Scottish seasons – we often have four in one hour never mind one day!

Last night as I walked the dogs on the beach (coat back on – no hat!) I noticed that although it felt autumnal I felt less resistance to the onset of autumn compared to 12 months previously when I wrote about the need to grieve. Writing seasonal posts for this column has helped me become more aware of each season and the challenges they bring. And because I have embraced as many opportunities to make hay whilst the sun shone in the summer, I am ready for the darker nights ahead. Frequent bonfires on the beach in the last few weeks with family and friends have been restorative and made the darker evenings and the onset of autumn feel magical.

We can learn from nature. Nature simply lets go willingly. Leaves fall, flowers take their final bow and the landscape rests, sleeps and quietly rejuvenates. As the last leaf drops, a lot begins to happen deep inside the barren tree – reparation, a percolation if you like, is well and truly underway so that when spring comes a whole new foliage is revealed. One that is taller, wider, deeper and wiser than before.
In our busy technology-led lives it is very easy to forget that we, like nature, need to let go. We have to shed, shake and rejuvenate each and every year. In practical terms this means; letting go of outdated beliefs, grievances, fears, doubts and any external clutter. Saying no to things that drain us and saying yes to inner restoration.

We are naturally programmed to let go easily and gracefully, one limiting belief at a time. Unlike us, trees are not susceptible to human conditioning – they do not feel obliged to stay the same. Like trees, we should replenish from the inside, let go of yesterday and percolate a new version of ourselves year after year, without judgement or apology or resistance. Ask yourself what story are you are telling? Is it time to let elements of it go so that a new story can emerge into next year? Remember, this will not happen overnight – we need to give ourselves the same time and breathing space that the trees do.

Next time you are in your garden, local park or woodland, look up and take a look at these wise teachers. Witness their growth, their resilience which requires shedding and letting go. This autumn give yourself permission to take a leaf from their very wise book and do the same.


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