By Jamie Kirk
Fall is a time of transition. It is evident everywhere around us. Many shrubs and trees are quietly undressing in preparation for winter. There is subtle browning of the earth. It’s not sunny, but not cloudy. Most of the day is not light, but most of the day is not dark either. It’s not hot, but it’s not cold. And there is the wind: slowly gathering strength, carrying the tides of winter on its breath.
We don’t need a coat, but we can’t wear short sleeves. We can’t wear shorts, but it’s not the time for corduroys either. It’s not full-on time for a beard, but it’s okay to wear scruff. And most of all, the Autumn harbors a certain emptiness that can leave us feeling exposed and a little raw, but it is also filled with possibility – a time when we, too, can strip down to a quiet essence of being and savor the simplicity.
However, to experience the real benefits of Fall, you have to be willing to give in & give up. We have to lean into Autumn. I think using the term Fall and Autumn interchangeably is smart and effective because the words generate a certain understanding. We “fall” back, meaning our time. We experience Autumn. We “fall” into certain things that may or may not catch us, which is risky. We don’t like risk. We tend to think of Autumn as something a little more predictable; that something better is right around the corner.
Without even realizing it, we adapt our lives to every season. And when Autumn hits, our brain navigates towards things like the smell of pumpkin, cable-knit sweaters, hot cocoa, oatmeal, and homemade soup. Kinda things that make us smile. That is what Autumn should be about, well, what every season should be about, making us smile. Or giving us a sense of peace about better things to come. Falling out of our routine and taking on new challenges for the rest of the year, and attempting to manifest good fortune and new relationships in the upcoming year.
If you believe in the mantra, “you are what you eat,” then you should absolutely love Autumn. As mentioned, you have the normal go-to of all-things-pumpkin, but also Autumn is a great time to change our diet. Many guys use the excuse to eat whatever we want as “bulking” season. The time of year that we can easily pack on 20-30 lbs of, let’s just say, not muscle. This bulking season can be replaced by changing to a diet of oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein, high in fat, brought to life with warming, stimulating spices and served hot, can replace the bulking season, and all the while keeping us grounded and braced for the upcoming change to our bodies. It is natural to want to increase our intake of food. However, this is an excellent time to exercise restraint and be conscientious of our appetite and digestive systems.
That is so funny about Fall; we can easily fall into habits and quickly fall out of them too. Many people stop drinking, fast, refrain from overspending at Christmas, or making commitments via the very popular… New Year Resolutions. Autumn preps us for this and allows us a springboard, if we allow it, to help us be strong(er) for the changes we want to make. Think about the visual of falling, doesn’t matter, from a bike, running, from a swing, or just losing your balance. When you are falling, you are literally, in most cases, aware that you are falling. It almost feels like you are falling in slow motion. That is how we have to prep for Autumn; we have to slowly, deliberately, and intentionally address and accept the things we need to change.
This year as we approach the Fall of 2020, I think we should challenge ourselves to really embrace it and look for the opportunities that will exist on the other side—the freshness of a new start. The confidence of being wiser, after adding another year of going around the sun. We didn’t know the uniqueness of meeting new friends because perhaps we were not open to receiving new friends. Being open to receive Autumn will ease us into a seamless transition of this very beautiful time of year.
Let’s take a minute and visualize Fall/Autumn as that time of year when a cardigan wrapped around our shoulders feels good. A nice cup of coffee on a screened-in deck or porch forces us to appreciate living in the ‘burbs and avoiding the city’s chaos. Realizing that all the leaves falling will be picked up and discarded one day, like some of our troubles. Looking into a sky filled with hope for each one of us. Yes, Fall is about change and transition. But Autumn is also about preparation, productivity, and completion. Let’s gear up for each stage that this wonderful season brings our way.