The Patterns of Autumn

‘You are what you repeatedly do’
                                                           Aristotle

It’s Autumn.  It’s stunningly beautiful Autumn, with fields of gold and trees of orange and red, a walk in the woods is surely beckoning.  And not just to inhale all those essential smells that are great for our brain health.  Autumn is the season we observe nature being smart, receding, taking stock.  The animals prepare for winter, some by flying south, some by gathering nuts and building nests for a sensible hibernation.  The trees take home to their very core all that is worthwhile, whilst they drop all that no longer serves them.  The animals are preparing the ground for a winter wait-out and in Autumn, that’s exactly what we should be doing too.

Personally, Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year.  Nature is ablaze and there’s a feeling of something exciting in the air.  As an inherent pattern theorist and psychoanalyst, I often study nature to make sense of how we work – and why sometimes it seems as though we don’t.  Autumn shows us how to survive.  For some, it’s a bleak precursor to an even bleaker winter, but for me, it’s a time for reminder and restock. 

Autumn provides us with a reminder to stop all the crazy that we may have become seduced into.  Now is the time to illuminate and stop our automatic unconscious processes.  All those mental behaviours and investments into things and relationships that no longer, or most probably never did, bring us any returns.  Now is the time to put the brakes on and stop it.  Quite literally, to stop being nuts and start gathering them.

When we first restock, we often find our inner pantries are worryingly empty.  Some people panic and grab onto anything or anyone to make them feel better.  But this is exactly the best time to slow down and really think.  Trees do not go outward, hang on and panic.  They rewind, bring in and wait.  Emotionally, psychologically, if we really want to feel better, then we need to follow the patterns of Autumn.  To go inside.  To gather and take stock. To properly look inward and see our own quiet, natural abundance in the form of a kind heart, a sweet gesture, a genuine thought for peace and compassion for others.  That’s who we really are – at our core.  

In the comfort and colours of Autumn, we might take a moment and check.  What are we doing?  What should we stop doing right away?  And what could we do now?  Or at least, what will we do … right after that warm and cosy hibernation.

All good things,
Carole Sawo