Autumn is a beautiful time of year. The trees produce a stunning explosion of colour as the leaves change from green through yellow, orange, red and then turning to brown before falling to the ground.

Trees are a wonderful example of the cyclical nature of life. In autumn they shed their leaves as they get past their best. They know when to let go. They go into hibernation – all the essential life functions still going on but slower and in the background. They prepare for growth and renewal in the spring; bursting back into life with leaves budding and unfurling signalling the start of a new season. Trees constantly grow, going through cycles of growth and decay, slowly but surely.

Thinking outdoors

The outdoors is the perfect thinking environment

We all go through our own seasons…

…maybe at different rates and different times. I feel I’m currently going through autumn; reflecting on life and shedding old leaves ready for renewal and growth. It’s not an easy process. I’m letting go of physical possessions (a lot of outdoor activity gear) which hold memories, link to my identity and once offered exciting opportunities. I’ve come to realise that I’m no longer that person and don’t lead that lifestyle the same way I once did.

That’s OK (it’s taken a while to come to accepting that!). It doesn’t mean I’m a lesser person or unsuccessful. Life has moved on for me and has brought new exciting adventures and challenges. I’ve grown and continue to grow as a person. The outdoors is still vitally important to me but I engage with it in a slightly different way now.

To make room for new things we have to let go of old things

It’s been a gradual process of not doing so much outdoor adventurous activities but somehow the letting go part has come quite suddenly. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve realised holding on to the past is no longer serving me and actually may be holding me back. It’s time to embrace a new era. I’m preparing for and looking forward to spring.

To assist you with letting go it can be helpful to take these actions

*show gratitude – appreciate the good times and memories you have

*reflect – identify the learning you have gained and any skills you have picked up

*look to the future – recognise there is better still to come

What are you holding on to that no longer serves you?