At the beginning of August, I received a tap-tap on my shoulder. A nudge. A few thoughts trickled in about the changing light and the impending presence of fall. Dun dun duuunn. I began to notice each evening grow mildly darker. I reflected on my experience of fall over the last several years.
I’ve known for some time that fall is my “hardest” season. Despite knowing this, I didn’t actively explore why. Instead, I simply pushed through. I buried myself in TV. I subtly hid behind my nightly enjoyment of a variety of beer or wine while I plugged my ears and squeezed my eyes shut real tight. La la la la la la la. “If I ignore it long enough, then it’s not really there,” I thought to myself.
It wasn’t until the fall of 2018 that I decided to earnestly investigate – why do I have such a hard time with the season of fall? And how could I change this? What would happen if I brought greater conscious awareness to the season?
I’ve made adjustments. I’ve taken a good look at my relationship with her. I’ve even begun rituals to honor the seasons. I’ve learned that my difficulties aren’t just because it gets darker outside, although I told myself that story for a long time.
My relationship with fall is changing. I’m changing. Yet, these questions continue to be active inquiries for me. And they probably will be for a while.
It’s no different this season. The inquiries remain. And, if anything, the depth of personal and spiritual work I’ve completed over the last several months actually calls me into greater personal integrity as I stand on her doorway.
The usual ogres and monsters are peaking around the bushes. They’re prepped and ready to play all their usual tricks and to set all their usual traps. One of which has already dared to make itself known – TV.
At the first sight of melancholy, the desire crept into my mind, tempting me with warm, fuzzy memories. Maybe you know the kind? Cool weather outside with me all snuggled up on the couch enjoying a good TV show and being lazy. Fond memories, indeed.
Fond because this nice rectangular piece of electronic has been a fabulous method for capturing my time, attention, and energy. It’s deceptively simple tactics are excellent at allowing me to forget my mission. Each year my feelings arise and TV is the answer. Feelings be-gone! TV on!
This last spring I undertook a major initiative to re-work my relationship with watching TV. I discovered some frightening realities. While what I learned in the process certainly motivates my healthy relationship with TV these days, it’s not why I decided to do the experiment in the first place.
I felt inspired by the fresh new season of spring; my favorite season. And, honestly, I didn’t want it to pass me by! I love spring so much that I wanted to soak it up in all its glory. Quitting TV was hard! But it was so worth it. The learnings were tremendous, and my relationship to myself and nature grew exponentially.
After everything I learned from that experience, I can’t deny how beneficial it would be for me to do the exact same experiment, or some form of it, for the fall season, if not longer. It’s easy to do what I know is good for me when I’m excited and motivated. Especially when I already know there will be so much to gain like I did in the spring. But what about applying meaningful and beneficial practices to the season of the year where I need it most, where it’s potentially most challenging to do so?
This mantra keeps coming to me… Practice when it’s easy so then it’s not as difficult when the going gets rough. Our daily practices, whatever they may be for you (meditation, journaling, prayer, ceremony, nature walks, breathwork, yoga), can only serve us in our times of need if we’re willing to do them when we need them least.
It’s like any relationship. You fill the bucket, fill the bucket, fill the bucket. Build the bond, build the bond, build the bond. Then when you need a little extra TLC you take from the bucket and it doesn’t strain the bond.
I built the practice of no TV during a time of year that I felt the strongest. I didn’t really need to do it then. But I did it anyway because I wanted to. I knew it would be good for me. Little did I know that it would serve me now when I need it most.
The idea came to me a month ago but I wasn’t quite ready to accept it as a true challenge. I wasn’t ready to make the agreement. And I’m intensively working these days to only make agreements with myself I know that I’ll keep or that I’m willing to keep.
As I look out over the next several months, I know in my heart that the path forward calls me to relinquish my relationship with TV. What I see before me is another period of deep personal reflection. The moments of my life right now feel so important. Each feeling and experience carrying with it packets of wisdom awaiting my attentive gaze and open heart to be fully received.
I don’t know today what my new agreement will be. (No TV for one month, two months, or three months? No YouTube? TV okay once a week?) But I do know I will uncover what feels right for me, what my soul is calling me towards, no later than equinox.
I want you to know that I don’t do this to be some weird, strict personal growth junky. I don’t do this to influence others to do what I’m doing or to denigrate watching TV or movies. I don’t judge people for their choices; although I do find that when I share about my experiences (my choices) people are often triggered and think that it means there’s something wrong with what they choose to do. We each do what feels right for us. And we’re each doing the best we can at any given moment.
At this point in time, this is my journey, growing closer and closer to my S(s)oul’s truth and embodying H(h)er wisdom. There are fields of golden wheat before me ready to be harvested. I am committed to gathering the abundance before me with as much conscious and loving awareness as possible.
May you have the courage to follow the calling of your own unique heart and soul as well, whatever that may look like.
May you know the beating of your own heart as it synchronizes to the rhythms of the Earth.
May the season before you bless you with the abundance of your soul’s desires.