Somehow, it’s autumn again. We are heading into Samhain, the days are getting shorter, and before we know it we’ll be preparing Yule celebrations. Many people simultaneously love this time of year for its beauty, cool temps, and Halloween festivities. But it can also be difficult because we know we are heading into winter, cold, and the long darkness. The news cycle doesn’t help. Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, the Oval Office, and so much more.

But that is exactly why the turning of the year has so much to teach us. The earth is going through her annual process of dying. The autumn leaves are just the most obvious example of this. All of nature, at least in this part of the world, is preparing to turn inward and rest until the rebirth next year. And she does it with total faith that the spring will come.

The changing leaves show us that letting go can be done with grace and hope. It means knowing that the death of what is so familiar, even part of us, is sometimes necessary and inevitable. How we go through that process is what counts. As we face the season of dying, what can you allow to die within you? With so much pain and suffering around us, how can we hold light and hope for brighter days?

Use this season to prepare the inner work of winter. Ready your pantry or freezer for warming meals, or establish a self-care routine that can help you tolerate the cold and the news. Try a meditation: Go to a safe, comforting place in your mind. Ask a loving guide to come forward with a lesson that you need to contemplate this winter.

Can you be a glorious tree – strong, rooted, stable – and let the dying away happen with ease? What do you need to let go of in order to be reborn in perfect timing?

What are your leaves?

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