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Becoming Deciduous

"Committing to YOU is deep work; you have to look at your shadows and release what no longer serves you."

- Lisa Manyon, Spiritual Sugar: The Divine Ingredients to Heal Yourself with Love

We're standing on the edge of autumn considering where to go next in our journey of growth. Throughout the season, trees drop their leaves and go into a time of dormancy before the new growth of the spring. Like the trees, it's the perfect time for us to shed the old and prepare for the new. It's a time of quiet reflection, but also a time to go to new depths in our shadow work: learn more about yourself, work with your inner child, and heal generational trauma. Going into the shadow can be scary and messy, but emerging on the other side of that work allows for an emotional freedom that can't be replicated by anything else.

Deciduous trees - those trees that drop their leaves yearly - aren't afraid of the outcome when they drop what's old. They drop the old and know that new things will arrive at the right time. For us, if we don't eliminate what doesn't serve us, we don't continue to grow and thrive. So how do we take that first courageous step into the unknowing?

You aren't going to drop and heal everything all at the same time. Not only would that be overwhelming, but you wouldn't be setting yourself up for the healthiest outcome. Take one thing at a time. Start by committing to a few minutes a day to yourself. We've been saying this for the past few months, but showing up for yourself daily is a must, even if it's only a few minutes. Use those few minutes to do a quick scan - check in with each part of your body. How are you really doing?

Once you can communicate with your body, you can move on to determining what does and does not serve you.

Those people in your life who constantly have drama and want to incessantly gossip? Toss.

The friend who shows up when you need them, but will also set boundaries and talk to you honestly? Keep.

The pile of clothes in the back of your closet that you haven't worn since 1998? Toss.

The quilt with sentimental value, added to and passed down through generations of your family with a story for every square? Keep.

When we take inventory of not only the physical items in our lives, but also our relationships, feelings, reactions, and responses, we come closer to defining what makes up our shadow so we are able to clearly see what we can keep and what we need to heal.

Your shadow consists of the parts of you that you hide from the public and many times from yourself. So many times we're told that we need to be happy and positive at all times; however, we can't experience life's joys without experiencing life's dark side. These dark parts often leave us hiding certain aspects of ourselves, which many times manifest in emotional outbursts. These emotional reactions we haven't dealt with need our light and love.

Take a look at your reactions. Every time something produces a heightened response in you, examine that. Write it down as soon as it happens, then take a close look. What was it that really produced the response? (Spoiler alert: it's rarely what was actually going on in the situation). Make a list of the thoughts you have about yourself, the reactions you have to situations, and the ego's reactions to your thoughts and daily activities. All of these are parts of your shadow - and as the name implies, you can't soften that shadow without bringing in light.

The healing part of this involves approaching each item on your list with so much love. You can't fight your way through healing - you can only love your way through it. It's a process - and not a quick one...

But it is so worth it on the other side when the new growth is ready to come in.

Our September Favorites


Jonathan Livingston Seagull - by Richard Bach


Metamorphosis - by Darpan


Autumn Leaves - Eva Cassidy with the London Symphony Orchestra


Journaling Prompt

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1 Comment

Jo Sucherman
Jo Sucherman
Sep 06, 2023

You always enter such beautiful pictures and words of wisdom, suggesting great music and books. Thank you for this. The philosophical thoughts are also appreciated and makes one stop and ponder the way we are and who we are. Thanks for these wonderful postings.

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