The summer air is thick, oozing with secrets. Our emotional baggage clings to our bodies in the humidity, under the blazing sun.

The autumn wind purges our demons, along with the heat. We watch the leaves turn, inching closer and closer to death, to the barrenness of winter.

According to Dream Dictionary, death may symbolize transition. “To dream that you die symbolizes inner changes, transformation, self-discovery and positive development that is happening within you or your life.”

Autumn’s metamorphosis, the in-between, encourages us to start over. To breathe.

We can forge new beginnings whenever we’d like, but I tend to gravitate toward the underlying essence of the autumn season. Rosh Hashanah rings in the Jewish New Year. L’Shana Tova. Let’s dip our apples in honey and sugar and make it sweet.

And, most temples are built with moveable walls to accommodate those on Yom Kippur — in Hebrew, this translates as ‘Day of Atonement.’ I fast for 24 hours while reflecting upon the past twelve months. Trying to purify, cleanse, wipe my slate clean. It’s okay if we fall down, fail or lose our way.

This autumn, I’m letting go of:

  • heavy conversations that do not serve a purpose; of unnecessary dialogue that weighs on our chest and hearts.
  • facets of the past that no longer need my fixation and utmost attention. Instead, I can shine a light on my strengths.
  • my dark locks. Highlighting my hair with tones of auburn and copper is appealing. Right now, brightness is what I crave.
  • stressors that don’t need to be perceived as stressors. It is what it is, so they say. And that’s perfectly all right.
  • quiet endings; endings to chapters that have naturally run their course. Could this be sprinkled with bittersweetness and nostalgia? Sure. But these endings still make sense.
  • certain foods that aren’t beneficial to my diet. Sugar can instigate anxiety? I’ll be more mindful of what I (generally) ingest, and how I care for my body.
  • career expectations that may not be financially sound, while still acknowledging that I can do what I love on my own time.
  • beating myself up simply for being human. We make mistakes, we fall down, we get messy. In a similar vein, I’m letting go of particular apologies; apologizing for my feelings. I’m letting go of its subtext: I’m sorry my emotional state is causing you discomfort. I’m sorry for being a human being.

We walk on grounds covered with color — with reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. The trees let the leaves slip away, setting them free. We walk on these grounds, in transit from Point A to Point B, moving forward.

What are you letting go of this autumn season?

Autumn leaves photo available from Shutterstock