Shifting Seasons & The Medicine of transition

What first becomes gold must cede to decay.

There is no rebirthing without dying to something first.

So why not artfully choose? Choose to embrace the shedding, to participate in alleviating ourselves of what we need to release in order to reopen ourselves to what is calling to be born through us. 

Nature sets a very literal precedent for how our cyclical nature serves us but the vast majority of these cycles of transformation are more subtle, bordering on metaphorical. The beliefs, resistances, identities and ideals that we die to in order to have the space and the raw material to begin again. 

We mature something, make gold of it and then release it to continue the cycle that allowed us to grow in the first place and which continues our helical path of personal and collective evolution. ‘Nothing gold can stay’ is exactly this kind of transformation. Birth-death-rebirth cycles are where the momentum truly lies. 

‘Evolution’ is not a perpetual lightening or a state of perma-happiness. Evolution defines it better than growth which sounds more linear. Evolution is spirallized, it ebbs and flows, preferring neither. It holds the two steps forward and the one step back. It even holds the sometimes seemingly twenty steps back and the dissolution of completely coming undone without fear that the cycle will not restart. It grows, reaps and decomposes only to renew itself again. It invites in the expansion and takes on the underworld journey and the shadow work we need to face most. 

This time of year is naturally marked by transition. We find ourselves inherently beginning to shift inward, cued by the shifting and shedding of this season where the liminal space between is illuminated as the light and dark once again strike a perfect balance. 

We are intimately tied to the turning of the wheel of the year, to the mirror nature provides us. The more of our attention we give to this relationship, the more easily we learn to flow with transition as an experience. Through it we start to understand our own cyclical nature, the overlapping tides of birth, death and rebirth that we all undergo that continue to hone and refine us. We can see in the turning of the season the way nature so freely and readily releases, sheds and decomposes in order to have the raw material with which to create something new. We are this same spiralling matter. As we make conscious choices to witness this, we gain the spaciousness to be with all aspects of transition in ourselves both the elements that we most easily welcome as well as those that take concerted practice to invite in. Through that practice, though, we make friends with the shadow, with what is confronting and with what is refining us by grit. 

The question then is how do we support ourselves to be the witness to our whole experience, to choose presence over disconnection or numbing? For me, the answer is always practice. This capacity doesn't develop without our intentional choice to engage and train it. Through the practices that allow us to know and welcome the present moment we gain more space to be and to bear witness over time.