We’ve officially reached the dog days of summer here in the northern hemisphere: A time when we finally look up from our popsicles, flip flops, and sun screen only to realize that fall is on our doorstep.
For a lot of people, it brings a moment of panic. Standing on the precipice of change is not a human strong suit. The uncertainty of it can feel overwhelming and dreadful, not unlike the Sunday scaries.
I get it, endings can seem sad and ominous — something to fear, procrastinate, or stall.
Personally, I’ve experienced moments where it feels like staying in a state of limbo or changelessness is somehow better than stepping forward. But I also know that clinging to the way things are never helps us explore new options or possibilities (personally and professionally).
We are finite in these lives we live and, with only so many moments to spend, it’s important to dig in and see what we can uncover and discover — this may mean embracing an ending so that something new can be discovered.
The hard part about choosing to embrace change is that we inevitably leave some things behind on the cutting room floor. But from the end of one moment blooms the beginning of another, which is why fall is a perfect time to put some things to rest and create space for newness.
That’s why my remedy for the summer scaries is an entire shift in how we perceive change and letting go.
In considering your options this fall, ask yourself what doors you can close? What can you let rest in order to hone the things that warrant your full attention and your limited time? How can you punctuate endings with confidence and let the closure give you a sense of peace and empowerment, rather than a feeling of missing out?
A few mantras I’ve been using to cultivate this practice are:
- “Do less, better”
- “Rather than looking outward, look inward”
- “What I can do with what I already have”
- “When I say no to some things, I can fully say yes to others”
For me, this reality means doing less so I can be 100% present for the things I’ve committed to do.
It means saying “no” to projects that aren’t a good fit in service of doing my best work leading strategic workshops for the clients and teams who are a good fit.
It means honoring rest and connection over speed and convenience.
I’ve found that the more I narrow my focus, the closer I feel to the ground — not in a naive, head-in-the-sand way, but in a pointed, intentional, rooted-in-the-soil sort of way.
In this time of information overload and seemingly-limitless choices, our true power comes in choosing what to pay attention to and how to invest our time.
Or, in the words of early-90s alt rock band Semisonic and their hit song, Closing Time:
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
How do you cope with the changing of seasons? What methods help you embrace letting go? Let me know in the comments, and leave a few claps if you enjoyed this narrative.