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Even though I grew up in a desert, home to statuesque saguaros standing against mild year-round temperatures, deciduous trees were always my favorite. (Being a consummate word nerd, I even had a hardcore crush on the word itself. “Deciduous” has a luxurious mouth feel, with juiciness on the end and an erudite, sciency tone.)

Falling leaves are the organic embodiment of natural change dictated by a grand force no one human can blunt. 

Autumnal deciduous trees are also the organic embodiment of shedding, letting go –  releasing.

Releasing is what we are musing on this month at Root + River. 

We are examining this theme through two lenses: a rooted lens (inward) and a river lens (outward). As with everything at Root + River, there’s an inner component and an outer component, the inner journey of self-reflection and awareness and the outer journey of expression, creativity and branding – the act of making a significant mark on the world.

A few questions we ponder in these gradually diminishing days:

What are you holding on to tightest these days? 

What inner dialogue/thoughts/ideas are taking up most of your internal discussion?

What do they say?

Do these ideas/dialogues/thoughts have an end point? Or do they recur?

Now, on to the releasing part: are any of them calling to you to be shed?

 

Here’s an exercise on how to determine just that:

Examine each of your most regular or powerful inner dialogue/thoughts/ideas, one at a time. Do your best to put words around them. Use a journal or your notes app to describe what they are, what they sound like, what they are asking of you. Lastly, consider the energy required to follow each, or sustain each. Are they energy-increasing? Or energy-reducing? Or neutral?

(Some examples of these dialogues/thoughts/ideas are: I find myself worrying excessively about my child, I don’t seem to find time for myself, I am tired and don’t know why, I am not doing well at x,y, z, I wish I could change x, but…etc.)

Given these findings, is there something you would like to shed?

Shedding can be letting that idea go, or it can be focusing directly on that idea for a set amount of time, surfacing it and paying it the attention it deserves, all the way through to conclusion, so you can move on. 

Identify what you’d like to shed. Say it out loud or to yourself. Imagine allowing it to fall off the branch of your mind. 

What might it feel like to let go of that idea/dialogue/thought?

Why do you want to release it?

What will you use to lean away from it when it recurs?

How will you mark the shedding? (This can be a mantra, or a mind’s eye vision or a tangible talisman.)

To express a true thing to the world, one that will resonate, we must look deeply to determine our own truth. 

We all have deep, abiding truths. For example, I have a deep, abiding belief in family. The bonds of family (chosen or given) are of the utmost seriousness for me. Beliefs are principles you believe in that no one ever taught you. They are your non-negotiables. You would shed blood to defend them.

We also have more surface level, seasonal truths. For example, I am very invested in pacing right now. I am making a conscious effort to listen to myself when it comes to setting a pace that suits me and brings me joy and satisfaction. This is incredibly conscious and a reflection of where I am in life and work right now. That seasonal truth may shift over time, given a different set of circumstances. That seasonal truth can inform short-term decisions significantly.

What’s going on regularly in your head and heart? The leaves you allow to blow in the wind of your mind daily may be seasonal truths. Or they might be evidence of deeper truths.

It’s healthy and often helpful to determine which is which. 

Let’s Talk!