It’s darker in the morning when I get up, and the sun is setting earlier each day. Despite the warmth of this year’s autumn, we are now deeply immersed in the change from summer to Fall. It’s in the air, it’s in the changes of the light, and it impacts our moods.
This past week, in my counseling room, many clients voiced the impact of these changes. Some spoke of how much harder it is to get up in the morning. Some noticed a pronounced change in their mood towards the lower end of the spectrum. Still others voiced how they were struggling more with a lack of motivation to do the things they would like to do.
Fall has this way of smacking us in the face with the reality of the impermanence of life. All life comes to an end. Not only that, but, change is inevitable, each moment we are in is different from the one before it, and, the illusion of permanence causes suffering.
I’ve never been a big fan of Fall, and, I think much of it has to do with the realities mentioned above. It brings to bear this basic truth that nothing is permanent. Mindfulness meditation has helped me to be more present, and helps in adjusting to the changes through an awareness of reality, and a less reactive response. A conscious awareness by training the brain to bring attention to the sensations of the body, with body scanning meditation, re-wires the brain to deal with the inevitability of change.
And even without the practice of a body scan meditation, the plain fact of awareness can help us cope with change. In one group this week, a member voiced her experience of a lower mood without any clear reason. Others chimed in with similar stories. Once we shared about the change of season and how this often impacts mood, the group member had a bit of an “aha” moment and harkened back through life to remember that this happens each Fall and it is a reality to be aware of, adjusted to, and with that, hopefully, a better chance to embrace the change.
One way we embrace the change of Fall in our household is with the celebration of the foods we love when the crisp coolness fills the autumn air. Adelina taught me her ragù alla bolognese recipe. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the details came in over time as she released new ingredients through the years. I think I have all the details because it has been quite awhile since she added one. Click here to read about it and find the recipe. I make it and freeze it in portions for a quick comforting meal. We enjoy each moment of change in the seasons of life.