As the leaves begin to do their final colourful farewell, the burnt orange and fiery red, I think about the autumn in our lives, the different phases we are faced with as human beings as we grow, change, evolve and yes, get older. All these life phases or changes come with opportunities for learning and growth and at the same time can also contain great feelings of sadness and loss as we move into a new phase of our life, be it a child going to school for the first time or one heading off to university and leaving home. Sometimes it is the breakup of a relationship or a friendship, a move to a foreign country or downsizing a few streets away. Life is full of change and with change comes a chance to get to know ourselves more deeply.

Instead of telling ourselves a story about how it “should” be I wonder why we sometimes do not allow ourselves the freedom to feel the full range of emotions attached to these life changes and new phases? It is as if there is an expectation, from us, to ourselves, that says “You should not be feeling like this because of……” As soon as we begin to “should” all over ourselves, we begin to feel bad. How much better to be curious about the feelings that are stirred and feel them fully? This takes courage and is not easy.

Next time you face a change in your life, however big or small it may seem, ask yourself this, how can I stay compassionate to myself and remain curious about this? I don’t know what will happen, but I trust myself to know I will be ok and that whatever I find on the other side of this change, the ups, and the downs, will broaden my understanding of myself. Like the leaves, do a colourful dance with certainty and flair, knowing spring and new growth of self is just around the corner.