Letting Go of the Past When the Autumn Leaves Fall

A photo of fall leaves in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Letting go of the past when Autumn leaves fall will help us stay positive in health and wellbeing.
Autumn Leaves in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Copyright © 2021 Lee Spirit

Autumn is a wonderful time of year for brilliant, colourful leaves, but not everyone likes it! We want the summer to last, and try to hold onto its green vibrancy and wild flowers for as long as possible. But the changing season is inevitable. Some love and welcome the change, while for others, it’s a reminder of a cold, dark winter ahead. Maybe it reminds you of things dying, drying up, and falling away. Perhaps it reminds you of heading back to school. For me, Autumn is a special time – Not only for the colourful leaves that bring me joy, and beautiful photos, but also for settling my mind and spirit. Just as nature prepares itself for change, so too can we start letting go of the past, and shake things up a bit in our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Letting Go of the Past As The Leaves Fall

This year when you see the leaves browning, blowing off the trees, and falling to the ground, as they are today where I live, bring yourself into a mindset, and felt vibration of gratitude. Gratitude for the gifts and teachings of nature.

Try not to focus on a particular event that the Fall reminds you of, such as winter coming, or the kids heading off to school, and your house being empty. Remember instead the Buddhist philosophy of “impermanence”. Everything in life is always changing, inconstant, dies, and is reborn again. Accept this time as a great time to come into harmony with nature and yourself by letting go of the past as the leaves fall…

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What Can You Let Go Of, or Allow To Fall Away?

Letting go of the past and what no longer serves us can be confusing when trying to figure out what to let go of. What is it really that “does not serve us”?


Examples might be letting go of a friendship or relationship that needs to be put to rest. Maybe this person has been draining your energy rather than lifting you up. This may seem difficult to do, but in order to protect your own energy and heart, you may need to set someone free. It’s also helpful to realize that it’s okay for hearts to go on their own way…


Related to that is letting go of attachments to people, places, ideas, or things. This may be an obsession, or addiction to someone or something, like social media or news. Attachment only leads to suffering. So it’s best to learn how to let go by realizing that there is a beginning and an end to all things, even if we don’t yet see the gift in that.


You can also clear the clutter in your life, and give away things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. This might be clothing you no longer wear that someone else could use. Old books on your shelf that you never liked or read could be donated. Maybe you have old journals, letters, or photos you want to burn in a fire.

Bad Habits

You may have some bad habits, negative emotions, or past programming you want to replace with something healthier. A stern parent may have made you feel like you don’t have a voice. So you may want to work on releasing that wound, and learn to speak with your authentic voice and truth in the world.

3 Steps To Letting Go of the Past: Let the Leaves Fall

There are 3 steps you can take to release your ghosts of the past. I’m not saying it’s easy, but with consistency, you can feel through the pain of the past and begin to shed these layers.

Step 1 in Letting Go: The Messenger

The first step really hit home for me when I first read it in Michael Brown’s book, “The Presence Process”. It is so very true. And that is: “Don’t shoot the messenger”.

What do I mean by that? Well, there are many ways that life’s lessons come to us, and many of them are painful truths we must accept. How that message comes to us varies – It may come through a teacher, a mentor, a friend, a mother, a son, or a spark of insight while you’re out in nature.

As an example, your mother may say something that sets you into reactive and defensive mode. So you get angry with your mom and basically “shoot the messenger” – the messenger being your mother.

But really to make progress in the releasing of negative habits and tendencies, we need to focus more on the message, rather than the messenger. Your mother is delivering the message. What you need to pay attention to is what that message is telling you about your current state.

This forces you not to blame another person for your anger, but to take full responsibility for your current state. If you get angry, then you know there’s something within you that needs tending to with loving compassion, kindness, and care.

Step 2 in Letting Go: The Lesson

This brings us to step 2, which is hearing and acknowledging what the message is telling us. Okay, so you got angry at your mom. Recognize that this does not have anything to do with your mom, but that deep inside, you harbour some anger about some past wound, perhaps in your upbringing. Maybe what she said reminds you of an event from your childhood where you felt hurt, and this new instance of anger towards your mother is really just a past wound that you never fully felt in your physical being. You also wouldn’t have released it fully if it’s coming up again and again in your current experiences.

Once you learn what the message of anger is telling you, you can start to breathe through it, and start letting go of the past so that you can create new beginnings. You start to recognize the physical sensations in your body as a message from the past each time it comes up again for you. You then settle into breathing and meditation to help release it.

Step 3 in Letting Go: Feeling Your Feelings

Really feeling what you feel. Go deep with this one. Deep into your own body. Through quiet meditation, notice the sensations in your body. Feel the tension in your shoulders and neck, the pain in your stomach, or the tightness in your chest. Just notice without judgement, and without being critical of yourself or others. Allowing the feelings to pass through your body, and calming them through your breath and meditation. We are not trying to change, fix, heal, or understand it, but simply allowing it.

Michael Brown calls this “containment” rather than suppression of our unwanted negative emotions. Containment meaning we accept responsibility for our circumstances and reactions. They are our own, rather than caused by something external to us. It’s an acknowledgement that we are hurting, and giving ourselves that unconditional loving care and attention that we so need in order to let go of the past.

How Letting Go of the Past Can Help You

Once we realize the impermanence of things – That nothing lasts forever; That one day our bodies will not be as healthy as they are. Our skin will wrinkle, and we may experience an illness, and eventually death – Once we really embrace this, then it’s so much easier to let things go. There is a beginning and an end to all things.

Positive Wellbeing & Balance

We are not just letting the dry, dead leaves of our souls fall away…We are also setting ourselves up for a healthier way of being by cultivating more positivity in our lives. Finding balance in our mental states is so important when facing the challenges we are all up against. When we know how to come into that calm space of neutrality, this creates the balance of mind, body, and spirit that we need.

Happiness From Within

Just as our pain from past wounds is not caused by something external to us, it’s also true that happiness comes from within us. It is not a result of something external to us. Your partner or fancy car don’t “make you” happy. You are happy when you are doing what your soul came here to do and your inner light emanates from within. It’s easier for this light in your belly and heart to radiate outwards once you’ve cleared the dead leaves of your inner garden by letting go of the past.


Letting go of the past also allows us to handle life’s challenges with more ease. Being resilient is such a great quality to cultivate because lots of situations get thrown at us that we don’t expect. Those curve balls in life can really throw us off kilter, off balance, and can send us into a frazzled mess. By letting go of our past, our pains, and our programming, we create more space within us for calm response rather than upset reactivity. We can handle change and challenge so much better.

What Do You Want To Bring Into Your Life?

Part of letting go of the past is knowing what you want more of in your life. Once you’ve created that fresh, new, calm space within, you can start replacing old patterning with something new. New ideas, creative endeavours, new friendships, connections, and/or a new relationship. Maybe it’s time for a new job, a change of scenery, a vacation, taking a class, learning something new, or moving to a new home.

The way to determine this is by asking yourself what lights you up, brings you joy, makes you laugh or smile, and gives you renewed energy. I know for me that nature is my source of comfort and joy. Hiking to beautiful heights with amazing scenery that I can then share with the world makes me happy. Inspiring others and lighting people’s way with mindfulness so that they can feel calm and peaceful going through life is a pleasure. When you’re in alignment with your soul and desires, you can manifest the things you want more of.

Falling Leaves as a Reminder of Change & Positive Growth

The Autumn leaves are falling, and winter is blowing in at least in the mountains where I live. I hope this post has helped you realize that the falling of the leaves does not have to be a gloomy or miserable time. The change of season, even into something colder, is a great time to go within, meet the ghosts of your past, feel through discomfort, and come out stronger, fresher, and ready for something new.

Lee Spirit is an avid outdoors adventurer with a love for nature, photography, health & fitness, wellness, and spirituality. She helps those who suffer from anxiety & negative thinking to become healthier in mind-body-spirit. Her own personal journey has led her to the  study and practice of mindfulness, health, wellness, yoga, spirituality, sound healing, meditation, and personal development for over 20 years. Get mindfulness, meditation, and personal development tips in her Free Natural Mind Healing Report.


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