Falling into Fall

A portion of “Fall Goddess,” mixed media collage by Courtney Putnam

Fall has now transformed into full-blast autumn. Is this happening where you are? The weather has shifted to a combination of wet and windy here in Seattle, and the hours of daylight have dwindled. I’m noticing that these external changes are causing me to turn inward and to investigate what transformations are happening for me on the inside. How do these falling leaves make me feel? What do I desire or need now that there are fewer hours of light? Do I feel I am able to stay strong during the strong winds of my life or do I feel I’ll topple over?

When I look inward, at first I am aware of the the way fall creates a feeling of detritus resting inside me. In a way, I feel that part of me is returning to the earth for a long nap. I feel just a tad more dread when I greet the morning in darkness, feel sticky and uncertain with any stagnation in my business, and feel disappointed with my body whenever aches and pains reveal themselves to me on a given day.

But I’ve also noticed that fall is fruitful; the decay is full of nutrients and someday the flowers will return. Fall is bringing out a strong emotional contemplative side that is compelling me to create art, and I’ve felt my body craving warm, healthy foods like soups that not only seem to nourish my body but also my spirit. And giving bodywork sessions during this season always seems to be powerful for me as I witness clients relaxing and healing on such deep levels.

Sometimes, though, life can be changing all around me, but I am stuck in the sludge of my world. Do you ever feel this? I forget that fall is fruitful and that I am in control of so many of the positive changes in my life. I can choose to dig deep and uncover the beauty in the detritus; I can move through this season with mindfulness and happiness and grace–even when I wake up in the morning, and for a moment, start dreading the darkness.

One thing I’ve started doing is playing upbeat music in the morning and I move my way into the day through dancing and jumping around. The soundtrack to the film Kinky Boots has been my favorite for dancing as of late. I always feel better once I move. Once I physically move.

I encountered a quote by Milton Trager that speaks to this idea of moving in order to make change:

“First comes sensation, then comes movement. If you want to be different you have to feel something different.”

Sometimes desired change occurs when we actively take steps–when we identify how we feel (and consequently how we want to feel), and then step into the world with this new vision. Put in another way, Trager is also saying, “when you’re stuck, move.” I love Trager’s wisdom here: if we want to feel differently, we have to move. We have to make the change–or at least help it along with a pinch of our good intentions.

Sometimes that means physically moving–taking a walk, dancing, or stretching. Sometimes it means cursing or stomping, too, for these emotions need a way out as well. Maybe a good walk stomping around in the fall leaves is just the ticket to transforming your day. Or try turning on some tunes during the slump time of your day and letting your body move you into a new state of being. Whatever it is you choose to do, make it active; make your external movements represent the internal movements you are intending to make. Shake your way from lethargy to playfulness and see how you feel inside.

How do you feel about the falling leaves now?


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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One Response to Falling into Fall

  1. Jaliya says:

    … As Moshe Feldenkrais once said, “Movement is life” …

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