🍁 On Seasons

Autumn is a time of transition. The leaves begin to change colors. We say goodbye to the heat of the summer and welcome cooler temperatures. On one hand, I mourn the end of summer with its long days of sunshine and the bounty of my garden. On the other, I welcome the crisp, cool air and the feeling of a fresh start that fall always seems to bring.

I often talk about the concept of seasons – seasons of life, seasons of work, seasons of joy, seasons of struggle, seasons of change. Some seasons are brief and fleeting. Some seasons last a lifetime. All seasons are impermanent. 

After experiencing the loss of my Grand Dad, the last two months have been a very hard season of my life. However, I have found that the acceptance of impermanence has genuinely helped me through this time. By this I mean both the knowledge that this challenging season, too, shall pass, as well as the deep appreciation of the decades-long season I was so fortunate to have with my loved one. 

Change itself is not the source of suffering.

According to many great monks and philosophers, change itself is not the source of suffering, but rather the desire for things to be permanent when they’re not. No matter the season you’re in at work, I encourage you to welcome the transitory nature of life and work, be present in it, appreciate it, and maybe even be a little happier within it.

So how can you stop resisting change and instead embrace the transition?

illustration of a mix of orange, red, yellow, and brown autumn leaves on a moving, winding river

3 Tips for Embracing Change

1. Accept impermanence. 

Everything in life is always shifting, in a state of flux. Some change is positive, some is negative, some welcome, some unwelcome. Regardless – change will come. Impermanence is part of the human experience. Clinging to permanence creates anxiety, while accepting impermanence increases our appreciation for the beauty and joy in the present. 

2. Find the opportunity in change.

Whether the change is happy or sad, welcome or unwelcome, all change presents opportunity. Only you can find that opportunity and decide what to do with it. Consider the season you are in right now. Maybe this season is most marked by an achievement, a growth moment, a relationship, a loss, or something else entirely. Consider what you can learn from this moment. How might you grow from what you’re experiencing in this season of your life?

3. Express gratitude.

Before bed every night, I write one thing I’m thankful for. Not only on the days when everything went right or something great happened. Even on the most difficult days, I can name something that I am grateful for. It helps to realize that even in the hardest seasons there are things to appreciate. But its greatest value is simply being more present in the good regardless of the season – painful, joyful, or mundane.

We can’t go back. To be successful, we must adapt and find reasons to hope for what could be possible. It may take some space and creativity, but we must home in on what excites us about the future and rally around that.

Carrie Patterson-Reed in Little Black Book