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Late Summer Rituals

Ah, September.

I’m never fully prepared for the transition from Summer to Fall. One moment, we're basking (and sweating) in 90-degree heat, and the next, we're waking up as the sun rises and there’s a chill in the air. During an early morning walk with my pup last week, I saw my breath hanging in the air, a clear sign that autumn is most definitely approaching.

And while it always sneaks up on me, I do feel a giddy anticipation this time of year. Sure, I feel a tinge of sadness as the days from shorter and cooler, but there's also an undeniable excitement present, fueled by creative possibility.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, this period is known as Late Summer, the fifth season. It’s a transition from the expansive energy of summer to the more introspective energy of the coming fall and winter. And when all the external shifts can leave us feeling ungrounded and mentally scattered, centering ourselves becomes essential.

For me, it’s a time for reconnecting to my foundation and a chance to deepen the rituals and practices that source my spirit and creativity. It's a potent time to assess where I’ve invested my energy, gain clarity on what actually serves me, and make intentional choices in honor of my path ahead.

Lately, that’s looked like carving out more time to write in the mornings, reconnecting with people whom I love dearly, and revisiting my vision and commitments. I’ve taken on the practice of doing an energy audit of what IS and is NOT supportive for me. (For any of you out there who have been financially audited, I apologize for the nervous system response that this word elicits!)

An energy audit is a reflective practice that allows us to realign our actions with our intentions. It’s an opportunity to look inward. To clear out stagnant energy, release emotional weight, and create the space for all that autumn magic you’re dreaming up. Consider it a closet cleaning for the soul. 

It involves intentionally asking myself the following questions:

  • What relationships, commitments, habits, and thoughts deplete me of energy? (The energy vampires on your schedule.) 

  • What relationships, commitments, habits and thoughts renew or revive me? (Those activities that light you up.)

  • What tasks, responsibilities, or obligations am I avoiding? (Those things you’re always moving from one week’s to-do list to the next.) 

The goal here is to get super clear on how you spend your time (physically and mentally), notice what nourishes you and what drains you, and then shed what you can release. It’s about freeing up your brain, your heart, and your physical space for what’s next.

As you continue this mental inventory, take a peek at all areas of your life: personal relationships, romantic relationships, family dynamics, career, well-being routines, community involvement, and your finances.

I invite you to reflect on recent interactions:

  • Where have I said yes when I wanted to say no? What are the grudges or regrets that I’m holding onto? Promises left unfulfilled? 

  • If I didn’t need to apologize or explain myself, what would I stop doing immediately?

Remember, no guilt or blame here. Set down the judgment. I love making lists, so that’s often how I begin.

This is about embracing what fills you up, identifying where you are giving away your energy and time, and tossing out what no longer sparks joy (Marie Kondo style). 

By liberating our energy from what no longer aligns with our values, we create space for what's next while remaining committed to the foundational well-being practices that sustain and replenish us.

From this clarity, we have an opportunity to move forward with a bit more lightness and purpose.

Starting today, what can you say ‘No’ to? What can you delete from your schedule?  And in that space, what can you say ‘Yes’ to? What can you invite in?

Wishing you a vibrant and soul-nourishing season ahead,

xo, Beth

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