What falls away


Here in Southern California you’d be forgiven for missing the memo that fall is here. In this monochromatic land of perpetual summer, the natural world provides only subtle indications. We are helped along in our perceptual understanding by the roadside pumpkin stands and the oddly sporadic harvest and (premature!) Halloween decorations.

Nonetheless, I’ve had a few moments of simplification recently that are either coincidental to the season or representative of a subconscious biological attunement to its central theme: what falls away makes room for the new.

The first came a few weeks ago when I realized my email subscriptions had superseded my ability to keep up with them. I started hitting “unsubscribe” with relish. A few minutes of pruning brought my attention to what I care about most. And, practically, it is saving me time each day by allowing me to be fed, rather than stuffed, by my choices.

I also led an incursion into my closet and dresser, discarding items now rarely worn. All of a sudden a handful of lonely hangers as well as a sock drawer organized so that I can see, well, my socks. That was a particularly gratifying harvest.

These simple, concrete actions feel like practice for more substantive opportunities. They remind me to consider the clutter in my own heart and mind and how it might fall away to make room for something new.

Forgiveness not yet given?
Opinions too strongly held?
Perceptions frozen in time?
Assumptions too easily made?
Vulnerability not yet expressed?
Habits ready to be broken?

There’s more than enough to work with. More than enough to consider as I move deeper into a season whose demands are the required down-payment on all future growth.

DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.

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