In 2014, I started a new email series called Autumn Alchemy with the intention of helping others to transition more gracefully, and with more power, from summer into fall, sustaining through winter. That year as I was developing the course, I was also immersed in it. I expected to deepen my Awareness of the connection between the changes happening around me in the natural world and those happening inside me with the shifting of the season. What I didn’t expect was for the process to have such a profound and tangible effect on my life.
The Autumn Alchemy series is a process with a purpose– turning our summer bounty into Autumn’s gold. Each person’s experience and expression of this will be vastly different, but I encourage participants to explore how that expression can manifest as something physical or tangible. My own Autumn Alchemy process– a wonder-filled trail of reflection and meditation– led to a physical manifestation which was both an unexpected and a life-changing gift.
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Early in the year 2014, my husband and I started something new. We decided that if there was something we even remotely wanted to consider doing, we’d write it on the calendar. Everything– no matter how small, how epic, or how seemingly unlikely– was written on the calendar. This had two distinct purposes. The first was simply to reserve the date. The second was to place the possibility within our line of sight, or as one of my teacher says: In sight– In mind.
In the past we’d had the experience that things that don’t get written down often get forgotten, flaked out on, or just end up not happening. While things might still need to be rescheduled, we discovered it was easier to reschedule something that was already assigned a date on the calendar than to try to nail down a commitment for something with a nebulous time frame.
What resulted was a spring and summer full of abundance– travel, parties, picnics, shows, new experiences, and more connection with friends. It was incredibly busy, but never felt obligatory. We always reserved the right to just decide not to do whatever was on the calendar if we didn’t feel up to it. The amazing was that when the day came, we almost always went ahead and followed through with whatever was on the calendar.
Although we were exhausted by summer’s end– we felt elated and, for the first time since I could remember, I felt truly Satisfied. That may sound simple, but in a world where we are always reaching, longing, searching for the next thing– where I personally have felt wanderlust, uncertainty, and indecision as my constant bedfellows– it felt profound.
As I entered Autumn Alchemy that year, ready to slow down and shift my attention inward, I was aware of a deep need to dedicate time and energy to appreciating the incredible abundance that I’d just experienced.
Something else we had started earlier in the year was thinking more earnestly about buying a house. As self-proclaimed “commitment-phobes”, and seemingly permanent vagabonds (we’ve moved around every few years since meeting in Australia back in 2000), even looking was an epic step for us. We weren’t sure we were ready, but we figured that it couldn’t hurt to look and to learn a little more about the process.
We knew that buying a home would mean committing, putting down roots, and giving up– at least for a while– the easy, wandering life we’d grown accustomed to. As the year progressed, we continued to flounder on how serious to get about buying. One day we’d feel ready to do it; the next day we felt light-years from ready.
As the summer waned and we felt autumn around the corner, the house buying idea took on a life that was hard to ignore. We put things in order, contacted our Realtor, and narrowed down our search area to a much more manageable area.
Toward the end of the Autumn Alchemy series, we found a house and prepared to make an offer– only to have it bought by a contractor with cash right out from under us. We were devastated– absolutely heartbroken. And in that heartbreak we saw the truth– we were longing for a home and a place to call our own. And the loss helped us in another way, too– to clarify our vision, our finances, and our wish list, so that we wouldn’t waver for a second the next time we found a place we loved.
One week after the Autumn Alchemy series ended, we made an offer on a beautiful house– our first offer ever on a home. Incredibly, we beat ten other offers and won it. It felt amazing and surreal.
I realized then that I could not have taken such a huge step toward this level of commitment without first having experienced this kind of fullness and gratitude. Every time I doubted our ability to commit it such a big way, I came back to that feeling of true and deep satisfaction, and I knew it was finally true– I was content. I felt I had a strong foundation on which to be building these big life-changes.
In the year following Autumn Alchemy and purchasing our home, there have been a lot of ups and downs. Personal loss, grief, over-extension, growth, evolution, and self-care have all been present. There have been shifts and change, but the constant has been having a beautiful home as a sanctuary. Having a place and knowing its ours, having a beautiful garden and nearby park that make connection with nature so easy– these are gifts that have offered plenty of healing, solace, and joy over the last months.
This is the kind of gold I’m talking about creating– alchemizing and manifesting– in Autumn Alchemy. Pure, beautiful, life-enriching gold.
I’m not saying you’ll buy a house or even make such a major life change after going through the series. What I am saying is that when you are reminded each day to feel gratitude, to clarify your intentions and dreams, and to live with awareness and intention, well– powerful things can happen.
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo