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Transitioning from Summer to Fall

Setting Intentions for the Season

As kids we lived for Summer vacation—long days, warm sun, friends, popsicles—all the ingredients of freedom. Whether it was camp, a family road trip, or our first job, Summer was a time to step out of our routines and responsibilities and let it all hang out, carefree and easy, until Labor Day inevitably rolled around and the party was over. Although these days are long gone, the change of season continues to evoke the same feelings as when we were young. For many of us, it’s hard to say goodbye to the freedom we associate with Summer.


Balance is key to sustainability. The ebb and flow that occurs organically in nature dictates that we need to answer the expansiveness of Summer with the introspection of Fall. This is a time to wind down, turn inward and prepare for the slow, restorative Winter months. In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is associated with the element of Metal, which rules organization, mental acuity, communication, and boundaries. This is a powerful time to get clear on where we are, how we got here, and where we are going. Setting intentions for the Fall season is a great way to turn a post-summer hangover into an inspirational meditation.


Here are 6 tips to setting intentions:


  1. Dig Deep. What do you REALLY want for yourself? Make sure you are setting an intention that resonates with you at a deep level. It is easy to confuse what we want for ourselves with what others want for us, or even what we think others want for us. Spend some time in stillness, peeling back the layers of perception until you reach a place that feels deeply authentic. You’ll probably feel it in your belly. Set an intention from that place. 


  1. Go Big. We are shaped by a lifetime of limiting beliefs. Actually, we are limited by generations of survival mechanisms that are designed to keep us safe and minimize risk. Think about the risk it takes for a caterpillar to become a butterfly. The cocoon was essential for its metamorphosis. For a time, it was a protective and safe home; but eventually and inevitably, the butterfly’s survival shifts from relying on its container to shedding it. In setting intentions, it is crucial to think beyond the cocoon. What structures have you outgrown?


  1. Be it. Don’t make your intentions about what you are going to DO. Make them about who you get to BE.

Instead of this: I will go to the gym five times a week.

Make it this: I am a vibrant woman who embodies wellness by making fitness a priority.


  1. Short Term. Once you tear out of your container and see the infinite possibilities that have rolled out before you, it might be irresistible to plan the rest of your life. Limitless possibility is a powerful place to be, just make sure you refocus on the next few months and set a short term intention that supports the larger vision.


  1. Write it. Something happens when we put it in writing. Thoughts become concrete, tangible things. We breathe life into our intentions by putting pen to paper. No longer in our heads, there is physical evidence of what we are committing to bring forth. Stash the written intentions in your panty drawer, or other personal place, where you can refer to them over the next few months.


5. Support it. Our intentions are usually about changing one aspect of our lives. But our lives are built on a complex and historical network of cause and effect. When we shift one piece, it can upset other pieces. In the chaos, old patterns and coping mechanisms might show up and “act out.” Anticipating and preparing for this will help you stay focused and empowered.


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