Cultivate Purposeful Detachment


Here at 41°n, during the Autumn months, we witness the intelligence of the trees and their ability to identify and serve the needs of the larger organism over individual pieces of it.

The familiar greens of the Summer that have fallen into the background of our subconscious are replaced by brilliant yellows, magnificent oranges, fiery reds, majestic purples and crunchy browns. The intentional and intelligent process of letting go is upon us and we have the privilege of bearing witness to countless years of evolutionally wisdom.

Think of a single leaf on a single tree in the midst of this annual event. Each leaf started as a bud in the springtime, born to serve the entirety of the tree; symbiotically existing with patience and determination throughout its lifetime. Each leaf has its purpose and will continue to serve this purpose into infinity until the wisdom of the entire organism dictates (via colder weather) that perpetual attachment is non-serving; each leaf serves for a duration and then must release.

What can we learn from the beauty of the Autumn? There is clear analogy in the leaves and the intelligence of the tree to keep only what it needs and to let the rest fall to the ground. We each contain a collection of leaves; pieces of ourselves that live with us and serve us for a time but ones which we must be cognizant of in order to release in a timely manner. Thoughts, emotions, beliefs and philosophies all have their time with us. They begin as a small bud on our branches for a variety of reasons and nourish our entirety as long as we continue to symbiotically nourish and nurture them.

As the intelligent self behind all of our leaves, we must be our own cold-weather trigger that identifies when one of these leaves is no longer serving our entirety. We can dictate that moment when the stem detaches from the branch, allowing the leaf to make its graceful decent towards the earth; twirling and dancing with joy, knowing that it served a purposeful life. We remain, silent witnesses to the fallen leaves, feeling lighter and more fulfilled as we beam down joy onto each and every burst of color lying at our feet. We are humbled and appreciative of their time with us and their service to us. We know that each one had a purpose and fulfilled that need beautifully for us.

And then, we begin again. We do not need to wait for warmer weather to witness new buds forming on our branches. New thoughts, emotions, ideas and philosophies will form, some more fully than others and we will continue to grow with each and every one. We are in a perpetual state of renewal and rebirth and our awareness is the trigger for our purposeful detachment.

Evan Scharfeld

Cultivate Yoga