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The Autumn Striptease: 3 playful tips for the season change

There’s one road that I drive on every few months that always distracts me. It’s in a deep valley and the landscape expands outwards in both directions before rising up to a steep hillside. A row of magnificent trees is at the top of one of the rises and even from that great distance away, they seem huge and imposing.

The trees are a problem - they captivate me and it's hard to stay focused on the road! The whimsical part of me imagines they've been there for centuries. I find myself lost in imaginings of ancient rituals and connection to the land. I don’t drive the road often enough to become numb to it, so it never fails to grab my attention.

In the Spring, the canopy of the trees is a bright vibrant green that's like a herald of the warmth and sunshine to come (well, except for this year where it felt like the sun forgot to come back after it's initial June taster). Then, through the summer, the canopies become a dense, deep green that echoes the abundance and richness of the season.

Now we approach Autumn and it will put on its most spectacular show of all. On a sunny Autumn day, the riot of colours is like every tree is competing with the next to be the most colourful. The final hurrah before the winter striptease.

Nature Knows what it’s doing

‌There’s something deeply relaxing about succumbing to nature (except if you’re driving and need to make sure you stay on the road!). When you’re overwhelmed, activating your awe and wonder at the world can be a powerful antidote. It can provide tiny glimmers to remind you that all is not lost and there is beauty around us.

There are two qualities in particular that can supercharge that connection to Nature and allow you to harness it in your life: Curiosity and Playfulness. I’ll be truly honest with you and say that these are qualities I have to cultivate and practice regularly. My default is often to carry responsibility, to hold life tightly and to push myself to “be productive”: the edicts of our modern culture seem at odds with my deeply felt wisdom that it’s the opposite of the things we need.

Do you find this too? That there’s a yearning inside for more joy and play but that it often gets squashed?

As I travel through this mid-life transition and support many women who are doing it too, I notice that my tolerance for this squashing is reducing. In this menopause transition, where hormone changes are undeniable, with a mind and body that's no longer the same, there's an unexpected opportunity.

What I've come to believe is that the discomfort of it all can be the precursor to necessary and meaningful change. It's not a disintegration of who we are, even though it can sometimes feel that way and the cultural messaging can often suggest it is. Instead, it's an Upgrade. It's the beginning of the path to becoming your best deep self, according to clinical psychiatrist and author Dr Louann Brizendine.

Nature does know what she's doing. The seasons change; for the natural world and in our own lives. There's beauty in it all. For our own inner season changes, it's also a journey. So where do you start?

Just for today, how about you start with playful curiosity and grounding yourself in Nature.

3 ways to Ground yourself as we slide into Autumn

Like many things that are the antidote to modern life, grounding yourself is something to strive for whilst also accepting that it’s a journey and we're always a work in progress. Let’s have some fun as we harness nature to ground and energise us for the long dark months ahead.

Here’s my top 3 playful ways to get grounded this Autumn:

1. Leaf Peeping

A few years ago, a Canadian friend invited me to go leaf peeping with her.

“Say what??? What the heck is leaf peeping??”

A quick google search later and I was in! It basically means going out to find, view, appreciate and photograph the spectacular colour spectacle of autumn leaves changing colour.

Of course, we all notice and admire the autumnal strip-tease as we go about our days, but it brings a whole new energy to it when you intentionally get together to “leaf peep”.

Even the name sounds a little bit cheeky to me!

Give it a try and I’d love to see your pics … no cheeky ones though please!

2. Climb a Tree

There are some woods a few minutes drive from home that I pass on the way back from dropping my kids to school. I really got to know it properly back in the Covid lockdowns (there were some upsides).

One of the ways I love to get grounded is to come off the path and wander into the middle of the trees. I look out for fallen trees, or extra low and inviting branches and climb up inside.

I’m not limber enough these days to climb way up in the trees but there’s something really wonderful about nestling in the branches (with a big coat on usually!).

If you don’t fancy climbing, see if you can find a little nook to climb into and sit down. It feels so different when you actually stop and sit instead of barrelling through to get your steps in.

Extra bonus points if you have a little chat with the tree - they make great listeners!

3. Take a dip in a river, stream or the sea

Ok, so this one won’t be everyone’s cup of tea ... but even the most cold averse person can manage a little toe dangle every now and again.

As the river or sea temperatures cool down, it makes you feel so alive to connect with flowing water. For me, I like a full blown swim to blow the cockles away.

Start with even putting your hand in the water.

Just sitting beside the water is also incredibly nourishing and grounding.

Remember being a child and that playful curiosity that came so easily for most of us?

See if you can bring that spirit of adventure to being outside.

Grounding back to You

Your grounding and connection is not just to the earth, but also to the lost parts of yourself. What you believe about yourself and the journey through midlife will make a huge difference to what you experience.

Often my work with women is to help them unpick the ways their thoughts and beliefs are unwittingly contributing to how they feel. Not because they're somehow "doing it all wrong", but because when things change, it's helpful to have someone to support you to create your new roadmap.

You can find out more about working with me 1:1 to do this deeply transformative work here. Let's have a chat and see if I can help you get back to thriving.

You can also Email me at, I’d love to hear from you!

Love and autumn vibes

Laura @ Be.


"A walk in nature, walks the soul back home"

- Mary Davis



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