A transition into the fall season always feels bittersweet for me. Another summer gone by too quickly paired with the promise of beautiful cozy months ahead. New beginnings for many of us as more predictable routines resume, while the days simultaneously carry an undeniable sense of waning, of loss. Leaves fall from trees, darkness greets us earlier and earlier, birds and animals start their migrations or prepare for the cold winter ahead.
I am working this year to truly listen to my body, mind, and intuition, and to sync my own routines and habits with the nature of autumn. I am leaning into earlier bedtimes and making lots of warm meals; drinking gallons of tea and seeking seasonal, local produce; prepping my home for chilly nights. All the while, I have thrown myself into this season of new learning.
My current read is In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté, MD. In this profound book, Dr. Maté explores and humanizes the epidemic of addiction through reflection on his time as the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and harm reduction facility located in Vancouver. The stories and insights shared – about both his patients and himself – are not only moving, but have greatly impacted my own understanding of addiction and the role our modern culture plays in the rise of this epidemic.
In a recent podcast interview with Rich Roll, Dr. Maté claims that society loves for us to be addicted (to drugs, shopping, gambling, sex, etc.) because an individual’s feelings of inadequacy are what drive a consumerist culture.
Our culture does very little to promote healing and
in most cases undermines it.
All our afflictions, whether they be addiction, chronic physical illness, what we broadly call mental illness, other dysfunctions, are not separate events happening in discrete individuals, but rather representative of a process within each of us that is manifesting as a result of our collective environment. Wow. I’ll be sitting with that one for the weekend.
Both the podcast episode and the book are a must read/listen in my opinion. What have you learned lately that has challenged you or otherwise impacted you? I’d love to hear about it.
Wishing you well,