I love autumn, its my favourite season of the year. The changes in colours in nature, the trees starting to shed their leaves to survive through winter, squirrels busily squirreling away their harvest to sustain them through the colder months, getting out the winter boots, warmer coats, scarves and hats. It is also an invitation for us to align ourselves with nature and begin to slow down and draw our energy inwards ready for the darker months ahead.
Easier said than done, I know, but for the last few years I have realised that my body naturally aligns itself with nature, if my ego moves aside and lets it. I want to rest and stay in more as we head into autumn and then winter, I need more sleep, my diet changes - warming foods like soups and stews and my lifestyle becomes less hectic. It's good for the body and soul, but definitely challenges the mind moving into more beingness as opposed to do, do, do all the time. I am learning to embrace it more and more with each seasonal cycle and I am finding it beneficial.
Saturday, 22 September is the Autumn Equinox, the time of year that represents the start of autumn. The heat (or lack of it in our case) and busyness of summer is ending and we are being called into slowing down, being more grounded with our energy reflecting inwardly. We are moving out of Yang season into Yin and as nature slows down and draws inwards we are encouraged to do the same. Do you feel that?
Sometimes the transition can be tricky as we are used to very being busy bees and, I believe, not at all good at allowing ourselves to slow down, stop and rest. We may also struggle with shorter days and longer nights. Honouring this time, with a few short practices may make the transition easier so here are a few things that you may wish to try.
Reflect and give thank for achievements
Spend a little time reflecting on what you have achieved over the last few months. Like the farmers gathering in a successful harvest, (harvest festivals were my favourite time in Sunday school when I was little), note all your successes, and achievements, along with any challenges and the lessons that you have learned.
Give thanks for these achievements and list all the things you are grateful for in your life. Like the harvest festival you may wish to celebrate these things, however great or small - make your favourite meal and share it with friends and family for instance. I don't think we celebrate our wins enough and spend more time giving ourselves a hard time about our "failures". This needs to change in my book.
This can be a challenging one, but like the trees shedding their leaves, letting go of what we don't want in our lives going forwards can be very therapeutic and cathartic. I love a good clear out of physical things that I hold on to, usually that I don't love or use, but find it harder when it comes to letting go of habits, thought patterns, emotions, even people that no longer uplift me.
Do you hold onto things? Can you let them go? It's sometimes not the easiest of processes, so if the answer is no, that is totally OK, this may be new to you or there may be a few things that need to be unravelled and realised before you are able to.
Remember by letting go of things we are creating space to allow new things to come into our lives.
Sow new seeds
Finally, give some thought as to what you would like your life to look like by the spring of next year.
Plant the seeds of your dreams so that they can be nurtured over winter to grow and flourish next spring by visualising what your life will look like. Where will you be living, who will be in your life, what will you be doing? Make a mood board, draw it, mind map it out, whatever works for you, but bring as much detail as you can to it. Consider what actions you need to take over autumn and winter to support your seeds coming to full fruition in spring. These actions don't have to be big, just little things or changes on a daily basis to bring your dream to life.
Let me know what would love to create, I would love to hear all about it or happy to help you get started with any of the above.