The richness of the season fills the air with delicious smells, the elegance of the trees, dancing leaves, and harvest foods that feel and taste like home. Give yourself permission to embrace the richness of your own unique, amazing life.
The Autumn Equinox is here, and fall is upon us. Equinox literally means "equal night." This is a time to relish the complement of night and day, Earth and sky, dark/shadow and light. During this season, when day and night are roughly equal in length, there is great balance in the natural world. There are natural ebbs and flows of life, death, hibernation, migration, expansion, contraction, and rebirth. All is happening in nature as it should.
For humans, it gets more complicated. When the darker seasons of our life are upon us, we are taught to just get through it, deal with it, or hustle more. We are told to be stronger, smarter, or just deal with it. We are told to find a partner, make more money, or get a job. The seasons of life we are living may feel like a daily struggle in survival mode. Survival mode feels like trying to do all the things in life that seem necessary (i.e. achieving more, having more, wanting more, avoiding more and plowing through etc.), and then, we end up feeling depressed, anxious, afraid, overwhelmed, or confused, because we don't ever feel like we are "succeeding." When we live in survival mode, out of alignment with ourselves, goals feel unattainable.
The truth is, most of us, in the United States anyway, are thriving. We have our basic needs met. We have the things we need and more. We don't need to live in survival mode. However, when we are confused, overwhelmed, or frustrated, we fall into this cycle of wanting and needing more that is not essential, does not bring us happiness, or lead us to a life of thriving. If we attune to the seasons of our lives, and give ourselves permission to need and want less that is not serving us, we will discover greater health and wellbeing and will live the life of our dreams.
With the traditions of Eastern Medicine and Ayurveda, during the fall; our bodies naturally want to shift to paring down and turning inward, feeling more emotions such as loss or grief, our skin may become dry, and our digestive system's needs will shift depending on our mind-body type* and the changes we experience in our environment. How do you feel now that you are in the fall season? If we consider our own experience of a season such as fall, and pay attention to our individual needs and wants, it can make a difference in how we live, love, learn, grow wild, and thrive. We no longer seek to compare ourself for the purpose of surviving. By letting go of what we think we need, we allow for so much more of what really need to enter our lives.
Begin to naturally observe the contrast of light and dark in your own live.
Each "season" of your life reveals a new chapter of your unique story, a new beginning, a new perspective on how you want to express yourself and nurture relationships.
The ebb and flow from one season to another may be seen as welcome change. After a vibrant, adventure-filled summer, the senses are ready for quiet days and cozy nights. Your mind and body need a break, to unwind, refocus, and align with what you need and want in your life. You may even be called to release more and stress less.
Or, you may be mourning the end of summer, dreading the darkness of winter, or be simply be struggling with the transition from season to season. You are not alone. Here are some trusted ways to care for yourself, if you are feeling out of balance this time of year, or overall want to feel more peaceful.
Rest. Haha, it's really that simple. I know, I know... this is easier said than done, but truly it is crucial for whole health (body, mind as we move into the dry, cold, wet months ahead. Notice I didn't say, "Just rest." There is no "just resting." Any rest is valuable!
How to build rest into your life:
Take breaks from sensory input. Give yourself blocks of time during the day and/or night where you put your phone away, step away from the computer, or don't listen to music, books, or podcasts. Close your eyes for just a few minutes. Sit in a quiet spot. Give your sensory system time to recoup from all of the sites, sounds and sensations of the day.
Sit, stand, or walk and focus on your breath for a few minutes. Mindful breathing helps bring you back to the center of your body, mind and soul and can give your mind the rest it needs. Reach out to me if you want to build mindfulness into your life.
Explore your creative side. Spend more time doing something you enjoy and gives you the chance to create whether it's building with your hands, moving your body, writing, drawing, planting, or moving furniture in your home. Nurture you right brain that gets to draw outside the lines and let loose a bit.
Affirmation: The more I rest, the more empowered I become.
Reflection may come naturally once we allow yourself to rest. However, make sure you reflect in the spirit of self love. Reflect on the journey you have traveled in the last day, week, month, year or 40 years, but be kind to yourself. Start with the things that bring you happiness. Hold yourself in the highest regard when you reflect, knowing and trusting, you did the best you could at the time. If it feels like too much to reflect alone, reach out to a friend or loved one to talk or connect with a mental health coach and/or counselor to support you. Reflecting may feel hard and you don't need to go through it alone. This is another thing that you should not power through. Reflection is important, but only for the purpose of learning and healing.
Affirmation: I am a beautiful soul in a human body. I am loved.
Spend time in nature and move your body! Take a walk around your yard or neighborhood either by yourself or while you are on the phone talking with a dear friend. Have a dance party with your family in your living room. Build a campfire with friends and spend time listening and supporting each other. Gently stretch, and sing, or chant, while taking a warm shower or bath. Singing is one of the best ways to release tension in our nervous system! Learn to dress for the weather and give yourself freedom to be outside, even when the weather isn't "your perfect weather" or what you prefer. We gather vitamin D from the sun, which is good for our immune systems and also boosts our spirit and energy levels. The fresh air reminds us to breathe more deeply and truly be in the moment. Be witness to all of the amazing beauty outside. The trees are our some of the wisest teachers.
Affirmation: I will release a bit more fear today of something that is holding me back.
Grow your own way. Try something new today that feels a bit outside your comfort zone. Lean into your edges...trust yourself more than yesterday, and not as much as tomorrow. ;-) Embrace the beauty in the mess of your own life.
Connect more with people in your life that love and support you. Who makes you feel good when you're around them? Who truly sees the person you are? Who helps you grow? Surround yourself with love- even if it's with one amazing friend. Remember, when you think you NEED MORE of something, look inside yourself. A few good friends are a wonderful thing to have, but make sure you are being a good friend to yourself too. How can you be more kind and gentle with yourself?
Affirmation: I am learning to trust myself more each day.
Give yourself permission to embrace the richness of your own unique, amazing life. Consider the big picture of your life as a an artist's patchwork or painted tapestry - light and shadow, bright and dark, and all of the colors of the rainbow. Don't leave anything out. All of it's important. All of it amazing you.
Peace and love,