As you approach any new season or life transition, it's always beneficial to reflect upon the coming change, allowing yourself time to note new energy or thought patterns and ask yourself what types of support you will need. Autumn represents a beautiful type of transition and energetic equilibrium: balance and union between night and day, light and dark, yin (slow, cooling energy) and yang (energizing, hot energy).
Fall is traditionally and literally a time to 'reap what we've sewn' from the summer, give thanks for the blessings that we have and create new intentions and preparations for the coming winter. It's is a perfect opportunity to use affirmations for prosperity, contentedness, balance, harmony and goal setting.
"At the Fall Equinox there is a shift of emphasis from outward achievement to inner reflection and contemplation. We are transitioning from: Sun to Moon, Light to Dark, Yang to Yin, Outer Achievements to Inner Reflection, Action to Contemplation, Fire to Water, Growth to Dormancy and Incubation, Fruitfulness to Composting, Building up to Letting go, Movement to Stillness." - Source
It sounds lovely doesn't it? Though it's not always so simple.
Many people taint their own experience of autumn with an underlying sense of dread toward the coming darkness or negative expectations of winter. If that's you, recognize your subtle shift in attitude this year and notice how your energy shifts along with it. It's okay to slow down and turn inward for the fall, but we can be present with those feelings in a healthy way. Remember that anything we cling to, push away or 'can't stand,' causes us much suffering. (Read more about that here)
If you find fall or winter difficult, practice speaking or reading this affirmation each day: "My days and nights are equally joyful and I discover optimism with each new day."
For others, you might love the fall season, but find that the energetic shift, the slowing down, is difficult. This is where our yoga practice comes in perfectly to support daily life. Focus on allowing yourself to experience the completion from one season, task, or day to the next. This excerpt from the book, "Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, aptly explains the importance of reflection:
"One of the most difficult aspects of the frantic rush through a busy life is that we do not allow even the smallest notion of "completion" to enter the picture of our daily lives. We often rush from task to task, so much that the end of one task is just an invitation to start another. There are no gaps in between in which we we could take even a few seconds to sit, take stock, to realize that we have completed something. Just the reverse: how many times do we hear ourselves say, "I haven't achieved anything at all today?" And we say this most often when things have been at their busiest. Is there an alternative approach?
If you can practice cultivating a sense of completeness- even a glimmer, right now, in this moment, with the little things in life, there is a chance that you would be better able to cope with those aspects of mind that keep telling you that you are not there yet; and not yet happy, not yet fulfilled. You might learn that you are complete, whole, just as you are."
I hope that you can begin to appreciate each new season with the perspective and energy that it offers. I believe that our bodies and minds need the symbolism and energy shift within each of the 4 beautiful seasons and that autumn can be one of the most fulfilling times of year.
If you'd like to reflect on your fall transition, grab a journal or some paper and freely answer the following questions for yourself about your personal Fall Harvest!
What have I achieved this year?
In what ways have I used my creativity and passion?
How have I cared for and honored myself?
Which 'seeds' have grown and which have not thrived?
What types of 'seeds' might I incubate over the winter to be ready for spring?
In what ways have I created balance in my life?
Where can I cultivate more balance or support?
What is one habit or pattern that I would like to let go of this season?
How have I shared my blessings or my 'harvest' with others?
What people have contributed to my 'harvest' and how can I honor or thank them?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I hope that all of us can be intentional during our transitions throughout the year and take time to notice what we need with each new day. Happy Fall!