Autumn has arrived, energy levels are shifting.
Do you feel it too?
What’s happening is that we are currently experiencing a shift from the energetic, external energy of summer (yang) to the contractive, internal energy of Autumn (yin). Yin and yang represent the cyclical pattern of nature and therefore also of all life.
Our modern lifestyle expects us to keep up with the summer yang energy; no wonder so many of us feel run down at times, especially when we currently feel a natural pull towards hibernation. When we don’t connect to the natural rhythms of our bodies and the seasons we can feel sluggish, have low energy levels, suffer from lingering colds and coughs.
Autumn is a season of transition. Nature’s cycles are a mirror of our lives. Change is of course always part of us, but autumn invites a deeper level of awareness as we realise that the time of letting go has come. It is a time to release what doesn’t serve us any longer.
What can we observe in nature around us in Autumn?
“Nature instructs us about our own cycles of creating and letting go: Trees in autumn don’t stubbornly hold onto their leaves because they might need them next year. How many of us defy the cycle and hold onto what we’ve produced or collected — those decayed leaves, that old negativity?” –Neil Gumenick
Just as there is yin and yang in everything, autumn is not just about letting go of what we no longer need or what is holding us back. It is also about gathering what nourishes and strengthens us, prepares us for winter.
In Autumn, nature appears to be clearing out; the days are becoming shorter, the nights longer. The trees are losing their leaves, shedding what they do not need any more. Animals are gathering natures gifts, their winter stash and fattening themselves up before the cold kicks in, in preparation for hibernation.
Just as the trees let go of their leaves,
take a few moments to turn within and reflect
what it is time to release, what no longer serves you
What is important to you right now?
What is weighing you down?
What stands in the way?
What would need to shift in you in order to feel liberated?
What or who do you need to let go of?
Which conversation needs to be had?
Take your time. This process can be a challenge, you may feel a sense of discomfort or even grief. Embrace it.
Take a moment to show gratitude for whatever it is you feel time to set free, inhaling what has been useful and supportive and release the rest.
Tips on how to live in harmony with Autumn in daily life:
When we allow the seasons to guide us, our energy aligns with the nature that surrounds us, avoiding overwhelm and burning out. Instead we recharge and channel the supportive energy around us.
1. Focus on your breath
Breathing is a powerful way to let go of tension, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Having inhaled we must let go of it before we can take any more in. Breathing will also strenthen your lungs which in turn will strengthen your immune system and general vitality. Take time each day to breathe slowly and deeply. As you inhale the clean autumn air, feel how it energises and purifies. Feel the old, stale negativity, impurity, and pain leave as you exhale.
2. Open your lungs
Lie on the floor or on a long bolster placed along the length of your spine, let your arms fall out to the side. This will allow your chest to open and breathe more freely
3. Eat warm and seasonal meals
It’s time to bring delicious soups, roast veg, and stews back on the table. Grounding foods, such as all root vegetables will help restore balance to your life you’ll feel grounded: sweet potatoes, beetroot, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots, hashishes, ginger, onions, garlic, beans. And don’t forget to add organic, hormone-free protein: e.g. eggs, nuts, fish, white meat. Remember that nourishing your body with quality food gives it the quality energy it needs, especially when it’s chilly out
4. Keep hydrated
Yep, not only in summer. Start the day with a hot water and lemon to cleanse your system. Be sure to drink plenty of water as our body and skin tends to dehydrate quickly with the heating on
If your home, workspace or garage is cluttered, this is a good time to make space. Start with a drawer, a desk, a wardrobe, then continue to donate, sell or bin anything you don’t need anymore
6. Keep warm
Many fall sick this time of year because they do not adapt to the change of season. Protect yourself from the cold and especially the wind. Rather than spending energy it is time to start saving it
7. Nurture yourself
Care well for yourself and others. Feel within and do what makes you feel good. Enjoy a soothing Ayurvedic massage. Gather around the fire place, enjoy soulful conversations with friends and family
8. Be playful
Dress up warm, go outside, kick the fallen leaves, throw them in the air and let them rain down on you. Gather your findings and create an Autumn mandala
May the leaves falling from the trees outside your window inspire you to slow down and settle into yourself.
I’ll be back soon with tips on how to live in alignment with winter.