Mindfully Welcoming the Season of the Harvest... Hello Fall!
As we welcome fall (my favorite season), all it's wonders, everything pumpkin, the leaves turning, brisk mornings, longer nights, and temperatures dropping for sweater weather; we also begin to return to ourselves. This is the season to celebrate all of the hard work we have done and things that are working in our lives. We are preparing for the hibernation of winter and having more time to spend on ourselves.
THE FIRST MESSAGE I AM HEARING IS TO SLOW DOWN. And why should we slow down? So we can let go of somethings to promote our growth. Then I think to myself “What does it mean to let go?
LETTING GO INVOLVES SURRENDER. One thing surrender and letting go does not involve is giving up! (If you want to delve deeper into this subject check out our Blog on Are You Surrendering or Giving Up?) In order to surrender or figure out what resonates with you or what no longer serves you, you must use mindfulness to get into a state of presence with yourself.
As I check into my internal landscape I find myself revisiting feelings that resonate from this time of year or the previous year. This year there has been a lot of celestial and planetary energy shifting. It is possible that the same thing is happening internally and there may be some resistance to checking in. There may be some areas of myself I don't want to revisit and it sounds like something else I may need to fit into my already busy schedule.
THE NEXT MESSAGE COMING TO ME IS START SMALL. That creates a sigh of relief because I can do that! In fact now, I am going to share some ways to start small and shift your mind or habits that I have added to my own personal toolkit.
1. STAY OPEN: Maintain your fluidity, and you'll fine ease and grace to steer you through difficulty. Move by calibration, adaptation, finessing and absorbing, rather than in big leaps or life-changing decisions. Micro-adjustments are key.
2. IF NOTHING ELSE, USE YOUR NERVOUS ENERGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: If you feel stuck or caught up in chaos, use this energy to create order in your environment. You can also create realistic schedules, lists, and timelines for your goals and put them down on paper. Both the act of organizing and the peace that results when you've finished may reflect inwardly in your emotional and mental landscape allowing for an opening that was not there before.
3. USE GRATITUDE TO GROUND YOU: Slowing down can allow you to appreciate what you have and to experience the grace that gratitude creates in the body as a physical sensation. Feel into your body when you practice gratitude. The way your muscles relax into your bones, your skin. This is the space you want to be standing in while you seek out direction and purpose.
4. FIND WONDER IN THE NATURAL WORLD: My favorite! The Earth helps us get out of our heads and drop back into the present and our bodies. If you are stuck in your head or feeling anxiety, the outdoors holds the key to pulling you back into your body. Go to a park and walk in the grass, take a hike, sit in your backyard whatever resonates with you. Another simple practice that involves presence and the world around us, Shoshanna French taught me recently. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Presence Exercise (Meditation ugh ha...no eye rolling!)
5: Relax and focus on 5 objects around you. These could be buildings, windows, pictures, even clouds. Consider their shape, colors, consider how they relate to each other, are they geometric, symmetric, follow their lines all along trying to keep your mind from wandering off into thoughts. The Buddha said, "In seeing, only seeing." That's the essence of this part of the exercise.
4: Now do the same with hearing. You can close your eyes if you're in a place where that would be appropriate. Try and listen to 4 different sounds. This might be the quiet hum of an air conditioner, the roaring wheels of a train, the distant noise of traffic, a birds chirping high above. The Buddha said, "In hearing, only hearing." That's the essence of this exercise.
3: Next try and focus on 3 bodily sensations. This might be the pressure of the chair against your back. The tight fit of your shoe against your feet, the soft stream of air through your hair, the warmth of the sun on your face. The Buddha said, "In feeling, only feeling." That's the essence of this exercise.
2: Now, try and focus on 2 odors you can smell. It might be the remains of the perfume you used when leaving home, a snack, freshly cut grass.
1: And finally focus on a taste in your mouth.
5. ENGAGE IN CORE STABILIZING PRACTICES: Yoga, pilates, stretching or any other practice that can help ground you. The physical body is our container for this spinning anxious energy, use it.
6. OPEN YOURSELF TO MESSAGES FROM UNEXPECTED SOURCES: Communication is coming from all directions, and in all forms. Messages are everywhere. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open.
7. DON'T GET OVERWHELMED! Carve out a time of day that you can focus on maybe one of these practices or to try on how some of them feel for you. If you feel like what you are experiencing is more than you can handle... contact us for support. It is what we are here for, its what we are passionate about!
Do Good and Be Well!