First day of fall 2014
Born on October 22, I thrive during fall and I love the many ways we honor this beautiful season of movement and change.
The seasons and their symbolism is instinctual to us. Just like our ancestors knew to prepare themselves both physically and psychologically for the upcoming colder months, we know what to do when the leaves start to change and darkness begins to take over the light.
The autumnal equinox occurs on September 22 of this year and it is celebrated by many different cultures as the first day of fall. Here are a few suggestions as to how you may honor the transition from summer to fall.
Make a gratitude list
Take out your journal and make a note of all that you are thankful for. Remember to acknowledge your inner harvest as well by listing what you have accomplished and how you have coped with challenges during the past months.
Befriend the darkness
The autumn equinox is the time of balance between day and night. Night will soon take over and bring winter, a time of darkness and death. This duality between light and dark exists within all of us and in the work of spiritual transformation. To enjoy our light, we must face our own inner darkness and acknowledge that it is much needed for our soul's growth. Take some time to explore your inner landscape, perhaps through some form of artistic expression. When we find gentle and creative ways to shine a light on and work with our fears and insecurities, they will not haunt us anymore.
Celebrate your home
As fall comes upon us, we know we'll be spending more time indoors in just a few months. This is a good time to restore balance in the home. Take some time to clear the clutter before the upcoming fall celebrations such as Halloween and Thanksgiving come and before winter arrives. Throw out or give away anything that's no longer of use. Physically clean and smudge your home. I like to use sage or sweetgrass, as I go through my home and bless each room.
Add some fall decorations to bring on the festive fall spirit.
BRING IN THE LIGHT
As the days will start to shorten, consider how you'll be able to bring more light into your home. You may enjoy making some candles to keep your spirit lifted.
As we watch leaves sailing to the ground in the fall, we are reminded that nature's cycles are mirrored in our lives. What has served its purpose? Autumn is a good time for letting go and releasing things that are a burden. It is a good time to practice getting out of the way and allowing for Divine will to renew our lives.
Fall also brings to our consciousness death and the challenge to live every day to the fullest. Invite your friends and love ones to a dinner celebration, which features autumn flavors, such as squash, pears and apples
Flow with your creativity
There are all sorts of fall crafts you might like to try. For those who love food craft, fall is the ideal time to get into making preserves, pickles, bottles of drink, sauces and frozen goodies.
If you're a photographer, artist or writer, try to capture the essence of fall in your art. Perhaps this is a time of much needed change for you and expressing this through your creativity is a great way to get started.
A time to reflect and care for self
Fall is a season when the outgoing activities of summer die down and we are able to care for our inner life.
Meditate, do yoga and Tai-chi. Try to find your balance, in the same way that the world finds its balance on the autumnal equinox.
Find what nourishes your soul and see if you can spend at least five minutes every day supporting your spiritual journey.
There are delicious seasonal foods to help you cleanse and keep to a healthy diet at this time of year, such as apples, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, watermelon, celery, squash, eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and more. Make a nourishing soup from carrots, onions, potatoes, and radishes and serve it with home baked bread.
Try to stay active with special focus on improving your breathing and posture. Good breathing and posture will help to restore energy to your body and can help you cope better with the respiratory illnesses the colder months bring.
Spend time in your garden
After summer, your garden needs some loving care to ready it for winter. The autumnal equinox is the ideal time to plant some crops that will produce during fall or even into winter, such as cauliflower, lettuce, red beet, radishes and shallots. Plan for when spring bulbs should be planted too, as many must be dug into the ground during fall.
Summer almost feels a bit stagnant as we move past August. I love fall and the way the moody winds bring in the change. The crisp air with that familiar scent of molten leaves feels refreshing and it stirs my heart to appreciate my aliveness.
Happy Autumn Equinox!