I have this beautiful little nature trail in my neighborhood where I love to do my walking meditation. No earbuds. No distractions. Just me, my thoughts and the fresh smell of Earth. If I keep my gaze straight I can pretend that the houses to my right do not exist. I imagine myself to be in a sweet forest with no buildings or people for miles. I listen to the crackle of leaves beneath my feet and the squirrels chirping overhead in the trees. I take it all in.
This time of year is my favorite. Although this used to not be the case. Fall meant change and change is hard. But now I embrace this season for what it is. A time to let go of the grip. To let go of anything that no longer serves me. And to celebrate the harvest from the seeds I planted not long ago.
The older I get the more connected I feel to the cycles around me and within me. I can feel myself growing into the wise woman. In ancient times older women were respected and celebrated. They were the keepers of Mother Earth’s knowledge. As I walk my path I imagine my wise women ancestors walking with me. Guiding me to embrace the changes of the seasons. And to see the beauty in it. The darker days and death of the leaves bring bright oranges, yellows and reds. They also bring an abundance of root vegetables, pumpkins, apples, squash, cabbage and other nourishing foods. Then we get to make delicious meals and of course pumpkin pie!
Fall is a time of transition. And the perfect time to make adjustments to our daily routines so that we can feel more in balance with this season. Keeping the same high, expressive energy of summer with it’s cooling foods such as salads and smoothies does not work for us as well. Our bodies crave warming foods such as healthy stews, oatmeal and soups. We enjoy grounding spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. We trade our iced tea for warm herbal teas and cider.
This season is also the perfect time for self-reflection. In yoga this is called Svadhyaya...self-study. Svadhyaya is an important part of yoga because it helps us to see the more subtle shifts that take place. Self-study practices are also very grounding. Try journaling a few minutes a day or sit in stillness for meditation. Maybe take up a twenty minute home practice of yoga guided by YOU! Feel into the postures that your body needs. Get really curious! Self-study is the opposite of self-judgement. Take this time to observe the landscape of your internal world. And commit to showing up to your mat every day. Even if some days are only five minutes. This consistency becomes a powerful source of stability which is so needed during the fall season. As change is happening all around us we have something to hold onto.
Another svadhyaya practice is walking in nature! Not long ago I walked my nature path in shorts and a ponytail. Surrounded by greens, flowers and butterflies. Now I bundle up in my hoody and feel the crisp air on my face. I soften inside as I take in all the changes. The heartwarming colors and birds flying in pattern are signs that all is well. Change is here and that is okay. Our wise ancestors smile in their knowing. Whispering to us, take it all in dear one. And let go.
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