Autumn is my favorite season. I love the transition from warm to cool, the color of the falling leaves and the beauty of the early sunset. The excitement of starting school and being more social while watching football always provides a good time. The warm, comfort foods as we prepare for cooler weather help me realize this is a time of joy, surplus and pumpkin spice lattes. (I know it is a very seasonal flavor, but every year I find myself looking forward to pumpkin spice and finding pleasure in the aroma of autumn).
The symbol for fall is one of balance. The Autumn Equinox (Sept 22 - Northern Hemisphere) is when the day and night are the same length. The further you go up the latitude lines, the more significant this transition is. Here in Seattle, we see a large variant between our longest day (about 16 hours of sunlight in June) and our shortest day (just over 8 hours of sunlight in December). This makes the sweet balance of light and dark that happens during the equinoxes that much more special.
With a new season comes new priorities and new routines. This week, leading up to the Autumn Equinox, is a perfect time to set intentions. Define what your goal is for the next three months (and maybe beyond) and then make it visible. Share your goal with friends, and post it where you will see it (on your desk, the in the bathroom, in the kitchen).
Now comes the really hard part...begin taking steps to reach your goal.
I don't know why this is the hard part. It seems like it would be easy to accomplish something you want to do. I don't know about you, but I tend to get distracted way too easily. One of the best ways I know to move forward on your goals is to clear up your space. By this I mean, physical clutter around your house, but also mental head space. You have to free yourself of that sweater you never wore and never intend to and that negative energy humming around the edges of your persona. By going through your physical and head space, you can make sure your surroundings and energy serves you and creates a path for you to reach for your goal without any unnecessary distractions.
In this season of preparation, it is so important to stop, breathe and go through the process of changing seasons. Even if the weather does not shift dramatically, it is still important to take time and be grateful for all you have.
Personally, transitions are hard. It takes me time to process and adjust to the new weather, new routines and new priorities. This descent into darkness that we witness in the Pacific Northwest, is one transition I do not take lightly. I spend a lot of time preparing my space with blankets and space heaters, making sure I have lots of warm sweaters to wear in layers, and also covering my most visible spaces with affirmations and positive, uplifting words to get me through the cool, dark days of winter.
It is really important for me to prepare my mind to look inward for this next season. For me to accomplish my goals, I also have to make sure my surroundings support that goal. I have to take all the obstacles out of my way to leave few distractions and frustrations due to clutter.
Welcome Autumn, which is also a time of celebration! Gather with friends and family and share your time, love and delicious food. It is healing and nourishing to come together.
I find this time of year to be wonderful -- almost playful. We are in the last warm days of summer, which should be enthusiastically enjoyed. As we head toward the cooler days and holidays full of fun and gratefulness, may we flow freely through the transition smoothly and savor every new day. That, to me, is a beautiful practice.