September 22nd was the Autumnal Equinox which heralds a time when the lengths of day and night have become more or less equal. We have left behind the long summer evenings and are moving towards the lengthy winter nights, which means that right now, we’re in a time of transition.
The moving from one state to another can often feel uncomfortable, and there’s no denying that apart from anything which may have been happening in your personal lives of late, Nature has been giving us a rough ride recently what with all the terrible hurricanes and recent earthquakes. It’s almost as if that last solar eclipse in August stirred things up and unsettled the natural harmony of our planet, for certain areas in the world have been savagely wrecked and there have been plenty of disasters to unsettle us and cause trauma in people’s lives. On top of that, we’ve also witnessed the plight of the Rohinja people, the ongoing wars and the continuing danger signals radiating from North Korea.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there have been some solar flares emanating from the sun which are known to provoke feelings of anxiety and general discomfort in sensitive people, so if any of you have been suffering from unaccountable feelings of overwhelm, anxiety or negativity recently, it may well be related to these occurrences.
Last month I wrote about change which is well and truly exemplified by Autumn – the season into which we have now undoubtedly plunged. Leaves, flowers and plants are dying back, and the familiar greens and bright shades of summer are changing to red, brown, yellow and orange. It’s a time of gathering the harvest and shoring up the dykes against the onset of winter before a proportion of foliage fades and falls leaving us instead with a vista of bare branches against the winter sky. In the olden days, our ancestors saw the drawing in of autumnal nights to be a reminder of the forces of darkness and the evils of men. This caused them to focus more on Light as an antidote and a reminder that good can triumph over evil. And in these uncertain times, I think it’s good for us in this day and age, to focus more on the Light, and not dwell too much on its opposite..
There are many things which can help you prepare for autumn and here are two I’ve always found to be very helpful :
- Clearing out clutter entails letting go of stuff you don’t need on an outer level which then encourages the same process on an inner one
- Doing some Space Clearing: For those of you unfamiliar with this technique it’s basically the art of cleansing and consecrating spaces. Certain rituals can be easily performed which are usually a synthesis of native rituals for clearing negative forces from your environment, and also using Feng Shui principles to lift the positive energy (known as Chi) in your home. (You’ll find masses of information about Feng Shui online if you want to discover more about this fascinating subject.)
Both clutter clearing and space clearing echo traditions regarding preparing to bring in the energies of Spring, (hence the title of this piece from a quote by Albert Camus), but the difference is that in Spring, we’re clearing out old stuff to make way for new growth, whereas in the Autumn, we’re letting go of old stuff in order to make space in ourselves for some inner personal reflection which chimes so well with Nature drawing in her energies for the winter. At this time of year, we can very much benefit from giving ourselves the time to pause and contemplate the past year so we can begin to see what changes we could try to implement in ourselves in order to help improve our lives and general well-being.
A very simple way of seeing areas in your life which need changing, is by drawing what’s known as a “Life Pie”. This is what you do :
Take a clean piece of paper and on it draw a circle of about 2-3 inches in diameter. This is your “pie”. Then look at the following headings which are the main areas of focus and activity for the average person:
*Work *Family *Play *Romance *Exercise *Adventure (i.e. new activities)
*Friends/Social Life *Spirituality
Using these headings, allocate a segment of your pie to each of them, but draw each segment proportional to the amount of focus you give to each area. You’ll almost certainly discover that your “pie portions” will be of varying sizes. For example, “work” might be a very large portion and “play” very small.
This gives you a graphic overview of which areas of your life are taking up most space and where you may need to find ways of balancing things up.
Use this exercise to consider what you might do to let go of particular things that are causing an imbalance in your life and start thinking of ways you can change them with a real view to taking action and trying to make a beneficial difference in your life.
Gratitude lists are also a useful practice at this time of year. We can always do with reminding ourselves of the things for which we can be grateful. Appreciating the good things in our lives, however small, makes it easier to change pessimistic attitudes towards challenges and setbacks. This is what you do:
Before you go to sleep each night, try to recall anything that’s happened during the day for which you feel gratitude. Always include the simple things (as well as anything major for which you are grateful) e.g. enjoying some sunshine in your lunchbreak, a welcome phone call or email from a friend, or delighting in the sight of some pretty flowers in somebody’s front garden. Remember, the more you begin to think in terms of gratitude, abundance of every kind is drawn towards you.
And finally, as we creep towards the end of 2017, do all you can to help yourself relax and de-stress using NATURAL aids like massage, meditation and giving yourself as much “me-time” as possible. Give yourself lots of Reiki if you’ve learnt it or treat yourself to a session or two with a professional practitioner to help re-balance your energies. Likewise, if there are difficult issues which are holding you back in life, consider seeing a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Energy Tapping as many people call it now, to help you let go of any intensity around your personal challenges and/or emotional problems. Now is the time for laying the ground for making positive adjustments to your life and really making a difference to your well-being.
Above all, remember to be compassionate towards yourself and others and work at letting go of judgement and criticism. Make a commitment to learn to love your life, love who you are, and love those around you, for the power of love is the most potent healing force in the world.