On embracing autumn’s shadow

Leaves on the ground

I wore gloves for the first time this weekend and again today on an outing. The chill has arrived. As I marvel at the beautiful colours of autumn, I’m bending more to see them littering my lawn rather than on the branches in my horizon. The energy is shifting in our environment and I’m not immune to it. 

I feel myself slowing down. Like the later rising of the sun, I find myself lingering in bed in the morning. There’s less a spring in my step when I wake and more of a slow sweep towards the day. And I need to constantly remind myself that this is natural, this is nature. I, too, am nature. I can choose to have grace for myself. When normally I’d start my day with a judgment and an urge to improve, to do better, I can instead choose to recognize (with awe even) how my body is connected to the timing of the seasons. 

If not for our society’s progress, our electric lights, the glow of our phones, the hum of Alexa, we would experience seasons in a much different way. We would have to accept the growing darkness as a time to cultivate what’s grown and prepare for a less productive time. Like the animals we are, we would hunker down. We would shift our focus, connecting with the internal, absorbing ideas, developing our philosophies and beliefs.

As fall marches towards winter, there’s an opportunity for me to do some shedding of my own. I can reflect and release that which no longer serves me. I can take some slower yoga practices, spend some time twisting and holding and moving out energy to make way for the space of winter. I can prepare for the longer night, for the darkness, for the need to do less. 

This time of year we’re meant to slow down. Allow it in. Consider a yin yoga practice. Increase the time in sitting meditation. Opt for hot tea in the evening. Most of all, take comfort in the still warmth inside you. If you give it time, if you pause doing, you can find the quiet within. 

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. 

— Albert Einstein

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