Ah sweet, sweet autumn.
The seasons have definitely changed here in Sydney. The days are shorter, darker and colder, the ugg boots are out of hibernation, and life is slowing down.
I love this time of year, the changing of the colours in nature, the bite in the cold air, the gorgeous sunny days, and the anticipation of winter.
It makes me feel alive, and calls me to reconnect, to slow down and go inward.
I wasn’t always like this. I used to hate the onset of the cold; the tan I’d worked so hard to build starts to fade, my appetite changes, leaving me craving dense, heavy foods, right at the same time my motivation for exercise starts to diminish. My hot, little summer body will soon soften, my energy will drop, and my desire to socialize winds down.
I’d feel lazy, unhealthy, undesirable, and concerned I was a victim of SAD, and if I weren’t diligent, that depression would start to creep in and take me over (How good is marketing?!)
I would long for the easy days of summer where I felt so alive, so energized, so tanned and just down right delicious. I didn’t understand the point of autumn and winter. “Seriously, WHY can’t I have summer all year round??”
If we think of the seasons as different times in one day, we begin to understand why all four season are necessary.
Spring is our morning, summer; the middle of the day, autumn; late afternoon/evening and winter; the nighttime.
It is during the day that we are most productive, most energetic and where we get most done. In the morning we set ourselves up for the day, and when done correctly, this allows us to accomplish the most. Through late afternoon and evening, we start to wind down, to pare back, to set ourselves up for a good rest, and during the night, we rest, we recover, we recoup, allowing us to do it all again tomorrow.
Imagine you have a rough night; you aren’t able to unwind and you don’t get enough sleep. How much harder is the next day? What is your energy like? How productive are you? How happy are you? Your capacity is limited, isn’t it?
Compare this with when you have a great night’s sleep: You wake up feeling amazing, nothing bothers you, you are productive, relaxed, alert and you love everyone and everything around you.
This is why we can’t have summer all year long. We need the slower months to rest, to unwind, and to nurture ourselves, so we can shine, ever so brightly come summer.
Understanding this, we don’t need to battle, struggle or resist the cooler months.
We can honour our need for rest, knowing that when the warmth comes again, we can step back into the world as the best version of ourselves; healthy, vibrant and full of life.
“If we don’t go within, we go without” (unknown)
Autumn asks us to slow down, to turn inwards.
Listen to and honour your body’s need for more rest at this time.
Go to bed a little earlier, sleep in a bit longer and take a nap when you need it.
Commit to fewer social/work activities.
Train less, or less intensely (hot yoga anyone?).
With spirit, with nature, with loved ones.
Meditate, go for slow walks in the bush or on the beach, journal, get creative (paint, draw, knit, cook, dance).
Think back over the past spring and summer; what are you most proud of? What do you need to change? What worked? What didn’t?
What do you need to let go of? What is no longer in alignment with your highest self, the person you want to be and the contribution you want to make?
“It’s safe for me to let go. I lovingly release that which no longer serves me, and I welcome in that which does.”
What do you need to bring back in? What will help you on your journey forward from here?
“I call back my _____________, to help me as I move forward with ease and grace. It is safe for me to receive”
Nourish yourself through your food, relationships, hobbies and work
What lights you up? What warms your soul? What feeds you?
Taking the time to nurture, nourish, love and support yourself now will ensure you have the resilience and life force to sustain you through the cold of winter.
Go gently and enjoy these last few weeks of autumn.
Peace out xx