Wow! Autumns beauty has been on full display these past few days. The contrast of reds, oranges, yellows, and greens against our beautiful Colorado blue sky has left me awe struck and a tourist in my own town. Snapping pictures along streets and avenues, I travel daily immersed in the wonder of the paint brush being wielded by Mother Nature herself. Have you taken a moment to pause and admire her handiwork? To breathe in the scents of autumn? To feel the increasing coolness on your body that is signaling all of nature, including us humans, to begin to slow down and prepare for darkness, layered clothing, and contemplation?
I love this time of year. Warm spices begin to fill the indoor spaces of grocery stores, coffee shops, and homes. Earths bounty of pumpkins, gourds, and ornamental dried corn start to fill wooden bowls on tables, and front porches of homes. It also seems Denver has quite an infestation of spiders that leave huge swathes of webbing in the most unusual places, and sometimes with amazing creativity.
Autumn is also a time to release. I have been itching to clear out my closets and upcycle my clothing to the local donation bins. A time to reflect on the last 10 months and notice what intentions were set in the early part of the year, what goals were met, and what goals needed to be altered or let go of all together because they no longer aligned with your life. Nature is our guide. Every year the trees begin to draw their nutrients inward towards center and allow the leaves to wither and die as they hunker down and conserve for the coming cold, wind, and snow. The animals are busy gathering and storing their own food for the winter, and reinforcing shelters, nests, and burrows to shield them from the cold.
Humans have a harder time during this transition. Many only see the darkness approaching or the coldness requiring heavier clothing and shoes as a dampening to their spirits and their days. The idea of shifting from many hours of light, outdoor activity and play towards stillness and longer periods of muted light feels sad somehow....
I invite you to lean into any sadness or negative feelings around autumn’s transition. Recognize the cyclical nature of everything, and remember that this too shall pass as nothing is permanent in life....except death. Even death, when looking at the tree’s loss of foliage, can seem temporary, for we know that in the spring, buds will spring forth on the limbs and little green leaves will begin to unfurl and we will once again be in a state of action, blooming, and evolving.
Take this time, as the trees do, to lighten your load and move into the autumn season with joy and anticipation for what you may create with your time of inner travel, reflection, and stillness. What can you glean from the wisdom of nature and her moments of purging that could be applied in your own life, or even in your yoga practice? Maybe you have been holding onto an idea of what your practice should evolve into that no longer serves. Maybe you have reached your goals for the physical body and now there is immense opportunity to tap into your mind and nervous system through learning mindful meditation and movement practices like Yoga Nidra, or Yin. Where can you shift to meet this new cycle of nature and support your own growth and evolution?