It's Autumn, the season of transition. It's the last sigh of summer and the breath of fresh air that moves the body from the solar, yang energy of summer and prepares for the lunar, yin energy of winter. It's nature's cool breeze that reminds us to let go of whatever past experiences, projects, relationships, and memories that we don't need anymore, watching them fall away like leaves falling off the branches.
For me, Autumn is always full of nostalgia. I lament the ending of long days and high energy of summer, but I welcome the very visible cue from nature to rest from the activity. I like to play hard and be out late in the summer, pursuing all the joy, fun and conversation that comes with the season. Autumn marks the shift inward. It's the cooling down phase to prepare for winter's introspective, internal, intuitive nature.
A part of me resists the transition inward. I'm like a little kid who doesn't want to come inside, even though it's getting dark out and it's past my bedtime. I vacillate between wanting to keep playing and exerting energy, and knowing intuitively in my body that it is time to rest. The transition of Autumn is a pause to turn the outward energy inward.
If you're like me, the transition can be a little destabilizing. To embrace the change I have some of my favorite fall rituals that ease the shift towards inward, intimate, introspection.
Long walks in nature: The organ of Autumn is lungs, which is associated with the sense of smell. I like to get outside and fill my lungs with fresh air and experience the different sounds, sights, and sensations of the new season.
Writing: Every day I journal for at least 10 minutes. This helps me get rid of some of the clutter in my mind. I'm also in a writing group, which helps me to explore an introspective activity in the presence of close friends. Introspection and get lonely, so I believe it's important to connect with others in order to maintain a balanced perspective of ourselves.
Game Night: There's less daylight in Autumn, so we move indoors. Playing games with friends inside can be intimate and gentler than the high energy outdoor activities of summer... unless I'm playing catch phrase... in which case the energy is pretty much through the roof... (sorry friends)
Yoga & Meditation: My practice shifts with the season, and in Autumn we work to calm the heart (the organ of summer) and strengthen the lungs (the organ of Autumn.) Come to class and connect with our introspective and intelligent community.