This is my favorite time of year, but experience has also taught me that pumpkin carving time quickly turns to a flurry of other end-of-the-year activities. Festivities with friends and family is joy filled and fulfilling, but also completely out of alignment with the slowing down of Mother Nature around us.
Have you also found this to be true?
Just as the leaves are falling, temperatures cooling and the earth is turning inward for rest and rejuvenation here in the Northern Hemisphere, my social dance card seems to be quickly filling up.
Our human internal clock has for centuries led us towards slowing down and turning within this time of year, just as nature is doing around us. Allowing for this period of rest and rejuvenation is important, even if it goes against our modern lifestyles. After all, everything is well until it is out of balance. How does one keep their balance this time of year?
Here are some ways to stay connected with nature’s slowing rhythm:
Read. Curling up with a good book is an excellent way to honor your body, mind and spirit this time of year. You may already have a few books you’ve been wanting to read. I try to intuitively choose books that leave me feeling nourished when I read them.
Light a candle. I prefer a darkened room because it allows me to connect with Nature’s slowing pace. I like to meditate on the candle’s flame, a symbol of the eternal light we all carry within. Feel your own energy. Are you depleted? How can you best come into balance? Taking a brief moment in the day to connect inward like this is simple, but remarkably informative and beneficial.
Get grounded. Stand tall, like a tree, your feet shoulder width apart. Imagine roots from the bottoms of your feet growing down through the bedrock beneath you, all the way into the center of the earth. Breathe. Feel your connection to all of Nature around you. Feel your place in the world.
Stretch. Whether you have practiced yoga or not, taking time to slowly stretch out your muscles will help you stay strong and centered in your body. When you have flexibility in your body, you’ll find you have more resilience in life. It’s also a great way to reduce stress while increasing wellbeing.
Journal. Gift yourself with time for reflection through writing. There are many benefits to writing, but the ability to still your mind each day is invaluable. I enjoy morning reflective time, and it’s easy to incorporate into your routine. It can be done while sipping your favorite breakfast beverage. Get all of the mind chatter out, and maybe even awaken brilliant new ideas, all before the day has even begun.
Connect with Nature. I feel fortunate that I can spend time outdoors as seasons turn colder, and know that we don’t all have that luxury. Science has shown that even looking at pictures of nature calms the nervous system, reducing stress and heart rate. If you can’t comfortably go outdoors each day, explore other ways to be with nature. In addition to flowers, greenery, seashells and other objects from nature, there are many wonderful nature videos available to stream.
When you invite these moments of stillness with intentional presence into your days, you’ll find that you’re better able to be attentive and balanced in life.