Autumn is probably the most dramatic transition (seasonally speaking) of the year. It always makes me stop and think about how a season of hibernation and natural decay is, well, stunning. As Shira Tamir said, “Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.” And it’s true: It’s a spectacular time to be out in nature.
I find that the fall season brings its very own special kind of magic. I’m thrilled by the thought of being cozy indoors, and hunkering down to watch old movies, to do jigsaw puzzles, to play board games with family, to read a good book, to drink hot chocolate. Some people, however, don’t feel this way, and instead find fall to be a bit depressing, with those long sunny days gone, and the BBQ stashed away along with our flip flops and the knowledge that the days will grow darker and darker.
This, however, is precisely why fall is a great moment to re-group and renew, to reflect and to embrace change, to honor the traditional harvest by welcoming abundance in our lives. And to we help ourselves look to this season of transformation with positivity and optimism, we can turn to meditation, mantra and affirmation.
Use this time to take a personal inventory as the year heads to a close. Reflect on the things you have to be thankful for, yes, but also spend time making peace with any negative aspects — letting past hurts and regrets go is therapeutic and healing. Trees, after all, do not cling onto their leaves but release them to make way for the new.
Here, two mindful practices to keep you grounded and balanced as we move through the fall season.
1. Meditate, fall-style.
The fall is a wonderful time to incorporate a walking meditation into your practice. As you wander through the fallen leaves, focus on what you need to let go of in your life. And even if you are unable to get outdoors, this meditation is still powerful in releasing the things that no longer serve you.
Close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth, three times. Feel yourself relax and bring your awareness back to your own natural breath.
Picture yourself surrounded by beautiful trees, observe the fiery colors, and hear their leaves rustling as the gentle breeze brushes through. Feel that same breeze on your face as well as the warmth of the autumn sunshine. As you take in the scene, be aware of the leaves which are gently falling from the trees and dancing to the earth.
What thoughts come into your mind? What do you wish to let go of? What no longer serves you?
As each thought arises, imagine placing it onto a leaf and then watching the leaf dance away on the breeze, away over the grass and away from your sight. You may wish to picture it falling into a stream and being carried away on the ripples of water.
As the leaves float away, breathe deeply and then exhale with a deep releasing sigh. Ahhhh, doesn’t that feel nice?
Next, imagine the spring bulbs hiding under the ground, the daffodils, the crocuses, the snowdrops. Picture them safely incubated, dark and warm over the winter until they are ready to blossom in the spring.
Now imagine that you are planting your own bulbs. To each seed, attach a positive intention. What will you plant and put in place to see grow and come to fruition in the spring?
Take as much time as you need and then when you are ready, take three more deep, cleansing breaths before allowing some movement into your body, before then opening your eyes.
2. Welcome abundance: A mantra.
Autumn is the time of harvest and thanksgiving, the culmination of a year’s work from the farming community and of celebrating mother earth for all that she has given us. For us personally, we can welcome the season with a sense of gratitude for the harvest in our own lives. We can invite in abundance and know that we are worthy and deserving.
I listened to a song today and the words are incredibly powerful and a wonderful lesson in gratitude and appreciation of ourselves. I am adopting these words and would love to share them with you in this season of thanksgiving.
I love my life, I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am free
I love my life, I am wonderful, I am magical, I am me
I love my life.
A few more mindfulness practices to keep you connected and inspired:
- How to live in the here and now right now.
- Three little words that can change everything.
- An online mindful drawing course.
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