It’s no secret, Autumn is my most favourite season of them all. I love the colours, the crisp mornings, the afternoon faded glow of the sun, it makes me want to snuggle down with a pumpkin spice latte and read a good book.
Was that a groan I heard? Are you dreading the coming season? Are you mourning your fading tan while searching for a pair of socks to wear with your Birkenstock sandals to hold on to summer just a little longer? Fear not my fair weather friend, let me give you a few tips to get the most out of the autumn season.
It’s all about balance, or rather re-balance. Equinox literally means “equal night” but we know that as the days progress into the autumn season, the darkness over takes the light. We can either fight the changing of the seasons or we can understand how nature effects us and embrace what is as inevitable as the passing of time itself.
Hello Darkness My Old Friend
As much as we think we are the superior beings on this earth, we are still animals just like all the rest, and as animals, we are also effected physically, mentally and emotionally by the changing of the seasons. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer and our circadian rhythm, or internal clock, is effected by the reduction of light. You may find that your energy level decreases and your choice of activities swings from physical outdoor activities to more sedentary indoor pursuits. The changing light can alter the melatonin levels in your brain and you may also find that you require more sleep. Honour this annual transition by getting to bed a bit earlier and enjoy a little more slumber.
Folks in the northern hemisphere are at risk of SAD or seasonal affect disorder. We tend to not get enough sunlight in the darkening autumn season as our serotonin levels drop. So it’s important to embrace as much sunlight as you can. Even 10 minutes of mid day sun can boost your levels and ward off the seasonal blues. So get out that new scarf and hat and go for a walk.
As you move to more indoor activities you may find yourself reaching for your electronic devices more as fall sets in. Balance your external and internal needs by removing these devices from your bedroom so that your energy field is not inhibited by other electronic energy waves during your bodies nightly recharging time. If you must have your phone by your bed then at the very least, as you wake, try to check in with your internal body for a few minutes before you check in with the external world. Take the time to just listen for your inner voice first before the cacophony of the rest of the world invades your day.
Colour Me Autumn
Colours have an emotional effect on the brain. Learn more about it here. What I find interesting is how nature uses colour to help us prepare for the seasonal change. Get out and enjoy autumn but consider how nature and culture has incorporated the energies of the fall colours to help us balance our own energies in preparation for the fallow dark season of winter to follow. The colours of autumn – the reds, oranges and gold’s represent the first three chakras in our bodies. Embrace these colours to attune your internal energy with the vibrational energy of the autumn season.
Red – the base or root chakra. Connects to our survival and our need to belong. Is it any wonder we gather in autumn? We go back to school, join groups, even feast. Bring the energy and support of red for the root chakra into your body by eating root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and turnip. Crunch on a red apple for health and get outside into nature to ground and connect your energy with that of the earths.
Orange – the sacral chakra represents our sexuality and creativity. Use the energy of the colour orange to start a new project. Bring the energy and support of orange for the sacral chakra into your body by eating citrus fruit like oranges and tangerines. Add a little heat to your life with spices like pepper, cayenne. Cinnamon also supports the sacral chakra so we see it used in apple pie and pumpkin everything, which is another orange autumn food as well.
Gold or Yellow – the solar plexus chakra represents our inner strength and outer confidence. Bring the energy and support of gold for the solar plexus chakra into your body by absorbing as much sunlight as possible to build up your melatonin and vitamin D levels. Walking exercises and strengthens your muscles and builds confidence in your physical being. Meditation supports a balanced emotion state of mind for inner strength. The golden foods of autumn are whole grains, seeds and nuts and vegetables such a corn and squash plus fall harvested fruit like pears. Turmeric and ginger add flavour to your autumn diet as well.
Harvest The Ideas In Your Mind
Did you make hay while the sun shone or were you lying on a beach somewhere this summer with a margarita in your hand? The autumn equinox or Mabon for any pagans or witches out there, is the time of the harvest. For the vast majority of us, we no longer work in the fields but we do regularly make plans and produce ideas and grow projects. Autumn is a time to access what you have produced so far this year. Remember all those New Year resolutions way back in January? How did you do?
For the next few months, take some time and get all those ideas and project you meant to do this year out of your head and into a journal. Celebrate your progress so far and make note of what you might still be able to achieve in the last few months of the year. This is a modern day harvest, no hay to bring in from the fields but celebratory feasting is still encouraged, or at the very least, another pumpkin spice latte and a piece of apple pie.
While you’re celebrating your bounty it is also time to prepare for the next year. Nature does not wait until spring to sow her seeds. She scatters them to the autumn winds so that they may find new ground to burrow into, resting under rotting leaves until the warmth of spring calls to them to grow and flourish.
Now is the time to plant the seeds for your plans and ideas of the year ahead. Start jotting them down in your journal so that they can get out of your head and embed onto the fibrous leaves of paper where they can rest until the New Year rings anew.
The autumn equinox is a mid way point as the sun travels across the sky and the earth axis begins to swing away from it’s warming rays. What we harvest in the fall needs to be balanced with our offerings of potential for the opposite season on the seasonal wheel of the year. Spring needs the hope of the seeds sown in autumn to continue the cycle of life but we also need to reap the harvest of what we’ve created so far this year. Then, when the dark season of winter arrives we can take time to relax and enjoy the fruits of the harvest knowing we prepared well for the seasons ahead.
Get out and enjoy the crispness of the days of autumn. Immerse yourself in natures second burst of seasonal colour and find your balance once again as we shift to the darker seasons heading our way.