~Francois de la Rochefoucauld
This quote has been swimming through my mind for several weeks now. Autumn is a universal season of change for most humans. The warm sweetness of summer fades into cool, shortened days. The abundance of summer’s growing season is reaped and enjoyed, as the preparation for winter’s scarcity begins. Children go back to school, adults go back to a more routine schedule, and everybody begins to settle in.
In the ancient science of Ayurveda, the season of Autumn is known for it’s increase in the air and ether elements, or Vata. This is evident in the breezy crisp air we begin to feel swirling around us by mid-September. The Vata element is very mobile, quick, and creative. It is also very dry, nervous, and un-grounded. We may feel a mixture of these qualities in our bodies and minds as we move into this Season ruled by Air.
Change and the air element Vata often go hand in hand. Whether it is change that we choose for ourselves, or that is somehow chosen for us, we can often feel un-grounded when faced with this natural part of life. I have been going through several changes myself this past year. What I have learned is that while relationships and environments are evolving sometimes at rapid pace, self-care and simplifying become ever more important so that we may flow gracefully with the process of change. So that is what I am practicing this season, and I invite you to do the same if you are feeling the effects of change in your life.
The self-care practices I am focusing on during this season are:
1. Getting plenty of rest and down-time ~ This practice involves staying aware of what of your energetic levels are throughout the day, and taking breaks when you need them. It involves setting a regular bed-time, and sticking to it, preferably before 10pm.
2. Eating a healthy diet filled with Prana ~ Prana is the life force. It can be found in fruits and vegetables and other plant based foods. Anything grown from the earth, nourished by the sun, and fed life-giving water, is filled with Prana. It is best in it’s most natural form, raw and un-processed. I am going ever deeper into my raw and Prana filled way of eating, and I’ll be sharing more about that with you here.
3. Being out in nature ~ Just as sunlight feeds and nourishes plants, it feeds and nourishes us too. Taking a walk, a bike-ride, a hike out in nature is one of the best ways I know to clear my mind, and feel completely connected to and supported by the earth. This is also a very grounding practice, great for the season of Vata.
4. Simplifying ~ When change occurs, it guides us to ask, “what is most important to me?”. When we answer this question honestly, there is often one or two core values that come through. All the rest is fluff. For me family and an authentic life are most important. That is why I am building my practice, my offerings, around these values. What I have found myself needing to let go of in this transitory period are feelings of desire, control, and haste. I’m on a mission to slow down, simplify, and enjoy life. I’m on a mission to help you do the same.
I was walking with my husband and our dog last Sunday afternoon, through a beautiful wooded path. There were wild Concord grapes growing along side the path. I picked a bunch and started sucking out the sweet fruit from the bitter shell. The I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be nice to grow some grapes in our yard?” so I started saving the seeds. Without any pockets I placed the seeds into a folded up portion of my tank-top, and hoped they’d stay put. I didn’t think much of them as we continued walking, enjoying the day. When I got home I checked for my seeds, all but one had been lost. I was disappointed that I’d lost my bounty, but then I thought…
All it takes it one seed to grow, one seed to change, one act to make an impression, one person to make a difference. With this in mind, I leave you with one last great quote about change.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”