Fall will soon hit with all of its demands and the transition might be a bit jarring. You’re used to living on a summer clock, with longer days, getaways and more time for activity and pleasure. You might find your stress levels increasing as you get back into a schedule, work begins piling up and you start to catch up on all the things that got pushed aside in the fun-filled summer months. Our advice: take a breather and try to approach fall with anticipation, excitement and preparation.
Remember: nature moves slowly and deliberately toward harmony and sustainability. It intrinsically knows what it needs to do and simply does it. Tune into this process in your own life by slowing down and paying close attention to your needs: what do you need to let go of? What you need to create space for? One of the best ways to detox and cleanse is through purposeful meditation; when immersed in nature, whether under a tree, sitting peacefully near the calm lull of ocean waves or doing a moving meditation on your favourite hiking trail, this process is even more beneficial. (Not to mention, spending time outdoors in nature is a natural stress reliever and meditating in nature helps synchronize our biorhythms!)
So go ahead, carve out some time each day as we get closer to autumn to meditate with the positive intention to release and renew. Here are some steps to help you set up the perfect fall meditation:
- Find a time (or a few times throughout your day) when you won’t be disturbed.
- Get outside, be it your backyard, balcony or a remote spot in a park or beach. You need the right environment to get yourself in the right head space.
- Set the timer on your phone.
- Begin your meditation by tuning into your breath. Feel the sun on your face, the gentle breeze on your skin, hear the wind in the trees, the rustle of leaves and the sound of flowing water close by. Your eyes can close or remain open. Whatever feels most comfortable.
- Notice your to-do list and scan your responsibilities and activities. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, say to yourself, “I get to do these things” and “I am lucky to have such a full life.” Then let it all go. Continue to breathe in the fresh air, feeling it infiltrating your body and cleansing throughout.
- Feel new energy coming into you as you become aware of what you need to get rid of. You might need to shed old habits, grievances, clutter, a job or a relationship that no longer serves you. Let yourself see where there is an over-accumulation of physical stuff, emotional upset, mental challenges or spiritual disconnect.
- Just like the leaves on trees will begin to fall to the ground, imagine all the things you no longer need drying up and falling to the ground, too. Now, ask yourself, “What action steps do I need to take to feel inspired and motivated to charge powerfully forward?”
- Finally, ask your heart for guidance and allow yourself to hear what practice you need to cultivate or what action you need to take in order to clear a path for your next journey.
Finally, keep these mantras in mind: There is no need to mourn releasing things, rather, be joyful that new life will crop up for you in the spring. Fall is the time to make space for possibility. Unload. Drop a few thousand dead leaves and prune a couple hundred branches. Take courage and clear yourself of the things you’ve been afraid to let go of. Shed anything that binds you to your stubborn ways. Each season brings to us something different and wonderful, but it takes time to make changes. It takes time for summer to fully turn to fall. Fall is the season where we plant seeds for our next chapter. It’s a chance to take inventory of what you need to trim back or tend to differently as you settle inward for the coming months. Without releasing or pruning, there can be no new growth. —Meg Lewis-Schneider