Lately my mailbox has been stuffed with back to school reminders — sales brochures from Kohl’s and Olympia Sports, updates from my daughter’s college and forms to fill out for my son who will be a high school junior. I’m sleeping with an extra blanket and wearing a sweatshirt on my morning walks. Nature is signaling it’s time to shift into fall.
For kids the fall is always transitional. As adults it’s easy to forget we also need time and space to prepare for autumn. Along with the exterior maintenance — roof check, buy firewood, clean the gutters and inspect the siding — to get your home ready, fall is the perfect season for interior maintenance.
As you put away bathing suits and pull out sweaters, you naturally transition from the carefree, relaxed, expansive energy of summer to a more serious, contemplative, contractive energy associated with fall. You want to organize and define your life, finish projects started in the spring and summer and reap the results of your hard work. It’s also the perfect time to release anything you may be holding on to so you can make room for new experiences that help you grow and glow.
Here are 5 steps to make the most of this transitional time.
Let Go of Negativity
While it’s great to let go of negativity 24/7, fall is an especially powerful time to release people, places, things, feelings, beliefs and thoughts that keep you stuck and no longer serve you. That’s because in traditional Chinese medicine fall is the season associated with the lungs (the organ responsible for taking in the new) and the large intestine (the organ responsible for removing waste). By letting go you make space for taking in fresh, positive energy and opportunities along with the cool, crisp autumn air.
Yes the negative things in your life may be beyond your control, but you can change how you view and choose to respond to them. What’s interesting is, as Wayne Dyer explains, “When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.”
The first step is to become aware when you are being or feeling negative. You may notice a shift in your energy or discomfort in your body or mind. Once you become aware you are being negative, replace your negative thoughts, beliefs, habits or feelings with positive ones.
Another powerful way to release negativity is to boost your self-worth. Rather than comparing yourself to others and focusing on accumulating more money, status, and power be grateful for who you are and what you have. Practice self-compassion by giving yourself what YOU need. Connect with your light. Be content inside. Know that you are loved, perfect and complete right now and alreay have everything you need.
We’re born knowing how to breathe deeply, just watch a sleeping baby. As we develop the layers of stress accumulate, cutting us off from our most basic life force —oxygen—and preventing us from breathing correctly.
One of the most basic and best ways to stay clear and get energized in the fall is to remind your self to breathe deeply. Breathing deeply has a powerful impact on your vitality, immune system, body cells and brain and is an effective, easy way to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Here’s an easy breathing exercise to practice several times a day to help you take in more oxygen. Inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your belly and filling your lungs completely with as much air as possible. Hold for a count of five. Exhale slowly through your mouth completely emptying your lungs. Repeat three times.
Declutter and Get Organized
Having too much stuff and piles rather than files can make you feel scattered rather than clear and focused. It’s amazing how much energy and time you can save by taking a few minutes a day to declutter and get organized.
To start get rid of everything that’s broken or outdated. You can do this all at once or make a point of giving away one item a day. Or make a game of it by giving yourself and the other member of your family a trash bag and see who can fill it the quickest.
Go through your closets and donate items that you haven’t worn in years. Take a look at your computer and delete old files and bookmarks. Check out your kitchen cabinets and toss expired food items and clean your refrigerator. You’ll feel incredibly free and light.
Once you’re done clearing away what you no longer need, take stock of what you’ve created and accomplished so far this year. Pull out your journal and write about the accomplishments that you are most proud of and the challenges you overcame to reach your goals and move closer to your dreams. Then take a few minutes to write about what you want to achieve before the year ends.
Take Care of Your Body
As the weather gets cooler it’s important to nourish you body with warmer foods. This means replacing some of the salads and raw foods you eat in the summer with more soups and stews. You may find that you also need to slow down a bit and sleep a little more. To stay energized get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Take long walks in nature, and remember to breathe deeply and enjoy the beautiful fall colors.
By living in harmony with the season and giving yourself a extra attention and self-love you will stay balanced, vibrant and healthy and be ready to enjoy the holidays.
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