It's valuable to use the change of seasons as a cue to pause, reflect, and check in with yourself. Consider solstices and equinoxes Mother Nature's little reminders to take stock of any growth and changes you've experienced during the season that has passed.
As we move into autumn, this reflection is particularly important because summer is typically thought to be a time of intense expansion. Around us, the world has been growing and flourishing—and so have we.
The autumn equinox is also a time to consider all the things you've outgrown, so you can work to release those things from your life as you navigate the upcoming fall season, the season of letting go. So bust out your journal (and maybe a candle or two) and reflect on these five timely questions to ask yourself during this introspective season:
1. Where were you during the spring equinox?
The spring equinox is the twin of the autumn equinox. They are the only two days throughout the year when the Earth is in perfect balance—day and night are almost equal. At the spring equinox, we are moving into the light half of the wheel of the year, the growing season. But in autumn, we move into the darker half, the season of death and reflection.
This is a powerful time to think back on what was happening for you around the spring equinox (March 20, 2018). If you keep a journal, revisit anything you wrote at this time. What new beginnings were you experiencing then? What spring intentions were you planting? How have these things grown and evolved in the months since?
2. What summer experiences fill you with gratitude?
In summer, your job is to soak in as much sun, energy, and good times as you can. Consider that summer fun fuel for the colder months ahead. Spend time cultivating deep gratitude for anything positive that happened this summer. Where have you gone? Who have you spent time with? How have you grown from these experiences?
3. What are you harvesting in your life right now?
At this point in the year, gardens continue to produce some fruits and vegetables, but the height of growing season is wrapping up. It's traditionally a time for harvest celebrations. In ancient times, people would come together to acknowledge all their hard work and celebrate the fruits of their labor.
Whether you've been tending to an actual garden or not, you also have things in your life that you've put energy and effort into over the last several months. What have you been tending to and nurturing? What projects have you brought to fruition?
4. Where do you need more balance in your life?
Summer is a season of intense, outward-focused energy that can leave you feeling depleted. In autumn, the energy shifts back inward. There's a balancing, a realignment. Since the Earth is in perfect balance right now, it's a good moment to notice where balance is returning in our own lives.
What areas of your life feel well-balanced? Where do you feel out of balance? Why do you think that is? Can you commit to one action item to bring those things back into alignment?
5. What are you ready to release?
When you look at the lessons you've been learning, and all the ways you've grown over summer, you'll start to recognize things in your life that no longer serve you. You'll notice those things that you've actually outgrown: old patterns, habits, and relationships that you're ready to release.
Autumn is the season of death and decay: The trees release their leaves, crops are cut down, plants return to the Earth. All this death is necessary. It clears space for the new seeds, new dreams, new life to be planted in the spring.
In order to experience new growth and personal evolution, we need to let go of those things that no longer serve us, just as Mother Nature does. What are you ready to let go of? What is it time to release from your life?
Keep this journal entry handy and be sure to refer to it the next time spring equinox rolls around to see how you've grown. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the fall season.
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