Fall is coming! You can feel it in the air. Chillier mornings, groups of children with knapsacks heading out to school. Even if you are long beyond your “back to school days,” you can still feel impacted by the change of season. We are not quite where we were (summer), but also haven’t quite arrived in the next place (fall). Transitions can be challenging but they also unleash our creativity. Here are some mind/body resources to help you make the most of this transition.
I use this activity with my clients and in meditation groups, but you can also do this on your own. Sometimes it’s helpful to write things down, but paper and pen are optional.
Your first step is to settle into a quiet place and acknowledge the transition. Simply ask yourself: what am I letting go of now that summer is ending? Let the answers come to you. There are no wrong answers. Whatever thoughts or feelings surface, accept and acknowledge them. If you like, you can write your answers down.
If something needed to happen this summer but didn’t, now may be the time to get it done. It’s still summer!
Allow yourself to release what didn’t happen and isn’t absolutely necessary to carry forward. Maybe you didn’t take that trip, or clean that closet or learn to swim this year. That’s OK. Don’t carry unnecessary stuff into the fall. Let it go.
Next, ask yourself: what is coming toward me for this fall? Again, receive and reflect on the answers without judging or changing or censoring them. You can think practically and concretely about them later, but for now just receive what comes.
It can be helpful to reflect on these two questions for a few minutes each day as we move out of one season into another. The answers may surprise you and will probably be useful.
Herbs, Spices and Essential Oils
Warming essential oils, spices and herbs such as frankincense, myrrh, ginger, black pepper, paprika, cardamom, clove, ginger, juniper berry, marjoram, cinnamon, and rosemary are great to get into this time of year. They stoke our senses of taste and smell. Herbs and spices add welcome flavor to food and essential oils have a powerful fragrance that can warm and energize.
Spices and herbs are delicious in soups, stews and other foods. Combined with seasonal vegetables, you have some of the most delicious and healthy foods out there. I just received this recipe for Vegetable Stone Soup from the AIRC (American Institute for Cancer Research). Give it a try!
We often neglect employing our sense of smell and its potential to positively influence our moods and wellbeing. Warming essential oils are so versatile and many smell wonderful. They can be added to your bath, a body lotion or a diffuser. Many essential oils also have antimicrobial properties that can help ward off colds and other illnesses. You can get started by picking ones from the list above that smell good. If you are going to be using on the oils directly your skin, for safety, you will want to dilute them with coconut or grapeseed oil. We have staff experienced with essential oils and would be happy to help you get started with using them.
What are your favorite tips to ease your transitions? We would love to hear from you!