Today is the start of something beautiful. It’s a sunny, seventy-something day here in Houston and the first full day of fall! Time for leggings, longer nights, pumpkin-spiced everything, and retreating inward.
And it’s all starting in dramatic celestial fashion with the autumnal equinox coinciding with this month’s new moon (tomorrow). What does this mean for you and me?
It’s a powerful time for both reflection and gratitude for the universe’s bounty; but it also signifies a time to nurture spirit and begin dreaming big for the new year. A few simple suggestions to bring you greater joy at this unique time:
Flirt with desire.
When did you last devote time to day-dreaming? Pure, shameless inspection into every single thing that sends your heart-a-flutter? Try carving out a little time everyday imagining personal goals realized, travel plans carried out, and the feelings that accompany these experiences. Really go there. It’s not enough to believe: you must feel it to achieve it. And if sitting around in your head doesn’t sound thrilling, make a vision board or share your desires with a loved one who will echo your enthusiasm. This last part is important: not everyone is worthy of hearing our deepest desires. Protect your dreams and cherish the people who are around to help bring them to life.
Map it out.
The equinox is all about balance: equal parts light and dark. And we are reminded that it’s not enough to dream big. We must take action in everyday, measureable ways. Our feminine energy is required for the intuition and receptivity that allows our dreams to take shape but we need masculine energy, the energy of agency and drive, to carry these dreams out. We must spend time cultivating and expressing both sides of ourselves. So after you’ve luxuriated in your desires, write out an action plan, devise the budget, and give yourself the confidence that comes with clear direction.
Be grateful and give.
Autumn signifies a time of thanksgiving and appreciation for everything that’s come before. And we don’t have to wait until turkey day to do it. Take time, starting today, to not only note the various ways in which you’ve been blessed this past year but to give away some of that which you’ve been given. Have your friends really had your back these last several months? How about throwing an amazing dinner party to show your appreciation? Gratitude is not an abstract practice—it’s everyday kindness in motion. Get going!
Stimulate the senses.
The more, the better. Fall is an especially delightful time to savor life’s delicious little moments—the tingle of crisp air on tan skin, the brilliant burnt-orange and canary colored leaves, the ever prevalent taste of Libby’s Pumpkin. The point is, engage with the senses on as many levels as possible. One simple way to do this is cooking a home-made meal with fresh, flavorful ingredients. It’s satiating in so many ways. But do what feels right (and fun!) for you. Your soul will always let you know.
Make space for stillness.
Let’s face it: we live in a noisy world. And I don’t just mean the shrieking of brakes and blare of television screens. Between saturated newsfeeds and smartphones that never leave our side, we forget what it feels like to simply be. But it’s something spirit craves. And you don’t need a formal meditation practice to reap the benefits. Give yourself small moments of unadulterated silence everyday: opt to go media-free for one hour upon awakening and before bed or take a long, solo walk right before dusk, when everyone is settling in for the evening. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you will learn to honor silence and everything it allows.