Autumn is a time of change and slowing down. As we move into this season, let it teach you about the gifts of transitions.
We’ve just passed one of the four cardinal points of the year – pivotal points that transition from one energy to another. The Autumn Equinox is one of those great shifts, where we move from the outward energy of summer and the longer daylight, to the inward energy of fall and the lengthening nighttime. This is a potent time to explore all transitions.
Much of our life is spent in transition. We commute to work or drive the kids to school, stand in line at the post office, and wait nine months for a baby to be born. Even going up the stairs or walking out to the mailbox; life is full of the process of moving from one point to another, from one experience into the next.
Add up all those hours and you’ll recognize that it’s a lot of time! Quite often, this is time we spend unconsciously: daydreaming, reminiscing, thinking about the movie we saw the other day. Sometimes, this time is occupied by worries, fears, indignation, righteousness, or imagining the worst. This creates tension and negative energy that affects both the transitional moments and the experience when we arrive at the destination.
Slow Down and Be in the Transition
While we are riding through this seasonal transition, going from warm summer days to cool autumn evenings, it’s a good time to slow down and practice more Presence in all our transitional moments. When you get up to answer the phone, take some deep, spacious breaths and walk with full awareness. As you’re driving to work, choose something uplifting or healing to listen to in the car. While waiting at the dentist’s office, it’s an opportunity to meditate, read an inspirational book, or feel your emotions and write in a journal (I usually carry these in the car with me for these waiting periods).
You have so much precious time to explore and make powerful use of that you may not have even noticed before! Not only to “make use of”, but to feel more fully alive in those moments.
Transitions in Yoga
Yoga practice is a great way to consciously explore transitions in body, mind, and heart. While on your mat, become very aware of your thoughts and emotions through the practice.
Particularly hone in on the movements into and out of a pose, or from a lunge back to downward dog. Does your mind wander off, project into the future; is it still clinging to the past? Bring it into the present moment by focusing on the breath, attending to the physical sensations, and remaining mindful of alignment and placement of your hands, feet, etc. Feel the transfer of weight as you step forward into a Warrior Pose, or as you arch over into Parsvakonasana, Side-angle Pose.
Open yourself to new awareness arising from this enhanced attentiveness. Your yoga mat will be your practice for your life – as you are more present while you lift your arms to the sky or arch into Cobra pose, you’ll become more attuned to the simple yet profound moments off the mat. Begin to look around not only at the road you’re driving on or the carpet beneath your feet, but start to feel what is happening in nature.
Notice the subtle energetic changes that happen during these transitions. You may discover profound new parts of yourself as you align yourself with these shifts in our natural world.
Autumn Reminds Us
Every moment of our lives is precious and valuable – the fall season reminds us of that, as life around us is beginning to hibernate, release, and let go. Make each moment count by becoming conscious even in those seemingly worthless hours you’re behind the wheel or folding the laundry.
Each transition is like a trip you’re taking, and we know that it is the experience of the trip that we relish, not simply the departure and the return. Recognize the amazing journey you’re on through this life, and make the most of the transformative process happening each second along the way.
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