Celebrate the change of season spiritual style by trying out the traditions associated with autumn and using them to improve your life.
Like each change of season, autumn marks a shift in the natural world. As the leaves turn brown and the flowers disappear, crops and fruit become ready to be harvested. These changes in nature mirror changes within yourself, showing you the correct time of year to be taking certain action to get the best possible results. Think of the famous song which was recorded by Sixties band The Byrds and which is based on verses from the Bible:
'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap...'
The arrival of autumn is a time for giving thanks, planning, harvesting, contemplation, and understanding the bigger picture in both the natural world and within yourself - in your personal life, your professional life and your spiritual life.
1) Count Your Blessings Autumn is about harvesting the fruits and crops that have been growing all summer and giving thanks for the bounty of nature. Spiritually, this means that it's a time to take stock of the blessings or good things you have in your life. Nurture your blessings and watch them increase: *Tell somebody close to you that you love and appreciate them *Give your time to help a local charity *Meditate on the blessings in your life *Gather your loved ones around you and celebrate with a family meal
2) Release Just as nature is moving on to a new cycle, so should you learn to let go of anything that is holding you back in life, or anything you have outgrown. *Clearing out your clutter at home is a good way to get rid of stagnant energy in the home *Have you grown apart from a partner or a friend? Perhaps it's time to release them and say goodbye, with love, so you can both move on in life. *This season is a good time to release yourself from bad habits. Give up smoking or drinking to excess or any habit that is not serving your highest good. *Endings do not have to be sad. Celebrate the successes of this part of your journey then release what needs to be left behind with love and move forward.
3) Slow down During autumn, nature slows down from the busy summer rush of growth, and it's time for you to wind down, too. Try a slightly slower pace of life so you can re-gain your emotional balance. *The autumn equinox falls on September 22 this year. It marks the time when the hours of light and darkness are equal. Night and day are perfectly balanced. Devote an hour during the equinox think about how you can bring your life back in to balance. Perhaps you need to spend more time with your family or with your partner or less time in the office? Write a list of five things you'd like to change and think about ways you can improve them. *Practicing mindfulness will help you slow down. Choose half an hour once a week to live fully in the present moment instead of allowing your mind to race ahead to the next task. Taking a walk is the best way to do this, so you can soak up every detail of the nature around you, thinking of nothing but what you are seeing and experiencing in that moment.
4) Planning As the chilly days and nights set in, now is the time to reflect on the past months and formulate your life plan for the coming year. *Reflect on your successes over the past year. How can you build upon them? How can you achieve new successes in the future? *Think about the bigger picture. How do you want your life to be in 10 years time? What sort of person do you hope to be? How can you make this happen?
5) Accepting change The wheel of the year turns from light to dark during autumn. It is a season of transition, reminding you that living is a constant state of change. As the old year draws to a close the new year is waiting to be born. When one chapter of your life closes you should not be sad, but look forward to a new one beginning. *As the leaves fall from the trees and the earth seems to go to sleep, autumn reminds us of our own mortality. But this should not be seen as scary, its meaning is to encourage you to live each day mindfully and with a caring attitude. *Autumn is a magical time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. This season is ripe for spiritual transformations. Begin to practice new spiritual ideas at this time and you will bring fresh positive energy into your life.