We’re all familiar with motivational tag lines to get us fired up for Spring and Summer e.g. Step into Spring or Bounce into Summer, but what about the cooler months? Do we just slow down and hide for the next four months?
Being located in the Southern Hemisphere means that we’re all quite aware of the weather change, heading towards the cooler season and a break from the sun doesn’t always mean happy days.
Aside from the obvious change in temperature, what else does Autumn and Winter represent to us? There is a physiological change that occurs within us. Our metabolism resets and will slow down, we tend to crave different foods and textures. The body is using more energy to keep warm so we may want more food as fuel or perhaps hotter temperature foods. For myself, I’ve noticed I’m attracted to different coloured foods (vegetables) in the colder months.
Emotionally there is a change in how we feel about things. Having that spark might not be in the forefront as it is in Spring and Summer however, slowing down and having time for reflection always empowers the connection of our gut instinct. For myself, the cooler seasons are about slowing down emotionally and using this perception of slowing down time to create a stronger mindful practice. There is nothing better then having this calm state of awareness about yourself.
Then of course there is our mental shift, after Summer has finished its cycle for another year. Our internal dialogue of ‘let’s go’, ‘bring it on’ or ‘I’m in’ will soften and not be so gusto with enthusiasm. Some people may describe a feeling of happiness leaving their thoughts or as some of my clients have shared with me ‘it’s as if the sun casts a shadow on me for the next 4 months and it’s cold inside and out’.
We instinctively know to change our clothing for different seasons and moving into the warmer months we’re prepared for more high-energy interaction. We make time to be more social and participate in outdoor activities. We prepare ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally for longer and warmer days. So how do we prepare ourselves for the colder months?
Just like we prepare our wardrobe for season changes, we prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally as we head for the cooler months.
Four Step Guide: a daily practise
AUTUMN – WINTER
Changing our mindset – creating a different pace
1. Take some time out to sit with yourself:
– Just hear your thoughts and observe them.
– Prepare your mind for the colder months by letting your awareness focus inwards.
– Our breath is one of the most powerful tools to bring in alignment and mindfulness.
2. Prepare some cooler month activities e.g. reading / studying / writing /painting / cooking.
– Let your mind shift from fast paced excitement to focused intention
Shifting our feelings – having an intention to nurture your relationship with you
3. The easiest way to prepare ourselves emotionally for a change is through It doesn’t have to be long or intense, more of an unwinding and creating space.
– Close your eyes and take a breath in for the count of five, gently hold for the count of five and then slowly release for the count of five. Repeat this exercise eight – ten cycles and you will have stepped into meditation for approximately two-three minutes.
– As you do this, observe your feelings that pass through with absolutely no judgement. We’re de cluttering the emotional body of any redundant emotions/stresses/triggers.
4. Coming home – CONNECTION
– You’ve created space mentally and de-cluttered emotionally it’s now time to bring it all home.
– Simply stand on your feet and rub them on the ground (just like you would brush off your shoes on a mat before entering your home) for about five seconds.
– Take a deep, slow, deliberate breath in and exhale.
– All parts of you have come home into the moment and the pace of each season is easily met without any heaviness or doldrums.
So instead of Stepping into Spring or Bouncing into Summer, we can to Stroll into Autumn and Saunter into Winter. Understanding that the cooler months are basically about finding a different rhythm or beat to dance to that includes inviting all aspects of you back home to reconnect and become familiar with each other again.