easing the transition to fall

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Ricardo Almeida ©

As the rain aggressively fell outside my second story window, I was reminded of the small joys inspired by the season of fall in the Pacific Northwest. The crisp air in the early morning, the colorful change on the trees, and the pumpkin spice aroma wafting about brings with it a delightful memory of the warm fall season.

With school back in session and summer vacations long past, fall brings about a whole new routine. Shorter days gently shift our focus, increasing the importance to refocus to make the best of our waking hours.

Take these four practices with you into your fall to help refocus your mind, body, and soul thus ensuring a smooth transition into this new season.

 

Journal on your favorite activities of the summer.

Allow for a summer wrap up to take place to tie up the loose ends and prepare for the fall months ahead. Take time to reminisce and remember the joys of your summer. What specifically happened that was really great? Do you have pictures from the experience that you would like to frame? Is there an opportunity to make it a tradition next year?

Find a new routine.

As the daylight hours shorten and the weather changes, our routines will shift as well. Find a balance between activity and rest that feels right to you. Specifically, what shifts in your routine do you need to make? What’s a good time for you to wake up, get exercise, go to sleep? What other activities do you need to integrate into your daily/weekly schedule?

Create a meal plan.

Fall months call for warmer, heartier meals. Find a few meals you enjoy for the week and write out the list of ingredients needed before you go grocery shopping. Don’t have time to cook during the week? Add a new routine of prepping your meals on Sundays or sign up for a meal delivery service in your area that will bring the food to you (prepared or raw)!

Practice gratitude and appreciation for all you have.

It can be all too easy to focus on what’s lacking and what you desire, especially as we move into the holiday months ahead. This practice leaves a feeling of emptiness inside. Instead, start early with a regular gratitude practice to get in an appreciation routine. Nothing is too small to be thankful for. Start a daily gratitude journal. Write down what you are thankful for each day. Share with others and spread the joy of gratitude!

 

Refocus this fall season by taking the time to wrap up your summer. Be mindful of the habits and routines you wish to take into the fall and practice gratitude to set yourself up for the holiday season. Share with us tips in your routine that work for you during the fall months and enjoy these last few days of summer!

 

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Megan Kountz

Yoga Teacher & Life Coaching

pause

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Holiday.jpgStop. Are you currently multi tasking? Reading this as you walk to your car? During your commute? In between tasks?

It’s okay if you are. Just take note if this is you.

Then, consider how often you actually stop to notice what’s going on in these transitional moments of your life. Chances are you use this time to catch up on emails, check social media, or text/call people back. Again, that’s okay. It’s normal. Our society runs on over stimulation. But too much stimulation leads to burn out while encouraging us to live in an alternate world.

This holiday season, I invite us all to be mindfully aware of the present moment and how we fill our spaces in between our tasks. How often do we slow down to look up? Take a deep breath? And just be?

Can you find more mindfulness in the present moment? Breath in the spaces in between, look up and look around to see what’s in front of you, the people you pass, and offer them a smile? Listen to the barista? Maybe say hello to the parking attendant and ask them how their day is going?

While we may define our lives by the moments of achievement or arrival at our destinations, we have many more moments when we are in transition from one place to the next. Learning to slow down in these moments and appreciate the transitional periods will create more fullness in the moments when we do arrive at our holiday party, dinner or a day off.

Linda Ellis poem, The Dash, describes these moments perfectly.

Happy Holiday’s my friends! Live in the moment. This moment is your life! ❤ 

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

know yourself – love yourself. BE YOU

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Of course. The only day I don’t leave the house at 5:30am with a raincoat…it down pours. As the rain beats down against my purple flannel, soaking up every last drop, I raced into the nearest coffee shop, in true Seattlite fashion, seeking warmth.

Sipping my espresso, I turned to look out the window and ponder the last 24 hours of my life. Something I do quite often, reflect, think- just be. It helps me process my experiences and understand what I enjoy/don’t like so I can do more of what I like. Mindfully.

As I starred at the big oak tree on the corner, I kept coming back to my experience in class  the night before. The teacher offered an intention to recognize and appreciate the cycles of life- from birth to death. So relevant for me right now. As the northern hemisphere transitions towards winter many experience, or are drawn towards stillness and warmth, like an animal might through hibernate. But at the same time, she offered a second opinion that really resonated with me. She said, this is for me- I don’t know how it is for you. It could be different. And she gave me the opportunity to explore- hey maybe I am different.

We don’t all fit into typical boxes. And we limit ourselves by seeing the edges of each particular box. But when we open up to the possibility that things can be different- that we are different- we expand our world to the infinite. Considering the fact that someone else might view this situation, each scenario, in a completely different light offers perspective.

You see for me, I am a person of summer. Being a leo, pitta (dosha), born in August, teaching hot yoga, loving burning hot showers, I embody heat. So when the weather turns to align with me in the warmth of summer it actually becomes too heavy. I’m on overdrive and just want to do nothing. Work less, chill more, enjoy the sunshine. Good vibes only. 🙂 So when fall comes around it’s almost like this re-awakening happens. It’s a time to put my head down and get back to business. And while some people see the rain as a time to hibernate I see it more as a time to get business done.

Understanding who you are and what you need during different cycles is incredibly empowering. We are all such different beings- thriving in different lights. And so taking the time to ask yourself how do you move with the planet, what time is your time to go, and how can you move in alignment with what you feel instead of resistance to it?

Don’t assume you fit in a traditional box either. Maybe you jump around. But dare to be different as you move. Ask yourself- who you truly are. Know you are full of infinite possibility. Free yourself from the confines and live your best life ever.

And as my teacher always said, know yourself, love yourself, be yourself.