How’s your autumn going? Two weeks ago, I watched my ‘string of hearts’ plant in her full bloom glory. That’s how I knew we’d transitioned to autumn. It’s a wonder how a tiny succulent can feel the seasonal change amidst strong winds and rain in the tropics. Maybe plants feel it deep in their bones. Notice the smell of the air the next time you are out after a rain shower — may you too, feel this subtle seasonal change in your bones.
2022’s autumn teaches us to find clarity by bringing contrasting or opposing elements together in ways that balance them — a play of harmony, perhaps. What’s happening in your life right now, my friend? You may find yourself in torrential rains with major life transitions, births, and losses. You may be busy making plans for the end of the year. You might be tending to your weekly emotional storms.
The mighty ‘winds of change’ call for an equally powerful intention to slow down. The stronger these winds of change are in your life, the slower you’d want to be in the centre of it all.
This autumn, slow down in your own ways. Here are some ways that I am toying with:
Initiate a clearing.
This clearing may be a lifestyle habit, a belief system, or an internal narrative about yourself that is no longer helpful for you. Many of our habits and patterns run an expiry date. They may have helped us during a certain period of our lives or historically protected us from hurt and pain. But, if we slow down and evaluate their purpose and value, we might just find that they are not so relevant anymore. Once we let go of expired habits, patterns, and beliefs, we invite new ones that can help us grow. Inner decluttering is just as powerful as physical or material decluttering.
I held the weight of transience on my palms as I sent the wilted blooms to the winds.
I’m currently nurturing a new relationship with my phone. Scrolling through the endless feeds of social media in the mornings after my yoga practice has become quite an addiction (so real!).
This video has really inspired me to let go of my belief that I need my phone to be around me all the time so that I can be contactable. So, I’m initiating a clearing for my mornings. Instead of enslaving myself to my phone and social media, I choose to learn something new. I tried baking for the first time in my life. What a fun process with different experimentation! These days my kitchen is laundered with the smell of fresh cookies in the oven. As for my phone, I keep it in a bag whenever I’m at home so that I would not see it. Sometimes I still fall back into the loop of mindless scrolling through my phone, but I’m hopeful that this slowing down will reap its fruits by winter.
The smell of these peanut butter chocolate oatmeal cookies is enough for me to snack on for days.
Switch up the roles you play in your life.
After the last several months of knee-deep labouring in summer’s heat, I decided to pause my work to become a student. This meant taking on fewer work projects with sharp curation, and ensuring that my 1-1 body-based healing sessions retain their #smallbatchgoodness essence. Pausing my work is a radical shift for me. I was so used to being a workaholic in my past. Letting go of an inner narrative — I am worthy only when I push myself to endless work — brought about a tremendous clearing in my life over the last few years. I now enjoy the freedom to switch around the different roles as seasons change.
I’m writing to you from Rishikesh, India. I’m here devoting two delightful weeks to deepen my study in Pranayama and Yoga Nidra with my beloved teacher, Sunil Sharma.
Returning to the Himalayas is a whole story I’d love to share with you another day. For now, I’m nourishing myself with new insights, practices, and teachings from my teacher Sunil Ji along with the vitalising force of the Ganges river every day. Other than that, I am also attending a somatic trauma therapy training for the next few months.
What a privilege it is to be able to be a student again! When we switch into a learning mode we activate other parts of our brain. We nourish our neural circuitry, we become inspired. Motivated. Rejuvenated, and so much more.
There is a season where we labour; there is a season where we pause and learn something new. Isn’t that the beauty of a life devoted to yielding to the seasons?