Autumn is about more than drinking pumpkin-spiced lattes and bringing out your long-forgotten, cozy winter clothes. As the seasons change, the shift reminds us that we also run on a cyclical path.
After intense outward energy throughout summer, it's healthy to do some reflection during the fall and to "harvest" the year's efforts and experiences up to this point.
FALL - A TIME OF "HARVEST"
As we mindfully follow the earth's cycles, we become more connected to our inner self and more intentional with and conscious of our actions. What does fall mean, and how do we experience a more profound connection with this season?
Fall is a time of harvest - usually this is in the context of crops or gardens. Similarly, we can "harvest" our year's hard work, experiences, and efforts up to this point.
"Harvesting" your year involves recognizing and appreciating improvements in your life, good things that are happening, and goals or intentions that you've achieved.
Here's a suggested mindfulness practice that can help you "harvest" your year, and life, this fall...
FALL "HARVEST" - A MINDFULNESS RITUAL
Below are the steps for our suggested fall mindfulness ritual to "harvest" your year. Feel free to adjust the ritual so it fits your needs.
We suggest doing this ritual on a daily basis until Thanksgiving. (Don't worry if you miss a day or two!)
After developing a mindfulness routine, you can continue this ritual into the new year and switch up the topics or focus. An app such as Calm can help.
1. Find a quiet space
This should be a place that is conducive to concentration. Usually, it is quiet and peaceful. It can be in your home or outside. Feel free to mix it up!
2. Get in a relaxed state
Close your eyes and observe your breathing. Do this until you feel like you are in a relaxed state, which can take up to 10 minutes. Pro tip: count your breaths to help you focus and relax.
3. Practice gratitude
Think of what you are grateful for this year. Here are some questions you can answer:
What changes in my life do I appreciate?
Who has been kind and helped me this year?
Who or what has made my life good?
What experiences this year have brought deeper connection with others or myself?
What in my surroundings make me happy?
What parts of my body or personality am I grateful for?
4. End with a mantra
At the end of your first mindfulness session, choose a "harvest" mantra that you can repeat at the end of each daily session. This can be an overarching summary or theme that you feel after practicing gratitude in the last step.
This mantra should remind you of the goodness of your year and give you good intentions moving forward.
Here are a few examples:
"I have so many beautiful people and surroundings in my life. I will continue developing deeper relationships and tell people how much I appreciate them".
"I have really come to appreciate my unique beauty this year, inside and out. I will continue to take care of myself and build my confidence. I will help build that confidence in others."
"I can make it through hard things and become a better person in the end. I will continue to have courage, ask for help when needed, and learn from my experiences."
Make sure to end each session with your "harvest" mantra.
5. Journal your session
After each session, write any gratitude thoughts that were new or really resonated with you.
After the first session, write down your mantra. You can edit or change your mantra throughout the fall season until you find one that really resonates with you.
COMMITTING TO YOUR RITUAL
Find a time of day that works with your schedule. In the morning, it can be a great way to start your day off right. During the middle of the day, it can be a great way to "reset". And doing this ritual before bed will help relax your mind and focus on positive thoughts before sleeping. This can help you get a better night's sleep.
We also like doing our skincare routine before or after the ritual. This gives you more time to focus on taking care of yourself. The skincare routine can also be a good trigger to start your ritual, or a great way to complete your ritual.
It's really easy to make excuses for not taking care of ourselves, especially when swamped with work, school, family, and other demands. But when you commit to this "harvest" ritual this fall, your busy days will feel more focused, fulfilling, and relaxed.
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