Nature A Wonderful Teacher.

Enjoy the seasonsSince I came back to Canada in 2009, I have enjoyed the unfolding of each season. Each season comes with its own beauty, feel, and energetic signature. I can’t really say that I have a favorite season for each season brings something new and different to behold.

Fall, with its magnificent display of color, is so beautiful it takes my breath away. The cool air on my cheeks as I walk in the river valley reminds me of how vibrantly alive I am.  As I wander about the farmers market, the sight and smell of the vast array of produce from this year’s harvest fills me with gratitude. Standing in the park watching the leaves gracefully float down to the earth reminds me letting go doesn’t need to be a struggle.

Nature is a wonderful teacher. We are a small universe in a Big Universe, the big Universe has provided Nature as a model for us to see and mirror. 

We see this mirrored in the plants as they surrender their harvest to us in the form of fruit, vegetables, grains, and nuts. We too should take stock of what we are harvesting this year. What did you plant, nurture and reap in your life? Take some time to look at the areas of your life and take stock of your harvest. Personally, I view fall, rather than the new year, as a time of inner reflection to view my harvest, to declutter, let go, and to set new intentions. 

The kaleidoscope of color displayed by the trees are their way of celebrating, reminding us to be proud of our achievements and to celebrate them. What will you do to celebrate your harvest?  I will plan an evening out with friends sharing love, joy and laughter. 

As you witness the leaves gently floating down from the trees notice how easily and effortlessly the trees let go of that which they no longer need. We can learn from this and let go of all the things that no longer serve us. 

Decluttering is a form of letting go which can be very healing and nurturing. 

Declutter our physical surroundings – cleaning out our gardens, raking the leaves, cleaning and putting away our summer items creates space in our environment. This is my time to go through my wardrobe letting go of clothes and other items no longer used so that they may find a new home and create some space in my environment. 

We can also declutter our emotions – What emotions are you holding onto that constrict and bringing you down? Perhaps it is time to let them go by focusing on what makes you feel expanded, happy, peaceful and content.  Emotions are our barometers, they tell us when we are out of balance. When I notice this imbalance, I give thanks to the emotion for bringing my attention to the imbalance. Then take steps to restore my balance with qigong, breathing, going for a walk, or meditating. 

Decluttering our minds can be achieved with deep Qi breathing. Whenever your minds get too cluttered with the jumble of thoughts flowing through, stop and focus on your breath for a minute or two and this will immediately disrupt your thoughts. The more you do this, the more you free your mind of mental clutter.

Fall is a time to begin slowing down and going inward. It’s a great time to go for a walk in nature. This helps to declutter the busyness in your life and reconnect you to your inner essence. Walking slowly and mindfully paying attention to your surroundings, your body, your breath, will help to restore balance and reconnect you to your soul. We all need time to slow right down and be fully present. 

Are you mirroring fall’s energy?  What can you do this fall to get in the flow of the season? 

Love to hear what works for you. 

With joy and gratitude, 

Carolynne

Following Nature’s Clues

caleb-george at unsplashNature’s transitions, like changes in daylight and colder temperature, throw many people off balance. The results of this can be seen in feeling down, wanted to stay indoors, struggling with colds and flu or even stomach viruses.

Don’t you find it interesting that Nature’s creatures are able to flow so easily between the seasonal changes? Plants and animals sense when it’s time to change and begin the process.  Plants and trees begin to go dormant, lose their leaves and the sap flows down in the roots preparing for winter.  Nature knows how to prepare for each season.

Following the clues from Nature allows one to flow in harmony with the changes and seasonal patterns. Fall is Nature’s time of letting go. Without letting go, there can be no real rest during winter, and no subsequent growth the following spring. Every part of the process has a reason and a purpose, and it all combines to create the cycle of seasons we witness every year.

This is the time for ‘letting go’ of things we don’t need. This could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual things. For example, getting rid of clutter, releasing old ideas and beliefs that hold you back or processing life events. In letting go of what may be holding us down, allows our bodies to deeply rest. We build up our Qi, or vital energy, and use it to strengthen our bodies for the winter season.

What remains is that which nurtures us keeping us from getting stuck during winter so that we can be rejuvenated when spring arrives.

Here are 6 tips to help you build your Qi for winter:

1. Let Go: Is there anything physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually you are holding onto right now? Give yourself some quiet time to become aware of what needs to go. Most of us can release feelings of stress, “have-tos and need-tos”, and physical items. Letting go of that which is no longer serves us open the way for contentment.

2. Contentment is the positive aspect of fall. Look around and focus on the all the things that make you feel content. In this past years what positive things did you accomplish and that you are proud of. Will any of those things continue to grow and expand? Celebrate them.

3. Copy Nature: There is less daylight. Nature has slowed down. Match this vibration by allowing yourself to get enough rest. Start to slow things down in your life and give yourself time to unwind and relax.

4. Eat and Think for Healing: Treat your body right! Start by feeding it warm, loving foods and warm, loving thoughts. Remember, on a lower level, you are what you eat. But on a higher level, you are what you think.

5. Meditate and/or Practice Qigong : During this seasonal transition, sit in quiet meditation or slowly and smoothly practice Qigong, especially “Breathing the Universe”. Notice your body, your breathing, any tightness, where everything flow and the gems of wisdom that surface.

6. Get Outside: On a sunny day, bundle up and get outside. Let the sun shine on your face. Absorb all of Nature’s goodness and notice how Nature’s creatures are reveling in the warm sunshine, too.

When you flow with Nature rather than fight it, life is easier, more joyful and you smile more.

Breathe, smile and enjoy!

Stop the runaway train and take time for yourself.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve spoken to several people who are going through a time that is especially hectic, challenging or demanding.

As a result, they’re emotionally and physically just DONE—yet finding themselves needing to dig down a bit deeper to find a bit more energy, compassion or patience for whatever life has brought.

It can often feel that life resembles a runaway train with no brakes. Just rushing on at amazing speed with no ability to stop.

But stop you must if want to be at your peak with clear thoughts, energy and creativity.

If you keep going at the speed of a runaway train you’re bound to crash. The stress of keeping up this pace will eventually show it’s self in some form of health issues. Stress is the #1 factor behind most illnesses today.

When you run out of fuel and come crashing down, who are you really helping?

Have you ever been on an airplane? As the flight attendant goes through the safety talk you’re reminded to “Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping your child or anyone else.” Why? If you aren’t safe how can you help another?

The same goes for you, getting sick only adds to the issues.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, sounds great but, where do I fit it in?” My answer would be, you plan it. If you don’t plan for some self-care time; it might be forced upon you.

 

What is self-care time?

Self-care is not selfish, it is the opposite. It is giving to yourself so that you can give to others.

It allows you time to reconnect with yourself and helps you to get your equilibrium back. It is a time to recharge your batteries, feed your spirit, and de-stress.

Having a plan to regain your equilibrium once a week is a wonderful gift for yourself.

Self-care is doing something that you love. Something that gets you to forget your to-do-list. Something you can get lost in.

It might be painting, drawing, walking, dancing, sewing, a martial arts practise. Anything that connects you to your authentic self. Where you transcend time and space for a while.

For me it is walking or sitting in Nature, anywhere! When life starts to speed up, I go for a walk by the river or in the park. In the winter when it is too cold to walk I attend a yoga class.

What is your self-care plan? How do you recharge and refuel your spirit?

If you don’t have one, could this be the moment to create one?