Written by Sarah Loker
It has begun to feel particularly autumnal this week, with the evenings starting to close in and the stormy, blustery weather whipping the first few leaves from the trees. With the first official day of autumn taking place this weekend - the Autumn Equinox will take place on Saturday 23rd September - there is no better time to shake off the action and intensity of summer, by slowing it down and connecting with this season of change. In fact, there are many lessons we can learn from autumn (autumn is a wonderful mindfulness teacher!), if we take a moment to listen close enough…
But this transition from the vibrant, active heat of summer into the beginning of the slower, reflective autumn season can sometimes feel like a challenge to navigate with ease. We might feel ungrounded, scattered, and unsettled as the natural world around us shifts and transforms.
As we feel the shift in energies in ourselves, we can also see it mirrored in the natural world around us everywhere we look. This synced energy, or synergy, between our own internal world and that of the outer world, highlights on a deep level how, even though modern life creates vast disconnection and alienation from nature, we are still intimately linked and connected.
Here are some top tips for connecting deeper with autumn and with yourself, so you can embrace this transitional time of the year with grace, ease, and positivity:
Take time to reflect on the year so far
Autumn is a naturally very reflective time - it marks the end of one season of light and warmth, and the start of another season of darkness and cold. It’s this in-between moment in the year, this time of transition, that gives us a wonderful opportunity to take stock of what we have done, where we have been, and how we have felt for the first part of the year. Journaling is a great reflective practice that can help us take a step aside, and look back at the year, asking ourselves honest questions about what we enjoyed and fulfilled us, and what did not.
Look ahead to the future
The in-betweenness of autumn, where we feel like we are on the edge of something, is also a wonderful time to make plans for the future. This is fantastic to do after reflecting on the months that have gone, so you can better plan out the months to come to make them meaningful, enjoyable, and nourishing for you. A great way to do this is to look at your reflective practice, note what gave you the most joy and fulfillment from the first months of the year, and schedule this into the last few months of the year - if spending time with loved ones filled your cup up over the spring and summer, then be sure to schedule time to meet up and connect in the colder months. Taking some time to plan out your ideal winter months, even if it doesn’t end up being quite so amazing, is a great way to feel more positive about the last part of the year, and to stay on track with your goals and aspirations.
Everything in nature is starting to slow down during this time of the year. The summer months feel so vibrant and sparkly with life, whereas autumn starts to feel a lot heavier and sleepier in comparison. Just like nature, it’s important that we take time to switch the pace down a notch at this time of the year - but this can be very hard as modern life doesn’t have an off switch! However, if we continue the pace of the summer months through to the final part of the year, it can leave us feeling burnt out, exhausted, depleted, and completely disconnected from the world around us. Taking time now to subtly adjust your habits and behaviours to promote more rest and relaxation can have profound effects on your winter health and wellbeing. Try getting to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual, hunkering down at an earlier time to align with the darker nights. Or try turning down the pace of your workout routine, by incorporating more gentle and restorative exercises that encourage you to wind down and relax.
Feeling inspired to connect deeper with the natural world during this season of shifts and change? Connect with nature in our next wellness workshops here at The Studio!
Join Sarah for Elemental Yoga (Sunday 15th October, 11am-1pm), a yoga workshop exploring the 5 elements in nature - earth, water, fire, air and space. By exploring these elements in the natural world outside of us, we can build a greater understanding of these key elements within our own inner nature. In the 3 hour workshop we will tap into the energies of each element with various yoga, meditation, breathwork and guided relaxation practices. Step off your yoga mat feeling more deeply connected with the world around you, and with your own self.
Get creative and connect with autumn in our Autumn Watercolour Workshop with Amanda (Saturday 21st October, 12-2pm). Lose yourself in the world of watercolours, learning how to create beautiful, fluid natural forms. You will be taught the basics of watercolour painting and the art of mark making to reference shapes and movement. We will focus on autumnal natural forms of Chinese lanterns, fallen leaves and autumnal pansies. All materials are provided.
To find out more about our upcoming workshops and to book your space, head to https://www.thestudiobartlow.co.uk/workshops-courses.
Images sourced from Pexels