“Healing is a matter of time, but it is also sometimes a matter of opportunity.”
The words of Hippocrates remind me time again of the nature of healing- that anything that takes ill effect on us and the world can be embraced as an opportunity to heal, change and grow.
This year has already presented with huge local and global events further altering the already disturbed balance of our planet. We have been deeply and profoundly affected by the way the earth is rapidly changing and how this has affected the balance in our own bodies, our family and communities.
After a burning summer and an unknown winter ahead, how can we support ourselves and our children to nurture our own balance of body, mind and spirit? How can we yield to the ways of Autumn?
Let us reflect. How does the earth express itself in this season? How do creatures naturally and instinctively behave? Our flora and fauna live in total trust and harmony with nature. The earth notices the change of shorter days and cooler temperatures. There is a movement of letting go towards the earth and inside the earth. Trees let go of leaves, and move their energy and nutrient supply into their roots. Animals retreat, gather food, nourish, move slower, hibernate and regenerate.
We as humans beings, a part of the intricacy of nature are invited to take part in the expression of cycles, walk the same seasonal path, dance the same dance, move with the natural flow.
Autumn offers the opportunity to retreat, let go, move slower with intention, go within, eat nourishing foods, keep warm, rest, conserve energy, inner reflection and healing parts of us that are calling for our attention. After the languid repose of heat, our bodies are awoken by the crispness in the air. What a celebration!
Bringing balance and healing into our lives is individual, however, how humbling it is to honour nature and remember we are a part of it and can naturally move with it.
Physically this may mean to nourish and feed your body warm, wholesome, seasonal foods such as soups and slow cooked stews, root vegetables, bringing herbs and spices into our foods to generate warmth and increasing digestion. It may mean more rest, earlier nights, a focus on sleeping habits and ways to help the body to wind down, let go and deeply rest and heal while we sleep. Movement and exercise to keep our body warm, oxygenated, stimulating our circulation and feeling grounded.
For our minds we may wish to create more space by pulling back on activities and simplifying our days, not over committing to things that increase stress and moving more towards quality not quantity. Practicing some mindfulness in our days giving the benefit of increased awareness of our thoughts and actions, self compassion, acceptance of self and others, feeling more positive.
For our spirit this may involve infinite creative ways to get connected to ourselves, to our nature and the earth we live on. Being in nature is very healing in itself. You may sit under a tree and observe the leaves falling and invite yourself to let go, you may make a fire, burning the fallen sticks in the garden and be moved to burn some of your own dross. You may watch water flowing, moving, rain seeping into the soils, feeling deeply nourished by the earth. Gardening is a wonderfully rewarding space to dig around, compost, nourish the soils, prune the dead branches and make fires. As you do this in your external environment you may take that metaphor into your inner world and spent time in your inner garden. What is growing? what needs tending to? we can nourish our soils, soak in the warm sun, weed the attitudes and habits that have grown too many, and take part in ways that are healing for us.