Awake in the World

Stepping out the door this morning, it was obvious that crisp fall air has taken the place of the heavy, humid weather. It’s also showing up in foods at the supermarket and the ways my body starts to feel. In Europe, particularly in France and Switzerland, about this time of year people change their eating habits to fare from the fall harvest and they also begin to adapt to the physical changes of this time of year which ushers in a different rhythm for the body, mind and spirit.

The foods at the farmers’ markets turn to root veggies like beets and potatoes and pumpkins, squash and turnips start to show up. They take their place in hot soups to replace summer salads. Vendors roasting chestnuts share this fall fare on the street corners and hot cones of them warm hands and nourish the body. There’s a growing urge to snuggle under the covers a little deeper and to get out to the mountains for the last hikes before snows set in. Nature with its warm, sunny disposition invites anyone out to play in fallen leaves. This is a great time of year to wear fall reds, cream colors, burnt orange and tan. It’s a perfect time to step out and breathe in the cool, fresh air early in the morning.

It’s also a time to pay attention to the strain on the body. Often colds and flu set in because of lack of attention to its needs to rest and adapt to the seasonal change. Since so many environments are controlled and set at the same temperature year round, we sometimes neglect to recognize that while the office or home environment may be more or less uniform year round, our bodies, minds and spirits are still deeply connected to the rhythms of nature. This may manifest as an urge for more rest.

As the temperatures turn cooler, what is your body, mind and spirit calling you to do? Listening and taking care of it today may pay off. It may boost the immune system and help to keep flus and colds at bay.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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