Fresh Living

Fresh Living


How to Change with the Seasons

posted by vreiss

During the spring equinox years ago, a yoga teacher reminded our class to be mindful of transitions of all kinds–from one season to another, yoga pose to yoga pose, life phase to life phase. She said we often leap past these moments, not usually the most comfortable places, so we can feel solid. Now I try to catch myself in those in-between moments. I notice I’m often simply checked out, deliberately distracting myself with food, shopping, boys, internetting, etc. to avoid feeling the groundlessness (and its accompanying insecurity, fear, anxiety, and frustration) change usually brings.

With a new season upon us, here are a couple of ways we can all cope with the seasonal change zone with a bit of grace and possibly even panache:

1) Mark the Moment. Notice and acknowledge to yourself that a shift is happening. It sounds corny, but see how that makes you feel–anxious, excited, ambivalent? There may even be some grief associated with letting go of the past season or entering the next–minor or major. Seasons come around every year, but they can still a big deal–let yourself fully experience whatever is real for you.

2) Honor the Shift with a Ritual. This can mean everything from changing over your closets to throwing a cocktail party or potluck. Most of us live far from the land so we’ve lost many cues from the natural world. Summer is about bounty, in fall we enjoy the harvest and prepare for winter, a time of inwardness, and spring is the poignant new beginning that allows us to bloom all over again. See what you can do to honor the flavor of each.

3) Take Stock and Look Ahead. I like treating each season like a new year–I get a surge of hope about who I might be and what’s next. You can sit down, reflect on the last season and what you’d like to get out of the new one–from mundane to profound. For example, looking at fall, I’d like to: a) Find a new yoga class to attend regularly b) Buy a couple of new sweaters and a denim skirt (why, oh why is every denim skirt I see bleached, ripped, and crotch-high??) c) Throw a holiday party d) Allow more love, pleasure, and joy into my life.

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