Super thrilled to have a guest post today from the insanely sweet Meredith Swim about transitioning to the fall season.
Summer gives a dramatic, sparkly bow, leaving me a bit sun-dazzled as Fall sweeps onto center stage. The early bloom of a new school year marks an official end to carefree summer frolics, setting in motion a change in routine and signifying a time of transitions.
Though I am not returning back to school, I still feel the familiar flutter of nerves and excitement for a new unfolding chapter. Fall is ripe and ready for creating and implementing a new routine, or spicing a mundane one up to inspire and nurture. My beloved coffee shops fill up with studious college kids and the presence of their textbooks and stuffed backpacks makes me eager to work a little harder. The arrival of the Virgo ruled months plucks me from summer daydreams and pushes me to concentrate on turning those wishes into a reality, so it’s time to buckle down, sweat a little and take care of the practical, nitty-gritty details.
Transitioning. As earth-beings we are in the midst of a seasonal transition. The transition from summer to fall is bittersweet. There’s a tender sadness that accompanies Summer’s bon voyage and the debut of Fall. I’m sensitive to the disappearing sunlight and the too-soon fading splendor of the leaves. As a person prone to daydreams, it’s easy for me to get swept up in the winds of change. I can feel ungrounded and overwhelmed by the longer to-do list.
I lovingly acknowledge my sensitivity to transitions, so I’m adding a few self-care essentials to the to-do list. I’m intending to take time to center and create small, comforting rituals to help me ground and weather this transition with grace and ease. I’m sharing some suggestions, perhaps one will resonate and feel like a big YES.
*Let’s begin with the breath. During the day, if I’m stressing over the future or in multi-task, super-woman mode, my breath becomes quick and shallow. Just bringing awareness to the breath will invite it to naturally deepen and lengthen. Take the time to breathe mindfully, knowing that pausing and having a moment of non-doing will actually create more space and clarity for purposeful action. I use my inhalations to welcome and fully be in the present moment. Fall in Kentucky is vibrant and gorgeous, so as I inhale I bear witness to the unfolding beauty of leaves. As I exhale, I envision sending the out-breath down my legs and out my toes, rooting into my feet and feeling less scattered and more grounded in my body and in this moment.
*Rituals can also be incredibly comforting and grounding during a transition. My mornings always begin with a few mindful breaths and a yoga practice. No matter where I am and no matter what mood I awake in, I commit to that time in the morning to be with my breath and to be with my body. This ritual travels with me and has kept me connected to self as I’ve embarked and undergone transitions. This ritual can simply be sipping coffee and reading the paper, journaling, or taking a stroll after dinner. Decide and commit to having a ritual that grants satisfying “me time.”
*Go easy, too. A wild and wide variety of emotions can appear during a transition: excitement for pursing passion, or fear of the unknown to name just a few. As the Sufi poet Rumi says about emotions, “Welcome and entertain them all for each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Breathing mindfully and having a ritual allows for emotions to be acknowledged. Let this inner listening be one freed of any judgment. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Just be with the feelings present and let them be invitations to better understand self. If there’s need, take action or just be aware. Be gentle during this time. Maybe even be a bit indulgent and fully relish and savor those indulgences, a pumpkin cookie from a local bakery or a new stellar purchase to rock out Fall fashion.
Transitions can be smooth and easy. They can be a time of great self-discovery and a beautiful opportunity for growth, a shedding of the old and radiant emergence. Take it one breath at a time. Be present in the unfolding journey.
Meredith Swim is a sparkly daydreamer who adores heart shaped sunglasses and impromptu dance sessions. Passionate yoga instructor, free-spirited writer, a Gemini on a life-loving quest for self-discovery and radical self-acceptance.
**All images were provided by guest writer**