“There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.” –Chogyam Trungpa
The thought of fall was in the air today. A strong breeze was blowing leaves and sticks, and I was so thankful for low humidity and much cooler temperatures. I love mornings like this. It allows me to be one with nature while doing yoga and meditation. Here in the Roanoke Valley where I live, it has been a hotter than normal summer season. I have been saying for a while now, “I am so looking forward to fall.” Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the crunch of the leaves, the brilliant colors, the way leaves twirl through the air and the smell of change. My body’s rhythm is very connected to this season. It is when I feel the best inside and out, and I prepare for fall as though I am preparing for guests. As women, I truly believe we nurture our favorite season and prepare for its arrival in many ways. What I want to cook and eat changes, the dishes I use changes, and the beds are dressed differently as well. I put up a different ornamentation on my door and change the look inside my home to reflect my love for fall. Outside, I put my gardens to sleep for the winter and trim and save seeds for the next season.
We all have these same seasonal rhythms in our body. We follow right along with nature, and we become one with each season. Our body changes with the seasons, with the weather, with the atmospheric conditions. Many people can tell in their bones, especially women, when a change in weather is coming. Human bodies are in sync with the forces, shifts, cold and heat, light and dark, humidity and all the other variations that the seasons bring. They respond and shift their functioning according to these natural dynamics. All living organisms change with the different rhythms and seasons. Seasonal changes are important to my body due to chronic illness and pain.
Regardless of location or traditional cultures, there is an awareness that we are continuously affected by the changing of seasons. Knowing this, as we care for our health and our bodies, we are able to adapt compassionately to the natural rhythms of the earth. This is especially true for me in the winter season. The coldest season of all can cause tremendous pain and health issues. I plan for the rhythm of this season and treat myself with loving kindness, lots of blankets, warm teas and great books. Learning to live within the seasonal fluctuations is believed to bring health, harmony and strength to the body. It also provides a natural timetable and rhythm for a good service check and health care program for maintenance and upkeep to prevent accumulated stress, anxiety and depression from our body’s responses.
Sometimes we fail to adapt our habits to be more compatible with the rhythms of seasonal changes. By being aware of some of these changes throughout the year we can support shifting body dynamics so as to assist the changes. We can also take advantage of these natural shifting points to expand those dynamics that are increasing/flowing and rest those that are decreasing/ebbing. Many of us set up associations of food, drink, activities, energies, dress and emotions that are related to and affected by the seasonal shifts.
The seasonal rhythms are meant to be celebrated, nurtured and loved as all of nature is intended to be. When our patterns are ebbing and flowing according to their natural rhythms, our body is perfectly synchronized and performs at its peak. We have effortless energy and vitality when we live in accordance with nature and seasonal rhythms. We learn lessons from the rhythms of each season; it is a warm and compelling adventure that enables us to see ourselves with fresh tenderness. In an engaging manner, it offers hope and encouragement in the face of the hectic, stress-filled demands of life.
I hope this has inspired each of us to become “Mindful” of the rhythms of each season and embrace the newness in our hearts as something to cherish and look forward to. Fall will be here soon, what simplistic rhythms fill your heart with joy and love?