Understanding Your Daily Focus
This is my favorite time of year. I love when the seasons
change, I love cosmic shifts, I love the weather getting colder and the leaves
changing colors. I love the slow slide into the holiday season, the remnants of
communal harvest. As a winter baby, the darker seasons have always been my
home. There is something comforting about the structure, the traditions, and
the transition that I look forward to every year.
This week is the Autumn Equinox, the time when the sun moves
from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere, signaling the start of fall. As
summer well and truly ends, we can celebrate the return to darkness, the return
to the internal—home, family, safety. We collectively put away the intense,
physical energy associated with summer as we move into autumn, turning inward
and looking at ourselves.
For this week’s Daily Focus, I want to look at some of the
classic autumn energy that we are feeling, and how we can harness it to help us
smooth out this transition and shift smoothly into this new season.
Saturday, September 18
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
The thing I love about all seasonal changes is that it feels a bit like a blank slate. I think of fall as a new start in a lot of ways. As a Jewish woman, I think of the upcoming Rosh Hashana, the new year. I think back to my childhood, of starting school in the fall, a new classroom, teacher, and set of friends. There is something about this season that speaks to me of newness more than any other.
Sunday, September 19
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” –George Eliot
There is something inherently magical about autumn as well.
As we collectively make this transition, take the time to appreciate change. If
you can get outside to see the leaves, make a day of it. Take stock of the
birds leaving for winter, of the squirrels hoarding food in trees. They know
change is coming, and they’re getting ready. Do the same.
Monday, September 20
“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.” –P. D. James
Summer and winter are long, but autumn comes and goes fast.
There will always be more cold and rainy days than crisp, perfect sunny ones,
but our minds have a way of framing the perfect atmosphere for our memories.
This is a great time to try and make sensory memories. Pay attention to the
scent of the breeze, the sounds of the animals, the way you feel. It’s all
going to live in your mind for much longer than the actual moment takes.
Tuesday, September 21
“Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is change.” –Edwin Way Teale
All seasons are great for making changes. Today, and throughout this shift, it’s a wonderful time to clear out old junk, reorganizing spaces, and prepare physically for a time of cold and scarcity. I use this time to take stock of what I have, what I need, and what I want to let go of. Like the game kids play with cups and a coin, shuffling my things around until everything makes sense again.
Wednesday, September 22
“The season for enjoying the fullness of life – partaking of the harvest, sharing the harvest with others, and reinvesting and saving portions of the harvest for yet another season of growth.” –Denis Waitley
This is a time for helping others. Things are harder in the colder months for a lot of people, and even if we no longer rely on one communal harvest to get by in the winter, the energy and sentiment remain. Make sure that you’re not forgetting those less fortunate than you, but beyond charity, it’s important to make sure we’re doing all we can to level the playing field. We want to create a better world for everyone, by sharing in the bounty we receive.
Thursday, September 23
“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.” –Helen Hunt Jackson
Winter has a way of bumming people out, or so I have heard
(again, I love it) but autumn seems to bring nothing but cheer. The weather
breaks, but our sense of community does not. This is a time for celebrating,
for being together, for planning for winter, and for enjoying the fruits of
hard labor. It’s good to want to celebrate, it means we have things to keep
Friday, September 24
“Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.” –Robert Browning
The world begins to rot, and we rejoice. The changing of the
leaves, the smell of wet mulch, gourds placed on tables and porches—it’s all
very fleeting, just like autumn herself. But decay is an important part of
life, and worthy of celebration as well. This is a time for deciding what is
essential, and for trimming away things that we don’t need. Let it go, let it
rot. It’s the only way you can feed the earth for springtime.
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