September 22, 2012

Living With The Fall Season: Cultivate Body Awareness, Balance from the Outside In. (part 1)


{Living with the Fall Season Part 1}

From The Outside In: Cultivate Body Awareness, Shift With Seasonal Changes.

This is part 1 of a 4 part series on how to better live in harmony with the seasons.  

Does one season resonate with you more than others? Ever feel out of balance as the seasons change? Do you think I am crazy for even asking these questions? If you answer "yes" to any of the above, this blog post is for you ;)

This 'Living with Nature Autumn' series is made up of 4 Parts:

Part 1. From The Outside In: Cultivating Body Awareness, Shift With The Seasonal Changes.

Part 2.  Stay grounded and balanced: postural awareness, spiritual bathing, self care to avoid sinus infections and neck pain.

Part 3. Inspire your creative voice: honor your dreams, stay hydrated, and get crafty...

 Part 4. Harmony through proper food, meditation, and, movement therapies.

Photo by Nishaan Sandhu, Slade, Kentucky, 2009


Living with the Seasons Part 1

When a sultry summer in Kentucky fades into Autumn, change, movement and an array of new sounds fill the air. It has always been my favorite change of season and one  of the things I most miss about living on the East coast. There, the fall always seems long, magical, crisp and colorful (well at least in my romanticized memories). Lucky for those of us in Kentucky who love fall, we have had an early one this year! Just in time to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox today.

On Fall

Autumn evokes a myriad of color and a downward swirling of energy that can rustle up a kaleidoscope of emotions. Some feel the wild stirrings of fall to be creative, inspiring, grounding, and free. While for others, the same autumnal changes feel heavy with fragile emotions, sensations of brittleness in the body and a mourning for the warmth that was summer. No matter what side of the season you fall on mentally, emotionally, or physically, there are ways to embrace the energy and inspire self-growth. While reading on, you may find some tools to help balance, inspire, harmonize and warm you up to the season. 

Questions to ask yourself: 

What side of the spectrum do you stand? How does your body and mind feel in the fall? Do you sense any drastic changes? Can you think of any "seasonal habits" that you tend towards subconsciously in order to support of your body and mind?

Feeling Our Way Through The Seasons

As a writer, Laraine Herring says, seasons are the "moods of mother earth". These moods of the earth shine onto us throughout the years; some light and some dark. Unless you choose to live somewhere that has an easy-breezy steady temperature year round, it is likely that you too may be affected by the earths moods. Some of us are more or less sensitive to the moodiness than others. We may have to work a little harder to maintain a sense of balance, but, it is possible and well worth the time. 

Just like all embodied emotions, we have a choice to work with these shifts in nature as a tool to better understand the (sometimes icky, sometimes lovely) depth that is ourselves.  

As human beings, the dynamic array of our emotions, physical selves, thoughts, and phases in our lives are what help to make us whole. I have always thought that emotions were like a rubber band. The further one is stretched into the realm of sadness, the further their potential and appreciation may be for joy. See fun diagram below. (Or maybe just get a rubber band and feel it out for yourself.)


I think the seasons move within a similar realm of emotions and physical feelings. Really, all of nature can be seen as one giant metaphor for living as a human being. It is just waiting to be interpreted, there are many helpful clues and lessons. 

Nature is a great teacher for all that is life. Once you open your heart and senses to listening in, the lessons for growth become endless.

Keying in With Your Own Imagination and Senses

When you think of "joy" what do you think of? Are there any particular shades of color, lighting, smells, styles of music, or temperatures that come to mind?  Quite often, people will agree that joy is bright, light, warm, cozy and lifting. Where as sadness may be opposite: dark, cold, isolated, etc., it does not mean that it is "bad".  I think it is important to realize that, in our own lives, we experience a diverse spectrum of energies, light to dark, so that we may become a whole person. This happens from the time we are born as blushing babies through to the time that fades with age, and wisdom gained. Just as these diverse energies make us a whole living being, the seasons of dark (fall and winter) and  the seasons of light (spring and summer) make the earth a whole living being. 

We are all unique in the way our bodies are made up and the way we process the world. Because of this, each season will affect each individual differently. There is a common, beautiful thread that weaves from one's experience to the next...and that is natures helping hands. The earth offers many allies that can so humbly restore balance and health when we need it. Though, I thrive in fall, I have met many that do not. No matter what side of the spectrum you stand, I hope these tips can be helpful to you to better live in harmony with the energy of the fall. 


Photo by Nishaan, Cave Run Lake, 2010
Living with the seasons is about observing natures' temperatures, textures, colors, sounds (etc.) and, your own bodies' mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and energetic response to them. They depict physical clues, symbols, metaphors and stories to show how we are truly just an appendage of this earth.

The first step is to make space in your life to listen to your body and sense your environment. Then you will begin to see how your environment affects you inside and out. After this, ways to cultivate balance, harmony and inspiration with the seasons will come to you as simply as your thoughts to adjust your home thermostat. 

Observations of the Autumnal Environment...

This morning, when I awoke, I was surprised to hear the loud honking of geese migrating South. It took a moment of bewilderment before I could uncross my face and let our a giggle. Oh, the whimsical sounds of fall!

In the autumn, dramatic shades of  rust brush down from trees by the crisp,cool, movement of air. Some leaves energetically continue to swirl while others become captive to a wall of sorts among others.

...Awareness of Our Bodies

Our bodies can sometimes reflect and mimic the cool temperatures, dry winds, and shaking of the leaves.  Muscle tics may occur more frequently, and I have observed over the years as a bodyworker, there is a large increase of individuals who experience neck pain and stiffness in the fall. This, among other things I believe are very closely related to how we process the seasons and our environment. Things such as temperature change, levels of moisture or dryness, and the flow of energy can affect the way we hold our bodies, our emotions, creative whims and cravings! This I will go into greater detail as the series "Living With The Seasons: Autumn", goes on. 

 I will publish "Living With The Seasons: Autumn, Part 2 Balance in the upcoming days. 

You may sign up for RSS feed or email notices in the upper right hand corner of the blog.

Photo by Nishaan Sandhu, Slade, KY 2009

Are there ways you prepare your body, mind, and soul for Autumn?   
If so, please share, as I would love to hear from you!


  1. What a lovely and informative post. I am definately going to reference this blogpost when I re-launch my website. It fits so beautifully with an illustration I am doing for my website ;) Thank you xxx

    1. Oh, that is wonderful Lisa! Thank you for stopping by and having a read. I am happy you enjoyed it and you are of course most welcome! I will look forward to viewing the illustration you are working on. Feel free to post a link here so others can also enjoy. Oh, and Happy Autumnal Equinox to you!