On Friday at 1:20 pm PST, summer will officially end. The fall equinox arrives and so has a time of emotional and physical significance.
For centuries the summer was a time of hard work and no play where farmers’ kids began the strenuous task of helping out on the family farm.
Summer was sweaty and labor-intensive, but fall, ohh, sweet fall would come to save the day. Calloused hands would peel some apples, taste the sweetness, and enjoy that the juice dripping down their chin was the fruit of their labor, literally.
Today’s Q&M question explores how we can reconnect to the meaning of Autumn in a less season-driven generation.
Today’s Q: What is the significance of the Autumn Equinox, and how do we celebrate it?
If you think back a few hundred years, Autumn was the season when the workload got lighter. Most of the crops had been harvested and all that was left was to cook, can and enjoy.
Fall was not (and still is not) a time to strive, but a time to rest, reflect and feel gratitude for all that has grown.
In our modern world, we barely know how to grow a window-box herb, but we can enjoy the Equinox in our own urban way.
First, rest. Notice where you are striving and bring some ease with a few extra inhales, a yogi pose, or a smaller to-do list.
Second, reflect. Different environments nurture different growth. Sometimes lush rain brings spring flowers, but other times desolate landscapes cause more resilient growth to emerge. Fall is a time to honor the internal and external growth in your personal, professional and relational life despite the environment that created it.
Third, invite gratitude. It might be easy to dwell on the harsh environment of bad bosses and toxic relationships, but take a second to honor the beautiful internal growth that sprouted. Did your bad boss help you grow a back bone? Did the toxic relationship help you learn boundaries? That is growth worth celebrating.
Celebration is the spiritual middle finger to painful circumstance. Pain ignites progress, so celebrate. Celebrate what has grown in your life despite the harsh environments that created it.
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If you don’t have 7 minutes to meditate, no worries. Simply think about your answers to these questions as you walk the dog, take out the trash, or, take a sh… shower.
1. What has grown in your career and purpose this year?
2. What has grown in your relationships, whether friendship, family or love?
3. What has grown in your health, whether mental, emotional and physical?
Striving and perfectionism can steal your ability to celebrate, but this Friday you have an excuse. Pause, reflect and pat yourself on the back for the growth you’ve seen come to fruition this year!
Reply with what youa re celebrating, and then share with a friend who knows how to celebrate with you.