Unexpected Gifts from the Short, Dark Days of Autumn
It’s often said that it’s darkest before dawn, and that is true. The letting go, the clearing out, the deep seeds planted inside the earth spring from within the container of darkness and contraction.
We just had daylight savings thus “regaining” an hour of light though for some of us (me included) the time shift shifted our circadian rhythms in weird ways (fortuitously, I am seeing my acupuncturist for treatment on Wednesday).
Regardless of how we attempt to manipulate time by resetting clocks, the fact remains that the days are much shorter now in terms of available light.
The opportunity of this time of year is to truly let go of this or that. Feeling too busy? You can either reassess and cut something out, OR if that feels too drastic (or simply impossible, as it will for many of us) then focus on starting your day by doing something that actually moves you in the direction aligned with your vision for yourself.
For me that means prayer and meditation and doing creative tasks like yoga or even writing this newsletter (which I almost always write in the early morning light when I’m feeling more connected to insights).
Life is full of endless tasks. As a business owner I’m often in the minutiae myself.
Making sure my entire website got migrated (initially it didn’t, weeks later I realized that I was missing the new patient forms page, oops), changing the template on emails (my software wiped out my previous text while changing their templates, thus constructing a treasure hunt for me to remember what I wanted in there to begin with!), making sure the new after-hours/holidays door code for my Center City office is correct in my emails (the * sign is out and the # sign is in).
These little details are only important in that they express care and clarify for the people I work with. If they didn’t matter that much, or they didn’t allow people to feel cared for in my practice, I probably would have let them go and not worried about them.
And that’s where we’re back to perspective and scaling down. It’s essential to remember the big picture that we’re in service to.
I can’t express care and be in service (the Sanskrit for this service is “seva”) if I’m burned out and lost in the minutiae. So in addition to caring for these details, I also complete actions first and foremost that are in alignment with my deepest wish (our true desire in Sanskrit is “shringara”) and with how I want to show up for the people I work with.
This autumn I encourage you to reset your own internal clock to create some space for yourself. Remember your heart’s deepest wish, your shringara, and find activities that connect you inside-out. Maybe it’s journaling, baking a cake, playing in the compost, or writing someone a letter or card.
Then approach that endless to-do list from a place of seva, of service. The list won’t seem as bad if you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing then work from that intention inside-out.
May you be peaceful, happy, and free.