Wednesday early morning, as the Autumn Equinox officially marks the beginning of this new season, we, here in Minnesota, have already been grieving, in fits and starts, the end of Summer. We’ve had such extreme temperature shifts this year—from 90s one day to 50s overnight to cloudy and in the low 70s the next…
It’s certainly given us practice letting go of our grasp on Summer!
The Autumn Equinox occurs at 3:22 am CT on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015.
This year, I feel this seasonal rhythm calling me to simplify and savor.
We’ve been visiting my parents in Port Townsend, Washington twice a year as we plan our move out there in 2019. Realizing that we will be moving, feeling the reality of this decision finally sinking in is part of this pull.
The next four years are about getting really clear about what to let go of, how to simplify the load. I find myself looking around me every day with new eyes.
What do I love, what do I want, what is truly important to me
—and what can I let go of?
What is extra, not essential to how I want to live, to how I need to live?
I intuitively started a fun process! I put a box on the dining room table. As I see things I feel like I can let go of, I put them next to the box. This is a signal to Dave to take a look at the object and see if he has a desire to keep it. If not, in the box it goes! (The boxes will eventually go to Good Will.)
I’ve always loved the “comfortably cluttered” look as long as the objects are all ones I felt connected to. (Dave called the cottage I lived in when he met me my “Hobbit Hole” if that gives you a sense.) I’ve never been into the spare and open look—and we’re nowhere near that—but this feels good! I feel lighter, cleaner, fresher. Simpler.
Spring is often thought of as the season to clean and simplify, but Fall is also a perfect time. I feel as if I am looking back at my life, at the things that I have filled my life with, and assessing my harvest, determining what I need to live the life I want to live, and letting go of things that don’t contribute to that vision.
The other beautiful part of this is that in looking around with new eyes, I am also giving myself a chance to savor what I truly love.
Even if I can’t always remember who gave me something, I can revel in its beauty, in the soft, glowing light that globe tea-light holder gives off, especially on these darkening evenings. I am getting a chance to enjoy my belongings, too—to take in their particular shape and service with deep appreciation as I go through this process of choosing what of my harvest to keep and what to let go of.
Savoring is a way of living your life so that you take in its full nourishment, in all its different forms. You can do it anytime, anywhere when you mindfully engage with any one or a combination of senses.
Give it a try with food to start:
- Choose a small piece of fresh fruit that you love.
- Sit down and first look at it very carefully, noticing all its particularities of color, shape, texture…
- Imagine breathing into your eyes the colors, shape, and texture of the fruit.
- Next, bring it to your nose and smell it—see how many adjectives you can find to identify the aroma.
- Then touch it slowly and sense its texture and temperature. You might want to close your eyes for a deeper experience.
- When you’re ready, place it against your lips and notice those sensations.
- Now take a small bite but don’t chew. Roll the bite around in your mouth and notice how it feels and tastes before chewing.
- When you’re totally ready, slowly begin to chew and savor that burst of flavor, this amazing, sweet nourishment from the earth.
- Try chewing each bite 25 times. This invites your bodysoul to actually receive the many different layers of nourishment instead of just filling your stomach up.
Now let’s try the same process in a simpler form looking at the outdoors or around a room.
- Find something your eyes want to look at, and let yourself fully take it in.
- How much can you discern?
- How many different colors are actually there?
- What about textures or patterns?
- How is the light landing on this object?
- Is there any movement?
- Drink all of this in with your eyes, letting it fill your heart and body, your whole bodysoul.
- Sense any feelings that arise in response to this mindful slowing down of your attention.
- Any when you’re ready, let your focus go, allowing the effects of this contact to linger with you.
This Fall, I will continue this practice of savoring and simplifying, as I look back at the fruits of Summer and what I want to take with me to nourish and support me in Winter.
Which things will I place, with gratitude for their service in the box?
And which will I place in the basket of belonging to keep,
at least for this next season?
How about you?
If you would like support getting clear about how to savor and simplify your life, I’d be happy to offer you a free Nourishing Wholeness Discovery Session.
You can also practice aligning with the rhythm of seasonal wisdom by attending my November 15th Way of the Happy Woman® Autumn Self-Care Mini Retreat.
And for practice savoring and simplifying with food, join me at Beat the Sugar Blues on Saturday, October 17th from 1:00-3:00 pm at the new East 7th Mississippi Market Coop.