There is so much about Autumn that is difficult. The weather is constantly shifting so that we need to add or remove layers and it feels like we never know what to expect from one month to the next. The lowering clouds and shortening daylight can bring feelings of despair and panic. Did we achieve what we wanted with the summer?
The turning colors of the leaves on the trees is nostalgic and beautiful, but as the leaves fall we are reminded that Winter Is Coming.
A lot of what used to ease this season is connected to harvest. Gathering in the wealth of the crop helped us to value and acknowledge all the work and success of the busy season. In our modern culture where we mostly live in distance from the cycle of growth and gathering, this time of year can be a mess. We don’t stop to measure, celebrate and praise our spring and summer hustle, so the descent into cold and dark can feel really exhausting. In alignment, Winter presents us an important time of planning, dream-hoarding and rest. If we lose sight of the success of the Growing Time it’s much harder to change gears from Doing to Thinking. Giving ourselves permission for the needed seasonal change of pace is much harder.
So how do we reconnect with the old knowledge and celebrate our harvest?
For those of us who garden, this is easier. We see the tomato plants wither and dry, but it’s fine because we understand this is no longer the season of tomatoes. Instead we are comforted by that delicious jar of tomato chutney we made, or that amazing IG post of our homegrown salad from December. It’s joyful and necessary to make space for that same spirit of acknowledgement and celebration in our personal growth and career. Making a time to celebrate all the knowledge, love and learning that this past summer brought is essential. There are many ways to celebrate. I’m a visual person and I love photos and videos so I create a mood board. You can make the altar that makes the most sense, from a physical display of your creations in your home to a spectacular Pinterest extravaganza. It’s so easy to bypass ALL THE WORK until the next CV update or portfolio check in.
Indigenous Healing Blossoms gathered for Gogo Speaks smoke bundles
Without this acknowledgement and celebration, the year can feel endless. Especially in the Southern Hemisphere where we are continuously stuck in a backwards calendar dictated by a totally different seasonal cycle.
For many of us, Winter is a busy season and outwardly it may not seem like a slow-down at all. This is a different kind of busy. This is busy hands and feet, execution of the creative visions that came into being in the warmth. If we acknowledge the change we can work more effectively and stop blaming ourselves for not having the same kind of creative process or needs all year round
So, gather your feast. Find your space or time to lay out all the fruits of your work and give thanks. It is such an exciting and joyful undertaking. Usually we are doing more than we realize or give ourselves credit for!