Fall is particularly tricky season for a lot of folks.
After the expansive and energetic nature of summer, we quickly transition into a season with a dramatically different energy.
In summer, we experience solar energy—masculine, power, action, our attention turned toward the external. Then all of a sudden we find ourselves in an energetic space that can not manage the momentum of the strong fiery force. It’s as though we suddenly find ourselves pushing against a void. There is not structure, nothing to contain us and the environmental energy is not supporting us, it’s not there with us. It’s suddenly just gone and we’re left alone in this void.
Sounds a bit dramatic, but it IS dramatic.
The arrival of fall brings with it a lot of anxiety, fear and uncertainty—it’s the nature of Vata dosha. (For those of you unfamiliar with the doshas in ayurvéda, Google “Doshas Ayurvéda” and then find out more about “Vata Dosha”).
When one is unaware of the forces of nature and how they effect our state of being, we often behave in really un productive ways. The first reaction and action that people make when experiencing feelings of anxiety is to try to find ways to smother the anxiety. They we often do that is by a “filling” action. We fill space, we fill our mind, we fill our bellies, we fill our homes. We’re searching to contain the feeling, but we don’t know how.
Instead of “filling” we need to do the opposite.
We need to make space.
When experiencing anxiety and then bringing in the thought of making space, our initial reaction could be to feel even more anxiety. We feel it goes against our instincts.
We make space in order to SEE. When we attempt to stifle anxiety by filling, we only hide the anxiety momentarily. It does not go away. It will not go away using the filling technique.
When we create space, we make it possible to see the fear and anxiety head on.
We need to see the anxiety, come into contact with it, connect with it and accept it.
It is in this space where we may see the cause of our anxiety and frankly, the only cause of our anxiety may be the changing of the season! Nothing personal, nothing that we have done or that anyone else has done to us. It may simply be the energy of the season.
So if our anxiety and fear are fully caused by autumn, we may wonder, why? What for? What’s the purpose?
As nature does not make mistakes, we may wonder why on earth would nature want us to feel this very uncomfortable disagreeable feeling? I have an answer for you: Nature is dynamic, circular, cyclical. In the fall, we can observe how nature starts to lay things bare. Leaves fall, trees are exposed to the basic structure. Flowers, the jewels and decoration of nature are fewer and fewer. Returning to one’s essence, one’s basic structure…See what I’m getting at?
When we don’t do this willingly, nature will create an uncomfortable state within us that will push it towards what we should naturally be doing at this time of year. Getting to the essence of who we are. In the fall, we should be going towards the essence of who ARE — not who we’d like to be and not who we were, but who we are right now.
So, we eliminate the leaves and the flowers in our lives. We slow down, make space, do less, think less, move less. We turn our attention inwards and come face to face with our basic nature. We come into contact with who we are at a very simple level.
If we practice yoga asana, our practice changes. We slow down our movements, we practice forwards folds, we decrease the physical intensity of our practice. We meet our yoga practice at a very simple level.
In all of this slowing down and making space, we start to observe our inner movement and inner agitation.
Allow your observations to speak to you intelligently. Be discerning with what you observe. Allow the possibility for your inner life to express itself without YOUR judgement.
Connect with your essence.
Soooo….Yessss….this is autumn.
Slow down baby.