9/23/2014

tune in and reflect // first day of fall

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Fall has officially arrived! The equinox took place last night and I am grateful for the transition into one of my most beloved seasons. This time of year always carries a particular excitement about what’s to come. In my school days I remember that feeling of anticipation of the first day back at school. I loved heading back into classes and how fun it was to see how everyone changed over the summer. Even though the seasonal shift felt fast, fall has always been about tuning in and self-reflection.

Living in Los Angeles has required me to tap into a new level of awareness about my surroundings. I’ve become more sensitive to the subtle changes in seasons here that are quite different from other cities I have lived in. During autumn I like to take short trips out of the city to experience trees changing in the way they did where I grew up. Seeing all the shades of orange and red as the leaves turn takes my breath away. I love my neighborhood so much but I miss those epic fall scenes a great deal. The beauty of southern California is that I don’t have to drive too far to get my fill of changing leaves.

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To welcome in the autumn season I spent Sunday with Jason at a beautiful beach just north of Ventura. We looked for shells, watched the surfers, and laughed out loud every time a flock of these teeny white birds scurried by. Their legs looked like the lightest, tiniest sticks I had ever seen. The leaves haven’t begun to change much up there and I wanted to get my feet in the ocean as a reminder that we can always reset and start over.

Fall is the season of abundance and is a wonderful time to practice giving thanks. I took many moments to breathe in the ocean air and give silent thank-yous for all that I have in my life. If you haven’t done so this week, take a few moments to jot down what you are grateful for. Gratitude is such a healing practice and can often help us stay present and joyful. It’s also important to thank Mother Earth for all she gives us on a daily basis. Last night one of my teachers commented on how grateful he was to have as much clean drinking water as he wishes each day. I feel the same. Being appreciative of clean drinking water is one of the ways I ground myself in nature.

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fall5This time of year can be very busy for us and it’s essential that we practice cultivating balance. It can be easy to get swept away in our daily activities. We need to carve out time for self-care. I find the busier I am the more self-care I need. Thinking I am too busy to meditate, write, or prepare a nourishing meal, are all signals that I need to step up in those areas. Fall is a wonderful season to really tune into ourselves, work with the changing energy of the season, and take some of our focus inward.

Spending more time with myself is one of the ways I honor the autumn season. As the days get shorter it feels natural to go home earlier, read more books, and journal about the past year. With a few months left in 2014 now is a great time to finish up projects and get clear on what we want to manifest in the coming months. Reflection is also a huge part of my self-care. I’m not talking about looking at every little thing that went wrong this year, it’s more expansive than that. Taking inventory of how I lived in alignment with my dreams and values and paying attention to the areas that need more attention and love is the name of the game.

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Now is an ideal time to share with loved ones how we want to engage with the rest of the year and make it a point to move in that direction. Since we are in the season of abundance and a new moon is right around the corner, we have loads of support on many levels.

How do you plan to take care of yourself this season? What are some of your desires for the rest of the year and how can you follow through on them? In what ways are you connecting with nature and giving thanks for all that you have?

Wishing you a beautiful and restorative fall.

xoa

Comments

  • tirzika

    Thanks for this beautiful post! I love sitting on my bed while watching the trees on the other side of the street move in the wind. Right now the streets of my city are full of hazelnuts and horse chestnuts and I always keep a chestnut in my pocket. Just touching them makes me feel grounded and connected to nature and the seasons.

    • ashley

      Thank you so much for writing and sharing how you connect to nature and the seasons. It’s really important to notice the subtle changes around us and relate to them. I love the image of you walking through the streets picking up fallen chestnuts – that definitely sounds like fall. Enjoy the crisper air and shifting colors. Wishing you a beautiful season! xoa

  • Alyssa

    I find that it is true: the busier we are, the more self care we need. I’ve been very busy and stressed lately. It’s funny that most of the time we prioritize other things over our own health. This post is a great reminder that we should do the opposite. I’ve been looking to some of your old self-care posts for inspiration. Thank you for sharing this nice post!

    • ashley

      Totally agree Alyssa. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. It can be so easy to put everything else before our self-care when we’re super busy. I love your words, ‘do the opposite’. Take good care of yourself this weekend and remember that it’s okay to start small. Even just one mindful act of self-care can have a huge impact. Lots of love. xoa

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