Today is the Autumn Equinox (the official first day of fall!), which represents a time of complete balance: equal periods of day and night within a time of equal yin and yang.
That hot, fast, expansive, social, passionate and ungrounded ‘yang’ energy of Summer begins to give way to the rooted, grounded, still, cool and inward focused ‘yin’ energy of Autumn.
And for one day only, they meet in a moment of complete balance.
Staying busy with our outer lives, we don’t always tune in to the subtler energetic effects of the seasons.
But nature makes no mistakes, everything exists in a perfect cyclical rhythm with times for growth and abundance, newness and change, as well as times for death and letting go, hunkering down and resting.
It is only our wily human minds that try to outsmart the perfect wisdom of nature by refusing, or simply forgetting, to pay attention.
Nature only fails when human hands and minds intervene. Nature, untouched, is divine perfection.
What can we learn from this divine perfection of nature?
We can learn to find balance: we can learn to live fully when it’s time to live fully, and to rest deeply when it’s time to rest deeply. And we can learn to honor equal time for both.
We can learn to coexist peacefully and appreciate the unique contribution that each individual has to offer when nurtured in the right environment: in nature there are no true ‘weeds’ or bad characters, a weed is only a weed when we decide it is unwanted.
We can learn to slow down: I had a fascinating conversation with a friend recently about connecting to the pace of nature – when we slow ourselves down to the natural pace of nature, we find that this is the pace where we experience deep peace, where we feel connected to everyone and everything; it is the pace where we reconnect with our inner wisdom, it is the pace where we access our innate ability to heal.
And dare your mind try to tell you that there’s no way you could slow down and still get everything accomplished…a wise man named Lao Tzu once observed:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
Every year the spring comes and the flowers bloom and life returns, and then the summer arrives in grand whirling abundance, and then the fall with its time for letting go, and then perhaps to our dismay, the winter follows and there is death, there is quiet, there is rest. And then the spring comes and life begins again…
Every year, in perfect timing, everything is accomplished.
What has happened to our lives that we move so fast we can’t feel this pace of divine perfection? That we fill our lives so full to the brim that we can’t accomplish everything and instead end up feeling overworked, overburdened, overwhelmed?
Nature calls to all of us. We feel it, we know it. How many times when interviewing someone in a Personality Discovery session have I heard someone answer “being in nature” as one of their absolute favorite ways to spend their time? Quite often!
We have a love affair with nature because she offers externally what we can’t bring ourselves to create within ourselves. Peace, quiet, healing, connection, an experience of our own divine perfection.
Today, on this moment of perfect balance, the Fall Equinox, we are reminded by nature’s wisdom that we are entering the beginning of the dark (or yin) cycle. We are entering a time for turning inward and letting go of what no longer serves us.
The ongoing pandemic has already presented us with a weird opportunity for slowing down, turning inward, and drastically restructuring our lives. Maybe we’ve resisted it up until this point – yes it totally sucks, it’s weird, it’s uncomfortable, it’s super inconvenient – and yet, could it serve a purpose?
If we heed the call and take the time to slow down, turn inward, and drastically restructure our lives during this opportune moment, we walk the path forward that leads us to a beautiful place beyond where we find ourselves now.
There is also a path available that leads us deeper and deeper into chaos and destruction. In the game of life there is divine timing and yet there is also free will. Divine timing presents us with the opportunity; our free will determines if we take it.
A door is open and two paths emerge; will we take steps forward that cause destruction or inspire healing? Will we take steps that open our hearts or that divide and polarize us completely?
Our own free will has the power to destroy nature, disconnect communities, and drive our bodies and minds to the point of breaking.
But our free will can also awaken us to what’s truly important in life, can open our hearts so that we can feel the connection and belonging we so desperately long for, can decide to stop pushing so hard and instead to slow down.
As you spend some time today reflecting on the Fall Equinox and this period of turning inward and letting go that it ushers in – go out into nature, pay attention to how you feel, and contemplate the following:
What would it take in your life to slow down to the pace of nature? What shift inside yourself would have to happen? What would you have to let go of?
the active and the passive,
the known and the unknown,
the outer journey and the inner journey,
the seen and the unseen,
the logical and the intuitive,
the conscious and the unconscious.
From this place of unity new doors open, new directions and new possibilities are revealed.”
Excerpt from “The Alchemist’s Journey” adapted by Jilly Shipway
May you enjoy this day of great sweetness and great balance. May you welcome in this phase of letting go and choose to walk the path of inner healing.
Sending equinox tidings to you!