In Ayurveda, ancient Chinese Traditional Medicine, and many other cultures, Fall is the time of harvest. It’s the turning of leaves, and a time for a spiritual shift as well. You can also nurture your spirit during this time with the following journaling exercises.
Energetically, our bodies and minds are preparing to “hibernate,” but don’t mistake this restful time as time lost. It is one of the most important times of the year to prepare yourself for Spring when it comes again.
From an Ayurvedic perspective Fall brings a predominance of the air element as seen in Vata Dosha. Vata governs the flow of energy into and out of the body. If we are wise about how we manage our energy now, we can count on the “burst” of energy most of nature experiences when the weather turns warmer.
You can think of this time as a way to sit calmly, and meditate, and perhaps to write out what you’ve accomplished and what you’d like to work on once your energy has been reinvigorated through rest and relaxation. When we live in harmony with the seasons, we find that we are much more effective in our lives, without having to exert so much effort.
You don’t see a tree trying to grow new leaves in Winter, for example. And you don’t see squirrels stocking nuts in the Spring. There is a time and place for all actions. This time is meant for introspection and reflection.
Here are 8 things to write about during the Fall and Winter months as you reflect and rest:
- Fall and Winter is the time to nourish the Kidneys. This is the organ TCM associates with fear. Think of the things that you fear – all that holds you back. Write down what you want to release, and let go of. What fears are keeping you from accomplishing your life’s purpose? Can you allow these fears to fall away like Autumn leaves?
- If you could choose one aspect of your life that you would like to regenerate and restore, what would it be? Write down at least a few paragraphs about what you would like to rejuvenate and why.
- Are there some things that are better off in the compost heap of your life? Think of people, circumstances, or beliefs that you don’t even want to revive, but to give to the compost pile, to be disintegrated and used as energy to grow something else entirely.
- Write down five ways you could nourish yourself with self-care. Could it be yoga by the fireplace? Qi Gong, Thai Qi on a brisk Autumn day? Is it getting more sleep or just slowing down in general?
- Write down three things that relax you more than anything else. Then tear off that sheet and tape it to your mirror or in another place you’ll see it every day. If a day goes by and you haven’t done one of these things, you know you aren’t living in as balanced a way as you could be – in harmony with the season.
- How can you feed yourself spiritually? Though we focus a lot on eating during Fall and Winter holidays, our spirit is begging for nourishment, too. Write down ideas to reference on a lazy day.
- Instead of feeling sad and depressed due to winter’s shorter days and a lack of sunlight exposure, take your journal into a sunny window, sit there and soak up the sun’s rays, and draw something you see outside.
- Who was your first friend? Write about why this person was instrumental in your life. Write them a thank-you letter, and decide if you want to send it our just keep it as something to reflect upon.