Here we are just beginning the month of October and already the stores are displaying and advertising Christmas gifts and decorations. Our minds automatically start to race ahead to what to buy Uncle Joe, what and who will we have for dinner and where is the money going to come from to buy all the things advertisements tell us we just “have” in order to be happy this holiday season? Meanwhile, we skip past one of the most beautiful seasons in Canada – autumn. I am constantly amazed at how many people do not appreciate this time of year. How can anyone not notice what a glorious day it is with the crisp morning air, warm sunshine and the changing colours of the leaves. Instead they choose to jump ahead and think only of the upcoming snow, cold and long winter nights (which by the way can be quite beautiful as well).
By planning ahead we seem to have forgotten to live in the moment and fill our thoughts with worry about the future. It is as though the senses are shut down and all focus is on a time to come. October is special as it hosts Thanksgiving here in Canada. The small local farmers markets will be setting up their wares for the last time, gardens are all harvested and canning is at its peak. The landscape becomes Spirit’s canvas where the creator’s brush has gone wild with colour and all of nature’s sounds and smells of summer quickly merges into fall. Leaves are changing into their radiant garments of blazing orange, sunburst yellow and sensuous red. Even the air is different as early mornings and evenings brings with it a wisp of frost that invigorates the body, yet the sun is still warm on the skin. What is there not to love? Sure there are the rainy ,dark and windy days but doesn’t that simply finish cleaning up and clearing the earth? We can use this time to be inside, not only physically but mentally as well. A time of reflection on what it is we have harvested from the seeds we planted earlier in the year.
When we began this year’s journey we thought about what we wanted to manifest for 2011. Then in the spring, like our earthly gardens, we planted the seeds for manifestation. Through out the summer we watched what seeds took root and began to grow. There were no doubt many surprises as unexpected opportunities, situations and elements demanding our attention arose in our garden of life. If we were wise and listened to our own intuition we would have followed our higher self and cleared out any weeds that were blocking our growth and then nurtured the possibilities as they continued to grow. We are now in the season of harvest or a time to reap what we sowed. Before we rush off to buy wrapping paper, wreaths and Christmas trees let us take time to see and appreciate what we have brought into our life this year. Did our life garden produce what we thought we had planted? Are there things we would do differently next planting season? We need to examine where we are now in our life in order to know where we are going and to do so constructively we need to see where we started from to know how we got here. If we started out with a well planned garden then ignored it, allowing weeds to block our path then forgot to tend it and harvest it, we will feel as though our life has no direction, is unfurling and too rushed; we are then a garden gone wild.
It is not too late to get things in order. All it take is our willingness to live in the moment and it can be as simple as the following:
- every morning, and I mean every morning, begin your day with gratitude. The fact that you are awake and able to draw a breath is something to be thankful for.
- If you have never said grace before eating – start, if you use to but have been too rushed -start. It doesn’t have to be a long out memorized verse, but rather something as simple as silently giving thanks that you have food to eat and may it be used to nurture your body, mind and spirit. This helps to put you in the moment of eating, mindful of what and how much you eat
- Tell the people in your life that you love them, are happy to be with them, pass along a compliment to someone. Spreading love is a sure way of having it brought back into your life.
- Regardless of the weather, step outside or throw open a window, breathe deeply and really feel the air as it fills your lungs. Notice what it smells like, feels like and be grateful that you are able to do so
- Close your eyes and listen. Do you hear the birds? The wind rustling the leaves
- Open your eyes and really, really look around. What colours do you see? What are the birds, animals doing? If you can walk near water, how has it changed since a month ago?
- If you drive to work, try and take a different route to work or home and look around
- Learn something new everyday – no matter how big or small
- Make a point of smiling more, showing random acts of
- At the end of your day, mentally or better yet in a journal, write down at least five things that were a blessing that day, write down at least one thing you learned or did
- Take time to meditate if only for ten or fifteen minutes
- Teach and encourage your children to do so as well. Remember, they need to learn to take time for themselves so they can be focused and calm as well.
Although planning ahead is what we need to do in order to manifest in our lives we also need to remember to live in “this moment or it will slip by and in doing so take with it any joy that was meant for us today. When we take pleasure in the little things soon all of life will unfold before us providing us with the contentment and happiness that we have been putting out to the future
So put that Christmas list away, at least for today, and enjoy the autumn! It is not too late to go out and harvest from your summer garden of life. You may be pleasantly surprised what is still left to be picked.