How to navigate balance at this time of year
Being someone that absolutely loves the beach and feels at home basking in the heat of the sun, it might strike you by surprise what I’m about to say. I just LOVE Autumn. There’s a special crispness in the air and beauty in the transition from Summer to Autumn. A simple telling of nature that now is a time to start shedding what is no longer serving us. A reminder, with the beauty of the changing colours of the leaves and the unpredictable nature of the day to day weather, that perhaps there’s an opportunity for us to go within a little too. Slow down a little. Rewire. Recharge.
And yet in our busy lives this time of year can also represent so much busyness. The start of the last bit of the year, which often makes us race towards the finish line feeling like Christmas is ‘just around the corner’ when in fact it’s three months away. There’s social calendars filling up. School years recommencing. Businesses starting to ponder the results they’ve achieved so far this year, and what else must we do to succeed?
So it’s no wonder the Autumn months can also feel a little… well… flummoxed. At least that’s how I feel at times. Rushed, yet yearning to slow down and re-ground myself. Excited and energised, yet also a little weary and anxious about taking on too much. Who else resonates with that topsy turvy-ness at this time of the year?
Finding simple ways to thrive through the seasonal transitions can mean the difference between counting down the days to the Christmas holidays and actually enjoying and experiencing life fully each day. There’s so many different tools and insights out ‘there’ on how to manage time more effectively, or to bring more balance to your day. Really what I feel most resonates with me right now is Self-Compassion.
There’s a certain gentleness and ease about the word itself. A welcoming, with open arms. A softness that says “You’re safe. You’re loved. This is exciting. You can make this happen.”. When it comes to practicing self-compassion that’s where you can get a little stuck. What exactly does it look like? How do I jump into those arms?
For me, if there were only 2 things I must remember or do to experience self-compassion more? It’s these:
1) Talk to yourself like you would your best friend. How are you talking to yourself right now? What are you saying over and over? If your best friend was in this position right now, how would you comfort them? How would you best show your love?
2) It’s okay to feel like this. Riding the waves of seasonal transitions, literally in nature or in different periods of our lives can feel at times like we’re lost or ‘not doing this right’. What if it was totally okay to feel this way? To feel any way you’re feeling right now? What if we sat with that and acknowledged it’s okay, before trying to push it away or rush forward wondering why we still feel stuck? What a relief, right?! Kristen Neff’s free guided meditation called Self-compassion break (it’s only 5 mins!) has really helped me. It’s acted as a gentle reminder, her words repeated over and over again even when I’m not listening to the meditation itself. What other ways could you bring simple reminders into your day to know that it’s okay to feel like this?