Tag Archives: self knowledge

Seeking Natural Balance

autumn 1

The end of this week marks the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and the Spring, or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The two equinoxes always occur in the months of March and September and they mark the point of balance in the year. At its most mundane level the equinox is the day of the year when the daylight hours and the night hours are of equal length, when the sun rises and sets exactly twelve hours apart.

But on an energetic level the equinoxes have a deeper significance. Just as they are the time of balance between daylight and darkness, so they are the time to seek balance within ourselves and in our life.

This is the time in nature when trees are shedding their leaves, or the eucalypts and wattles are dropping their gumnuts and seeds. The trees are drawing in their life force by releasing the leaves that have been nourished over the summer by the suns rays and the nutrients from the earth, they are shedding that which no longer serves them, turning inward and focusing inward on their centre, their heart. They are creating the space to build their reserves in readiness for the changes later in the year.

For all the earth it is the time to prepare for the next part of the cycle, the dark of winter, the time of going within.

 autumn-colors

STRATEGIES

The Autumn Equinox is the time for you to achieve balance in your life by releasing anything in your life that is no longer of use to you and that doesn’t support you to be your essential self and to live your true purpose.

Begin with your material possessions and be harshly honest with yourself to decide what can be given away or discarded. Cleaning out the excess clutter in your life opens space for the new, whether that is possessions, people or insights.

Don’t stop with your possessions. Look hard at your relationships. Are there some that have served well in the past but are no longer supportive? What about your job? Does it fire your passion or even still interest you? How about your self-nurturing? Do you even take the time to honour your essential needs?

As you release unneeded stuff from your life you feel much lighter, just as the trees are lighter without their leaves.

 lust for life

SELF-CARE

When the days slow in autumn it is time for you to begin to conserve your energy, allow yourself more rest and make preparations for the winter. Winter is the time of quiet. Your body needs more sleep, more nourishment and more downtime, just so that it can function well. When you honour that basic need your body responds. You stay healthier through the cold months. When you honour that need your mind responds with clarity and focus. When you honour that need your soul responds with insights and understanding.

In our modern homes life often goes on without much change over winter. We have light and warmth, we continue to go out and party, we still exercise, work and play. But living in tune with the seasons allows you to also tune in to yourself. Tuning into the energies of autumn allows you the space to slow down and listen to your inner voice. It allows you to recognize your needs and where they are not being met. It allows you to recognize your strengths and to find ways to support yourself to find happiness, and to love your life.

The equinox serves as a reminder to us to live in harmony with nature and with ourselves by first acknowledging and then honouring our own essential emotional needs. When you strive to live holistically, in sync with the seasons you become attuned to the greater rhythyms of life. When you nurture and nourish yourself, not only does it support your health, it enables you to tune in to the cosmic energies and encourages you to live in a state of harmonious balance on all levels.

Just as the trees emerge in Spring sprouting a flush of beautiful new leaves, you too will emerge from a winter where you have tuned inward to nourish your essential core, with new life.

How do you seek balance in your life as the season turns?

Autumn Equinox - the message is balance
Autumn Equinox – the message is balance

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Stop And Take Stock – Before Life Whizzes Right On By You

It seems that people constantly speak of how fast the world is today, of how hurried they feel or make comments like “wow, can you believe the year is almost half over, already”! We talk constantly about our fast-paced world and many people feel overwhelmed by the demands of life in 2013. We all know that we should be taking time out to relax, to re-group, to re-new. But, there is no time!

Copy of Lake Reflections

Life races on.

Suddenly it is mid-year, the end of the year, ten years later, and that’s when we really feel confused about where did all that time go to.

In times past there was far more awareness about marking the important times of our lives. Families and communities lived a slower, more measured life and were able to recognize and acknowledge the passing of time more easily. They would gather for birthdays, religious celebrations, housewarmings, engagements and marriages. In many indigenous societies they would also mark the passing of the seasons and the lunar calendar. But today many of these occasions for celebration have disappeared, while other celebrations are done in a way that may not hold the same meaning or have a significant effect on the person. We have all stopped pausing to take stock of our life.

Making the effort to stop and mark points in our life forces us to take the time to look at where we have been and how far we have come since the last time we examined our life.

When clients I am working with are feeling despondent about their health I often read back some of their history notes taken months or years earlier, during their consultation, as it allows them the opportunity to actually recall how bad their health was in the past and how much better they are now. Frequently as they improved they stopped remembering how they had felt or how incapacitated they were when they first came to see me. When I remind them they are able to then appreciate their vast improvement and to go on with a renewed positive outlook.

I don’t see this as simply a time issue however. All too many of us are our own harshest critics. We set standards and expectations for ourselves at impossible levels, we fail to recognize our achievements, let alone acknowledge them.

If we stop and assess where we are in life, what we now do differently, what we have learnt, how we view the world around us, or engage with the people we encounter differently, we then have marking points that we can use to compare and notice changes within ourselves. It allows us to realize that although we feel that we are simply racing through our life we are in fact changing and growing also. When we take this time it affords us a chance to recognize ourselves as the wonderful person we are and perhaps to judge our faults less harshly.

We have just celebrated a 21st birthday in our family and I insisted (of course) that we hold a party for close friends and family. My son was very reluctant and in fact resistant. But partway through the night he told me how glad he was that I had forced him have the event. I have watched with joy as through the week since the party his reflections have allowed a wonderful self-appreciation to blossom, and he is bubbling with plans for the next few months. I am sure that without marking this significant occasion he would have drifted on through the year, and perhaps his life, without this exuberance about himself and the possibilities that life offers him.

Our lives go on now 24/7. Everything seems to be available all hours of the day or night. Stores don’t close up for the weekend any more; movies run non-stop; we can find what we want at any hour, day or night. The world is on permanent ‘GO’. Nobody seems to be making the space to ask ‘where have I come from, and where might I go from here’.

The lyrics of the opening verse of ‘Tapestry’ by Carole King have always resonated for me, and whenever I hear them I cannot help but pause and reflect on my own life tapestry.

My life has been a tapestry
Of rich and royal hue;
An everlasting vision
Of the ever-changing view;
A wond’rous woven magic
In bits of blue and gold;
A tapestry to feel and see;
Impossible to hold.

Instead of racing on with your life, never noticing or appreciating much of the intricate and beautiful pattern of the life-quilt you are weaving, take some time out for reflection.

Try to make a regular time each week to ‘take stock’ of what you have done, what you achieved, what you learnt, how you could change things. Perhaps even start a journal in which to record your thoughts. Then do the same monthly, then every year on your birthday. Find something you love to do, maybe a meal with friends, a facial or massage, walk a labyrinth, maybe see a show – whatever you love, just something you enjoy – and mark the important occasions in your life as an acknowledgement of your worth and of the contribution that you are making to those around you and the earth as a whole.

Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life.

Do you already have some practice that helps you to reflect and take stock? Leave a reply below and tell me what you do, or what you plan to do, to make ‘acknowledgement’ space in your life.

Hawaiian Tapestry by Jay Wilson Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez
Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life
Hawaiian Tapestry by Jay Wilson
Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

No Resolutions To A New Outlook

Just how worthwhile are New Years resolutions when 1st March rolls around?
Just how worthwhile are New Years resolutions when 1st March rolls around?

I woke today, the first day of 2013 to a beautiful warm, sunny summer morning. As I watched from my deck the summer butterflies darted about the parched garden seeking the few open flowers, the surrounding trees were filled with the songs of the lorikeets and magpies, and I began to crystalize my thoughts about the directions I wished to follow in the coming year.

You may call these resolutions, but I have always shied away from using this term. I am not making any resolutions. I hate New Year resolutions. They seem somehow so pointless. I hear people around me making the same resolutions year in and year out – stop smoking, lose weight, exercise more, get a new job, etc, etc and at the end of the year most of their resolutions have fallen by the wayside and they have made no changes in their life.

Do these ring a bell for you? The top 10 resolutions made over the last 10 years have remained the same every year.
Do you recognise yourself in this collection? The most common top 10 resolutions made over the last 10 years have remained the same every year.

New Year Resolutions seems to lock everything into a very narrow field and set up you up firmly and squarely on the success/fail axis. I prefer to adopt the more accepting belief that whatever we experience or wherever we find ourselves is the right place to be because it the one place at that moment where we will find the opportunity to learn and understand more about ourselves. So, by setting up resolutions I would be setting up inflexible parameters that didn’t allow for the shifts of life that provide the opportunity for growth.

In addition, this type of a rigid approach causes stress and all the concomitant health problems that stress invariably leads to, which I would like to avoid. What I have noticed is that when people are living in a way that embraces opportunities for personal growth other things in their life fall into place more easily. Exercising or weight loss comes more easily because they want to be out doing whatever activity draws them, difficult decisions are made, new opportunities arise, and life begins to flow more fluidly and easily.

So my thoughts about my directions for 2013 are a little looser than things like “lose weight”, although that would be nice! I decided to take a look at the Virtues Project to form my list of the virtues I would like to see acknowledged and strengthened through this year, both on a personal and a wider community or global level.

Here is my list in no particular order of THIRTEEN VIRTUES TO EMBRACE FOR 2013, taken from the condensed list of 52 Virtues from The 52 Virtues Project (the full list of Virtues is extensive and this condensed list provided a little more focus):

1. Assertiveness
Being assertive means being positive and confident. You are aware that you are a worthy person with your own special gifts. You think for yourself and express your own ideas. You know what you stand for and what you won’t stand for. You expect respect.

2. Confidence
Confidence is having faith in someone. Self-confidence is trusting that you have what it takes to handle whatever happens. You feel sure of yourself and enjoy trying new things, without letting doubts or fears hold you back. When you have confidence in others, you rely on them

3. Creativity
Creativity is the power of imagination. It is discovering your own special talents. Dare to see things in new ways and find different ways to solve problems. With your creativity, you can bring something new into the world

4. Integrity
Integrity is living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere. Integrity helps you to listen to your conscience, to do the right thing, and to tell the truth. You act with integrity when your words and actions match. Integrity gives you self-respect and a peaceful heart.

5. Joyfulness
Joyfulness is an inner sense of peace and happiness. You appreciate the gifts each day brings. Without joyfulness, when the fun stops, our happiness stops. Joy can carry us through the hard times even when we are feeling very sad. Joy gives us wings.

6. Moderation
Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don’t overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.

7. Thankfulness
Thankfulness is being grateful for what we have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving and being. Appreciate the little things that happen around you and within you every day. Think positively. Thankfulness brings contentment

8. Compassion
Compassion is understanding and caring when someone is hurt or troubled, even if you don’t know them. It is wanting to help, even if all you can do is listen and say kind words. You forgive mistakes. You are a friend when someone needs a friend.

9. Generosity
Generosity is giving and sharing. You share freely, not with the idea of receiving something in return. You find ways to give others happiness, and give just for the joy of giving. Generosity is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

10. Tolerance
Being tolerant is accepting differences. You don’t expect others to think, look, speak or act just like you. You are free of prejudice, knowing that all people have feelings, needs, hopes and dreams. Tolerance is also accepting things you wish were different with patience and flexibility.

11. Understanding
Understanding is using your mind to think clearly, paying careful attention to see the meaning of things. An understanding mind gives you insights and wonderful ideas. An understanding heart gives you empathy and compassion for others. Understanding is the power to think and learn and also to care

12.Unity                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unity helps us work and live together peacefully. We feel connected with each other and all living things. We value the specialness of each person as a gift, not as a reason to fight or be scared. With unity we accomplish more together than any of one of us could alone.

13. Love
Love is a special feeling that fills your heart. You show love in a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful act or a hug. Love is treating people and things with care and kindness because they mean so much to you. Love is contagious. It keeps spreading.

Of course there are many more virtues to ambrace, and selecting only thirteen was very difficult.

The Virtues Project is a grassroots initiative started in Canada aimed at inspiring the practice of virtues in everyday life. It is widely used in schools but is equally effective in the home or your personal life. It “empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the work place.” If you would like to start off 2013 doing a daily Virtues Card pick for yourself then go here and click on ‘Do A Virtues Pick’.

Use 2013 to achieve change that you can recognise when 2014 rocks in
Make 2013 a year of change that you can recognise when 2014 rocks along

But, if someone were to twist my arm and force me to make three New Year resolutions, then this is how I would go

1. make no stupid resolutions that would fall by the wayside during January

2. adopt a new Virtue to embrace each week, thirteen of which would take me through to the end of March

3. refuse to take any of these doomsdayer prophesies literally.

I hope that 2013 brings you the opportunity to experience the new, to find joy in the simple things of life and to grow to know and understand yourself and the world around you more fully, and that by opening your self to the world around you experience much abundance in all parts of your life.

And especially, if as the doomsdayers claim, the Earth is about to be wiped out by a meteor in the next few months taking us all with it, that as you go down screaming you can feel that you have lived a life worthwhile.

Allow your virtues to unfurl
Allow your virtues to unfurl

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.