Once again we are entering into a time of balance as we move into the Fall Equinox in the northern hemisphere (Spring Equinox in the southern hemisphere). We are also in a Mercury retrograde phase, so it is no surprise that the Universe is nudging us to reflect, rest, and simply be here now.
In our sped-up world, we are often encouraged to overextend ourselves to keep doing more and more. Inevitably, we eventually burn out and enter a state of confusion and reactivity. This leaves little room for the balance we desire. Instead, I suggest that we use the Equinox, which falls on Thursday, September 22, to embrace an attitude of dancing in harmony with life. Here are seven rituals to help you get started:
1. Be here now with a mindfulness exercise.
Cultivate an attitude of being present in the now by taking five minutes today or in the week ahead to simply sit and notice what you see. What are the shapes, colors, and textures of the things around you? Look at them as if seeing them for the very first time. What do you hear? What sensations can you feel in your body?
2. Seek balance through a drawing exercise.
Use this time to look closely at the balance in your life. How do you balance your personal needs with your commitments to the outside world? How do you receive and how do you give? This exercise can help you get clear on these questions:
Take a large piece of paper and make a circle in the center. This circle represents you.
Next, draw all the commitments you have to the outer world on the outside of the circle. Make the ones that take up a lot of your time larger and brighter.
Now that all these commitments are in front of you, notice if you are in a flow of giving and receiving with each person and project.
3. Employ intuition and logic.
There is a sweet spot when we use both our intuition and creativity (right brain) and rational thinking (left brain), yet many times we overuse one or the other. Here are some signs you are dominant in one and strategies for employing them both this fall:
Signs of left brain dominance: Feeling in your head, lacking empathy, taking things literally, being too controlling
Antidotes: Cook without a recipe, finger paint, and meditate.
Signs of right brain dominance: Feeling very emotional, procrastinating, dreaming but not visioning, finding it hard to follow through on your goals
Antidotes: Do puzzles, study realism in art, take small constructive action steps
4. Try candle magic for love.
This simple DIY can help draw loving energy into your life this season:
Carve a heart shape into the wax of a candle with a pin. (Using a pillar candle is easier, but a taper candle will work too.) I like to use pink or red, but white will do.
Anoint the candle with rose, jasmine, geranium, or cinnamon oil, or just pick a fragrance that opens your heart and makes you smile.
Quiet your mind and set an intention for love. Your intention can be to start a new relationship, strengthen an existing one, etc.
Kee the candle on your altar until the candle burns down. If it is still burning when you leave the house or go to sleep, extinguish it and then re-light it when it is safe to do so.
5. Honor your ancestors.
Feel free to adjust this ritual and make it as personal as you desire:
Place a tablespoon of sesame seeds, rice, or grains, along with a few flower petals, onto the palm of your right hand.
Take a glass of water and sprinkle a few drops over the offerings.
Make a heartfelt prayer to your ancestors as you pour water over your hand and say, “I send you my love. May you be at peace. Please bless me and all my family.”
Pour the rest of the water over your right hand and let the offerings wash off completely.
6. Create a harvest altar.
There are plenty of items that can make wonderful additions to your seasonal altar during this time of year: You can place some grains for the goddess Ceres (Queen of the Grains), a pumpkin, an ear of corn, some rice, apples, or blackberries on a plate or in a basket, for example.
Use your imagination and gather things that capture your attention and bring you a feeling of abundance. Decorate with autumn-colored candles that are orange, yellow, red, brown. If you desire, add honey and cinnamon for love, coins for prosperity, spices for strength, and basil for clarity.
7. Follow a four-direction journaling prompt.
To open up to what you need this season, journal on the following questions. I do this every year, so it is worth repeating.
The Power of the North:
What do you need to complete?
What needs healing in the body?
The Power of the West:
How can you deepen your intuitive knowing?
Are you taking time to reflect and quiet your mind?
The Power of the East:
How are you bringing joy and play into your life?
Are you willing to be open to the new?
The Power of the South:
Are your relationships making you happy?
What is your relationship to self-love?
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