The beginning of Fall is an opportune time to DISCOVER our own inner landscape. The Autumnal Equinox invites us to hunker down, get quiet, rest into nurturing soil, and allow darkness to reveal us. Nature uses Fall and Winter as a time of regenerating and transforming, and we can do the same – tuning inward, surrendering into depth and darkness to discover... ourselves. Who are we really?
To answer the question “Who Am I?” we have to get quiet and turn inward. And we have to strip away the external labels – Parent, Spouse, Woman, Man... as well as age, profession, accolades, failures, experiences... If we strip that all away, what’s left?
There’s a great (anonymous) quote circulating cyberspace that says, “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” When we strip it down, when we go deep, we can get to our real essence. We can be revealed.
Fall and Winter usher in energetic reminders to reconnect with our Yoga/Meditation practices and our life practices, inviting us to fall into:
1) Our inner-compass. We tend to externalize pretty much everything, all the time. Notice how often you experience thoughts like, “I’ll be happier when this situation at work changes” or “I’m so frustrated because s/he is acting this way” or “I’m so stressed out because everyone expects things from me.” We do this physically too, “If I could just finally do that super hard yoga pose” or “hit that goal weight” or “stick to that strict diet” or “be more/different/better/like them.”
There are millions of ways we externalize our happiness, but the habit is always the same – we give away our power, and we disconnect from ourselves. Your inner-compass is your true guide, your deepest voice and your heart centered truth.
Notice how it feels to choose from that place. Whenever you feel yourself “externalizing” your compass (doing something to achieve/get/avoid/please) take a deep breath, and reclaim what’s yours.
In yoga, this is your “inside out” practice and what guides you on when to work harder, when to ease up, when to take that challenge, and when to stay deep in a basic position.
Kasey Musgraves sings a great song “Follow Your Arrow” – check it out for some great reminders & inspiration! Your inner compass will always point to your true north. It will never fail you. Don’t fail it by tuning out.
2) Our deepest drives. People often talk about “looking for” their passions in life – especially when it comes to career. But your passion isn’t something you look for “out there” – it’s something you already have. It’s who you are. It is Divine Creative Expression freely flowing through you as you!
Your passions are what you think about, what you love, what gets you up, what gets you through, and what you happily mull over at night. When you’re engaged with a passion, time flies! You’re in flow.
If you don’t know your passions, try going back to #1 (inner compass) and tune-in vs tuning-out. Your deepest passion doesn’t have to be what you do for a living (it could be!) but you can bring the energy of your deepest drive to everything you do. You just have to allow yourself to feel it.
Discover: What lights you up? What turns you on? What are you passionate about? What gets you hot?
This isn’t about doing or forcing or looking for (external) it’s about feeling & finding what’s always been there within you (internal.) Notice what, and who, you’re drawn to, pulled to – nurture that within.
Re-discover your inner FIRE! Bring it to the surface. Feel it. Feed it. Follow it. Turn yourself on.
3) Our inner landscape. Just like your compass is within, and your passion is within, your greatest landscapes to discover are within. “If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.” ~ Thomas Jefferson. Is it possible that looking inward for everything we want (vs. looking outside ourselves) is something we’ve never fully done?
In your yoga practice, continue to explore familiar exercises with a beginner’s mind. Your body is constantly changing and evolving. Each cell has it’s own lifespan! Our daily activities, exercises, food, even thoughts all impact the inner landscape of our body – so what you find when you truly check-in will be different-
every single class.
every single exercise.
every single minute!
In yoga make it a practice to discover where you truly are. Alignment? Stability? Strength? Balance? Breath? Keep checking-in. Discover something new. Do it again. and again. and again! What you can discover within is limitless – on the mat and in life.
4) The beauty of now. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu
Life is happening right now – not five minutes ago, not five minutes from now. The only constant in life is impermanence. But therein lies a simple truth: the fullness of this moment.
When we can connect with our internal compass, feel our deepest drives, and (infinitely) explore our inner landscape – we get to DISCOVER the beauty of now. We are complete. We are ok. We are unique. We are perfect. We simply ARE. And if we can simply be in this moment, we will be content.
The next time you find yourself wondering what else is “out there” – stop and look inside. It’s a big world IN there. Discover yourself this month.