Autumn is a time of universal realignment in the world around us, as well as within us. As the waning chlorophyll leaches out of the leaves, rendering them magnificent hues of red, orange and yellow, so does our outward, expansive yang energy begin to slow down and turn within. Since we are nature, it is no surprise that we begin to feel these alterations in our body, mind and spirit. Fortunately, the planet has this conversion down to a science, and the earth provides all that we need to transition with grace and ease.
As the weather turns cooler, our appetite turns toward heavy root vegetables. Conveniently, autumn is just the right time to harvest potatoes, beets, carrots and garlic from the garden or purchase them at your local farmer's market. This downward pull of energy is perfectly suited toward things that grow underneath the ground. Our bodies crave warm soups and stews, because they provide the deep nourishment that our body needs to prepare for the cold weather to come. Eating in season supports our body in adapting to the environmental changes that are occurring.
Herbs are powerful allies when it comes to change and can provide potent medicine to support our progression. Adaptogens are herbs or plants that support our body in dealing with change or stressors of any kind, by restoring the balance within you—be it physical, emotional or mental. Ashwaganda, holy basil (Tulsi) and schisandraare just a few, among the many, helpful herbs that can strengthen our immune system, moderate blood pressure, fend off depression, enhance mental functioning and increase energy levels. By using what is readily available at our feet, we can tap into nature's pharmacy.
The trees themselves are a living testament to the beauty inherent in change and letting go. Spending time outside each day, taking in the colors and smells of fall, helps to align us with the natural rhythm of things. Exercise, combined with communion with the natural world, can elevate our mood and instill a lasting sense of peace.
"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."—Khalil Gibran. Fall can be a time of peaceful evolution and opportunity or struggle and disease. With just a little bit of mindfulness, we can engage with the bounty of our wondrous planet and move in harmony with the wisdom of the season.
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Hillary Banachowski is a passionate earth steward, plant whisperer, author and healer who practices organic gardening, permaculture and herbalism as a way of life.