Fall Equinox: What's Your Harvest?

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The Fall Equinox is just around the corner, marking the first day of fall and passage into a new season. It's also one of only two days in the entire year where day and night are in balance. And while I— like many females— am very excited for cooler temperatures, Ugg boots (don't fight it, they're comfy), and pumpkin spice lattes (don't fight it, they're delicious), this post is about much deeper stuff.Lots and lots of symbolism can be drawn from nature at the equinox to apply to your life. In fact, when any of the seasons shift, it's the perfect time to look inward in introspection. With the Fall Equinox, it brings up (at least) two important questions: 1) day and night are in balance, are you? (more on that in Lessons From The Fall Equinox) and 2) what are you harvesting? I live on a farm and get to see this beautiful cycle every year. Fall is a time when farmers who have worked hard all year on their crops start to gather and harvest the fruits of their labor. What did you work on all year and what do you have to show for it now, at harvest time?

Read on for what the Fall Equinox can teach us if we're willing to take an honest look at how we are living our lives.

The first question is all about balance. In yoga, we talk about balance a lot, and I don't mean how well your Eagle Pose is developing. I mean real balance... life balance. How are you really doing? When is the last time you asked yourself that? When is the last time you set aside 2 minutes and took an internal inventory to see how you are getting along? If you've felt frazzled lately, you're not alone. When the seasons shift, it's a new chapter for all of us. It's literally and figuratively speaking, a new season; a fresh start. However, it's always hectic and busy, isn't it? If you feel overwhelmed just looking at your calendar, then read my post from 2017, Bringing Back Your Balance. It seems when the seasons change, things start to gear up and get extra busy. 

This is why it's so important to take that internal inventory I mentioned. Pause for just a few minutes and think about the three layers of you: the physical, mental, and spiritual layers of you. Are they in balance? Are you nourishing your body, mind and spirit? Are you thriving or just getting by? (If you're just getting by, Confessions of a Self Care Hypocrite is an honest look at my own struggle with this and ideas for how to thrive.) Looking inward to see if you're out of balance is definitely worth a few minutes of your precious time to investigate what part of your life may have gotten neglected. 

Question two is about your harvest. Fall is associated with harvest, so apply nature's timing to your year. What dream did you have at the beginning of the year? What seeds did you plant? Did you nourish it and give life to it in the spring? Did you work hard on it all summer? Are you able to see progress with it now at harvest time? What seeds grew and which ones didn’t? Why do you think some were successful and others were not?This is a deep question, I know. Which is why I wouldn't tell you to spend time thinking about it if I didn't believe it was helpful. I'm just finishing my own inventory, and I'm here to encourage you. I'm just like you: I've had a busy year, a hectic summer, and a year with ups and downs. I've done really well in some areas and not so well in others. If you're thinking back on your year and don't see much of a harvest right now, then I have great news for you. Actually, two pieces of great news...

One - the year is far from over. You still have time. Every day is a fresh start, not just the day marking a new season or a new year. Don't give up on the things that mean a lot to you when working on them proves to be harder than expected. Sometimes rocky starts are huge blessings in disguise... by making us hungrier for that goal or giving us time to clarify what we are really after.

Two - I bet you actually do have quite a harvest. I bet that even if your dream isn't where you thought it would be, you made progress somewhere. I bet even if your year has had ups and downs that you learned a heck of a lot. (The downs are great for gaining wisdom. Don't waste those experiences.) I bet you've had experiences this year that were amazing and meaningful if you stop and appreciate them.

Your best harvest, then, may not even be related to your "goals."

Life is an excellent teacher. Take the time to think on how you've grown as a person this year, lessons learned, wisdom gained, new friendships made, perspectives that have changed, things you let go of, new things you tried, ways you got out of your comfort zone, a new place you visited, a new skill you've picked up, or things you survived. (Even if it was tough. Especially if it was tough. You're still here and that is worth acknowledging.) Maybe your harvest is, in fact, achieving a big goal, and for that I congratulate you. Maybe your harvest is simply realizing that it's a new season and you can turn the page on the last one.

Take it easy on yourself. Life is hard enough without you heaping on more. Enjoy the ups and learn from the downs. Embrace the changes along the way. Everything we go through is a teacher, if you let it. Grow through what you go through. 

Here's a short poem I love in Cleo Wade's book Heart Talk. I sometimes share it with the yoga classes I teach. I hope you like it. Sometimes we need a motto; maybe this could be your new one.

it's only natural
of course
I've changed,
I've grown. 

{by Cleo Wade}

Success should not just be measured in goals you've achieved. Real success (aka, harvest) is becoming a better version of you.Lastly, remember, harvest time is just starting. Change or small bits of progress can happen any day and every day. Say it with me: it's a NEW SEASON.

Love & Light.

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