Though summer doesn't officially end until the 21st, the beginning of September is classically the time when we consider the "lazy days of summer" over. Kids return to school, university towns double in population, people return from their summer vacations, and the rhythmic round of life resurges. It's an exciting time, though bittersweet as well, as the weather in the Northern Hemisphere begins to cool and the days to shorten.
How can you befriend your body during this time?
Take a walk. It's getting cooler out, and autumn is one of the best times to take up walking. Walking, if you are able to, is fantastic exercise that is very easy on your body. It also offers a chance to enjoy your surroundings - whether it's the bustle of a city street or the peacefulness of a forest. Walking alone is a superb way to quiet and open your mind; many great thinkers and writers think of things while on walks. And walking with a friend (human or animal) is a lovely way to spend sociable time free of artificial external stimuli like television or the Internet. You can take a walk around your block after dinner, or you can take a long hike in a forest or up a mountain. If walking isn't possible for you, get outside and breathe the air, and get around in whatever way you have available to you.
Stretch. As the days (and nights) get cooler, people tend to wake up a bit more stiff - especially older bodies. Before you get out of bed in the morning, give yourself five minutes to listen to your body. Where would it like to feel more freedom? What hurts? Don't change anything yet; just listen. As you get the messages your body has to offer you, start moving in small, subtle ways that feel good. Don't do anything that is a strain, even a little bit: our bodies are fragile when they've just awakened. Once you're up and moving a little, give yourself some gentle stretching. Again: listen to your body and stop before it feels uncomfortable. Breathe. As your muscles release, feel what else you might be releasing.
Celebrate the harvest. Though throughout the summer we enjoy tomatoes, berries, peaches and other bounty, September is a major harvest time. Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving in September, and Mabon, the Equinox festival commonly called "Pagan Thanksgiving," happens concurrently with the Fall equinox and involves feasting. Get out to a farm and do some apple picking - or peaches, if you're further south. Eat local corn. Have friends over and feast on local bounty together. Feed your body with wholesome food whenever possible, and celebrate that food with gratitude. Pay attention to your body's digestion, its cravings, or when it's actually not hungry and wants to rest and digest. Indulge from time to time.
Start a new hobby. Fall is a great time to start new projects. What is drawing you? Take the time to ask your body what it is yearning for: to learn a martial art or a new dance form? To learn to knit? To immerse in new fiction in a book club? To build something with your hands? To start a spiritual practice? When we are learning a new skill, we exercise our whole selves in new ways, and new connections are made between our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. Learning something new can also bring novelty and freshness to other parts of our lives, as we renew excitement about the process of living.
Here's to the beginning of fall, and the continuance of friendship between you - and you.
With warmest wishes for your wellbeing,
The Rubenfeld Synergy Community
Visit our website: http://www.befriendyourbody.org