Wild Wellness • Fall
I made you something.
At the bottom of this article, there's a free pdf of an Equinox prayer for you to print and color, paint, collage- make it your own.
Whatever you do, I'd genuinely love to see it. Post it on instagram and tag me @daughters_of_daughters_
But first, read on to learn a bit about the magic of this season we're entering....
Here we stand, together, at the brink.
Beneath us, solid ground, familiarity. Ahead of us: the void. Velvet darkness. The absolute unknown.
The void is woven into our daily lives- each night, each new day, each moment all bring their own opportunities to dance with mystery. But the Autumn Equinox is something special.
At this point of the year, we all (in the northern hemisphere) leap into the void together, crossing an energetic threshold from the light half of the year into the dark, from 6 months of expansion into 6 months of contraction, letting ourselves fall from the heights of Yang to the depths of Yin.
It's kind of a big deal. One that, I believe, most of us are subconsciously attuned to, if the quantity of Halloween paraphernalia appearing in August is any indication. For many, this dark half of the year is a refuge, a place where our slowness, intuition and introspection are more at home than in the bright, buzzing productivity of the light half of the year.
Since the Summer Solstice, Nature's energy (and that means ours, too) has been reversing course, shifting from the rising, projective expansion of spring and summer to the inward and downward focus of fall and winter. But it's often not until this Equinox, when the nights begin to dwarf the days, that we really feel it.
Fall is the evening before winter's long night. There are things to be done, preparations to be made, but your movements are drowsier- sleep is calling.
In our society, this downshift is often pathologized as a symptom of something, rather than simply allowing our bodies do what the rest of nature is doing: letting go, slowing down, settling in, roosting. Of course, it can be both, but there's tremendous power in simply allowing yourself follow Nature's lead and gently letting go of society's programmed self-judgment and the fear of 'falling behind'.
In wellness, we often find ourselves at a point where 'going with the flow' actually means facing a choice between Nature's flow and society's. One is profound and eternal, but almost drowned out by all of our modern noise and clutter. The other is right there in your face, 24/ 7..... but something in your bones whispers that it's 'just not right'. We have so much practice overriding this voice that we
may not work, may cause more problems than it solves, or may just feel in your bones, if you have experience listening to them, like
It isn't always possible, but the more we set ourselves up for choosing Nature's way, the more ease and resilience we cultivate in our lives. Here then, are a few practices to incorporate into the next few months to improve your mental, physical, and emotional vitality throughout fall and into winter.
• Start feeling
The element of fall is water and water speaks of the emotional body. Whether this water shows up in your life as a drizzle or a tidal wave is entirely up to you.
They are coming- that's unavoidable- but you can create space to feel and process those emotions on a daily basis so that they don't all land on you at once.
Journaling, somatic work (like my weekly Somatic Guided Drawing), talk therapy, screaming in your car- the options are endless. But they only work when you actually do them.
You're carrying so much. Everything you've learned, seen, made, felt, collected- it's all in there, embedded in your cells. You don't take your bag to bed with you and so now, just as the trees are showing us by dropping their leaves and fruit, it's time to let go of whatever isn't directly nourishing you.
De-clutter your home, your phone, your mind, your relationships. This doesn't have to be dramatic. It's as simple as keeping more of your energy for yourself and not siphoning it off to people/ ideas/ habits/ things that don't reciprocally nourish you.
Take that energy and lavish it on whatever nourishes you: reliable community, canning or freezing nutrient-dense food to see you through the winter, making (or canceling) plans in the spirit of pure pleasure-seeking. learning a new craft, spending more time outdoors, holding a boundary around the self-care that you need.
Nourishment- in every sense of the word- is what vitality is really built upon. Whoever you are, there's a high chance that you're giving more than you're receiving. Maybe a lot more. That imbalance, when it persists for too long, reverberates throughout your self and life and undermines the foundations that everything else is built upon. It also takes time to shift.
So start small- but start!
• Slow down
Akin to giving/ receiving, your personal proportion of doing/ being affects everything in your life. The speed of our daily lives is part conditioning (everyone else is this busy), part terror (slowness= obsolescence), part coping mechanism (stillness is an open invitation to things we might be avoiding). What it isn't is sustainable. But again, following Nature's cues gives you the opportunity to slow down in doses that work for you.
Just like with learning any new skill, progress isn't linear. You can explore your edge and then back off. You can pad your schedule with more space around the new moon and more action around the full (read my article New Moon's Resolutions for more on this).
Winter is the time when rest and ease become especially critical so I suggest looking at your schedule for the next several months and beginning to plan now how you can gradually wean yourself off some of your busy-ness (and acclimate the people in your life who expect you to do all the things).
The most beautiful thing about healing at Nature's pace is also what, in the beginning, is the most frustrating: that there's no absolute prescription.
We each have to negotiate our own unique relationship between what's inside us and what's around us. That negotiation itself is a huge step away from the current paradigm of 'experts' doling out arbitrary information to the masses- and this step from dependence to empowerment is itself part of the medicine.
While these four steps may seem too simple to work, I assure you that that's exactly how wellness is supposed to work- and how it worked for the many hundreds of generations who thrived before western medicine. It isn't any harder to keep a wild human healthy than any other wild animal- only when the wildness is lost do things become complicated.
I hope that, through fall's inherent energies of slowing down and turning inward, this season will help you move a little bit closer to your own wild interior.
Here's your coloring page! It looks like this:
Click on the pdf below to download and print.
And remember to tag me on instagram @daughters_of_daughters_ with your creations!