Today is the Fall or Autumn equinox here is in the northern hemisphere! Some people may be groaning and wishing for a little more summer, some people are counting down to Christmas. I beg you to stop and celebrate the beginning of Fall and all it represents. Today is more than the end of summer and beginning of cold weather. On this day there is perfect balance! In the spring and summer we have more daylight hours than darkness hours. While in the Fall and Winter we have shorter days and longer nights. On this day we have exactly the same amount of sunlight as darkness, 12 hours of light & 12 hours of dark, perfect balance. Think about that, it’s amazing isn’t it?
Historically this day was celebrated much in the same way we celebrate Thanksgiving (originally the harvest and giving thanks were celebrated in relation to the Autumn equinox but in 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his “Thanksgiving Proclamation”, which changed the date to the last Thursday in November and in 1939, Franklin Roosevelt adjusted it yet again, making it the second-to-last Thursday, in the hopes of boosting post-Depression holiday sales). We could all use one more excuse to appreciate and celebrate life! The Equinox is a holiday close to my heart because it’s not about shopping or presents, it’s a pure and natural celebration of everyday life! On this day every year nature is perfectly balanced and I believe urging us to evaluate the balance in our own lives. Here are 10 ways you can commemorate this special occasion!
- Contemplate The Balance In Your Life!
It may be helpful to create a T chart or list detailing both sides. Think of it as if you are placing items on a scale, if you add something to one side of the scale there is always an opposite to be added. For example, how have you balance your personal needs with your commitments to the outside world? How grateful have you been for all you have received from others? How generously have you given of yourself? Have you taken time alone for yourself? Have you reached out to others? The list is endless and completely dependent your unique personality. Don’t think of it as good or bad. Think of it as equal sides of a coin. Don’t over think it, just let it flow honestly out of you. Once you have finished your list, take a look at both sides. Is it balanced? I would wager very few of us lead perfectly balanced lives. Take a look at the areas of your life that are balanced and the areas that are out of balance.
- Reflect On Accomplishments And Goals!
Now that you have a better understanding of the balance of your life! Reflect on the things you have done well, all of your many accomplishments! Look forward to your future and set goals for things you want to bring into your life and things you want to release from your life. Create a plan of the more balanced life you want to lead!
- Give Thanks For All You Have!
We know how this goes right? “What are you thankful for?”, every Thanksgiving… It’s more than a November tradition, it’s a necessary part of a happy life! It is far to easy to dwell on the bad… This day should remind us that for all the dark there is equal light, we just have to choose to see it. Put it down on paper and when the darkness is overwhelming pull it out and remind yourself of all the light in your life!
- Celebrate With Family And Friends!
This day is only partially about internal evaluation. It is also about getting out there and appreciating life! get together with your family and friends! Sing songs, tell stories, remember those you have lost. Enjoy the time you have together and remember, time is short and each moment needs to be celebrated!
“Winter Is Coming…” (If you are a fan of Game Of Thrones you will get that…). In history this was the time of year for the final harvest. All of the food to get you and your loved ones through the winter has been grown and now must be harvested. Now obviously we can run to the grocery store whenever we run out of food this winter but take the time to appreciate natures bounty! Go apple picking! Or take the family to the pumpkin patch! If you have a garden at home, cherish the collection of your own harvest! Regardless of where you go or what you pick, feel what it’s like to collect your food directly from nature!
- Cook It Up!
Did you harvest something? Make something with it! Break out those fall flavors and enjoy your harvest! When you think of fall what flavors come to mind? Cook the most Autumn inspired meal you can think of and usher in the season with pleasure!
- Fall Cleaning!
Put away those summer decorations! Put those sun dresses away and dust off those sweaters! Everyone knows about spring cleaning but the same idea applies to Fall. You are preparing to close up the house against the cold, your home needs preparing to create a comfortable space for the long winter! Clean the air filters, check the heater works, stock up on firewood. Set out your favorite candles and blankets. Move furniture around for a more cozy atmosphere. Whatever needs preparing in your home do it now and have fun with it!
- Spend Time In Nature!
The temperature is dropping and it’s not so unbearably hot anymore! That is reason enough to get outside and play! Go for a hike or take a nature walk! Admire the changing colors of fall and toss up some leaves! Take your camera with you! All of life is changing around us, take a minute to appreciate the majesty of it!
- Take in the Sunset!
What better way to celebrate nature’s balance then by wrapping up in a blanket with a nice cup of tea or coco and settling in for the spectacular show it puts on as it transitions from light to dark! I for one miss the sunset most nights… I’m either too busy to look outside or lose track of time and before I know it it’s dark… On this night when some how nature is at it’s purest form of balance I set aside everything else just to be a part of the miracle.
- Donate To Those Less Fortunate!
Pull out that list you made earlier with everything you are grateful for. Take a moment to acknowledge how lucky you are! How do you appreciate what you have? What better way to appreciate all you have than to share with those who aren’t as fortunate as you? Give to Goodwill or The American Red Cross, donate to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Not sure who to donate to? Check out Charity Navigator for help finding the right charity for you!
The holidays are coming up and life is going to get hectic. No matter how you choose to celebrate the first day of Fall, make some time to breath and take in the beauty all around you.