The transition from summer to fall can be a bit jarring. You’re used to living on island time, even if you’ve been working. You come home, go the pool, take a long walk, or sit outside with your family. Then fall hits with all of its demands. The kids are back in school. You have to get up earlier. And you have to actually get back into a schedule. You might also notice your stress levels start to increase. Reduce stress and overwhelm with these fall meditation tips.
The Carpool Lane Meditation
If you have kids, it can seem like there’s never time to schedule in meditation. What you can do is sneak in shorter meditations throughout your day. If you have to pick your child up from school, try the carpool lane meditation. Arrive a few minutes early and park your car in the carpool line. Turn off the music, close your eyes, and meditate. If you know it’s 15 minutes until dismissal, set the timer on your phone.
You can also sneak in meditation time during your kids’ activities. Do your kids play soccer? Watch part of the practice and for the other part, sit in your car and meditate. During the karate or piano lesson, instead of playing on your phone or talking with the other parents, take 15 minutes to meditate. When you do this, you’ll find you’re more patient with your family and your day will run smoother. Below is a meditation for your crazy carpooling day.
In this meditation, you will bring to mind all of the things you get to do throughout your day. Remember, the key words here are “get to do.” Often, you may wrapped up in so many “have to’s,” especially in family life, that you forget to put into perspective that all of these things are blessings.
- As you close your eyes to meditate, bring to mind everything on your to do list. Scan through everything—the kids’ activities, your activities, volunteer responsibilities, even grocery shopping, and say silently to yourself, “I’m grateful that I get to do these things.”
- Hold in your heart gratitude for the blessings of all of the activity in your life.
- Ask yourself: What no longer brings you joy? If certain activities no longer feel joyful, commit to letting them go or delegating them to someone else.
During these meditation breaks, throughout your day, strive for present-moment awareness. Pretty soon you’ll find that you’re the happiest mom or dad in the bunch because you’re more relaxed and enjoying the moment.
The Fall Leaves Meditation
Nature runs in cycles and every bit of it is perfectly orchestrated. The beauty of fall is undeniable. Yet, sometimes you may let it fly by without fully appreciating the changing colors and crisp air. Spending time outdoors is a natural stress reliever and meditating in nature helps synchronize your biorhythms.
- For this meditation, find a time when you won’t be disturbed.
- Go to your backyard or a remote spot in a park. Find a tall tree with falling leaves.
- Sit with your back against the tree trunk and close your eyes. The tree knows when it’s time to shed its leaves in preparation for winter. In the same way, as you meditate, prepare to shed away anything you no longer need.
- As you breathe in the fresh fall air, feel it infiltrate your body and cleansing throughout. Imagine the wisdom of the season whispering into your ears and telling you the things you need to let go. You might need to shed old grievances, clutter from your home, a job you no longer love, or a toxic relationship.
- As you feel the falling leaves float to the ground around you, drying up with the knowledge that they’re no longer needed, imagine all of the things you no longer need drying up and falling away too. Just as the tree doesn’t mourn its fallen leaves, be joyful that after the dormant phase of winter, new life will crop up for you in the spring.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, everyone enjoys flowers in the spring. The first two fall meditations prepared you to bring yourself into the present moment and release anything that you no longer need. This meditation is about creation.
Often when you commit to releasing things in your life, you’re left with an empty spot that can bring about anxiety. Couple that with the fact that meditation itself leads to deep reflection about your life and your place in the universe. At times when you make changes, it takes a while before a new cycle begins. You can be reminded of the beautiful experience of these fall meditations with a reward in the spring. For this meditation, you will need flower bulbs to plant that are appropriate for your area.
- With a flowerpot, window box, or in a garden bed, bring your bulbs and any other tools you need to begin your meditation.
- Remain in silence throughout. Listen to the sounds of nature. Immerse yourself in whatever weather happens to be going on around you. Appreciate the beauty of what is.
- Before you plant each bulb, hold it in your hand, and reminisce about what you committed to releasing. You can assign a particular bulb to a specific thing to release.
- Then, you can do the repeat the same activity for all of the things you’re grateful for in your life.
- When your flowers bloom in early spring, you’ll be reminded of how much you’ve grown in the past few months. It’s a visual way to receive validation for the meditative work you’ve done.
Now that you’ve worked through appreciating the transition into fall, you’ll never look at it the same way again.