From an Ayurvedic perspective, autumn is a season of expansiveness and movement. Think of those blustery days with leaves dancing every which way. Traditionally, we counter these qualities with the opposite to find balance. We ground and stabalize so we remain healthy and vibrant with the swirling, chaotic energy around us. I'll address this next, but for today, I'm curious about exploring what this season is about and what it could mean to to bring a sense of fall's Ayurvedic elements into your life.
I think a lot about space - how it affects interaction, how we design space, how we hold space. Lately I've been engaging with how we move through claustrophobia in our lives, those times we feel like we can't breathe.
We don't have to go to a yoga class or roll out our mat at home to get space. I haven't been able to get up the last two week for my early morning practice between breastfeeding my son and his wake up time. When I do get up, I have an hour or two for a cup of tea while I write and read, then sit for a few minutes of meditation, do some sun salutations and possibly head to the gym. Instead, if I choose sleep, it's right into the kitchen to make his breakfast while I drink my tea standing up. Last week I paid attention to how cluttered my head feels and the effects of my body from rushing from the moment my eyes open. This week I still haven't been able to roll out of bed before my son and his dad. So I'm experimenting with how to bring the expansive quality of autumn into my compressed morning. This practice is pretty simple - I try and pay attention to what I'm doing as I make my tea, stir the pot of hot cereal, empty the dishwasher. If I slow down just a bit, my morning opens up.
I'm also considering how to hold space as a parent. For as rushed as I can feel trying to cram in as much as possible when I have another adult around to help with my toddler, when he and I are alone together everything can slow down to the point of insane boredom. And then I'm tempted to try and do other things while also keeping an eye on my little climber. Inevitably this leads to some sort of accident and bruise/bump/cut followed by tears. So actually, being with this little person is a lot like teaching. My role is to be present with him, to offer suggestions for creative play while letting him explore with his own intentions, and to help him stay physically safe. I've noticed that when I interact with him like this, he surprises me. Yes, he still wants to climb onto everything and treat my bed like a trampoline and do pull-ups from the toilet paper holder. And it turns out that he also wants to sit in my lap and read A LOT of books. I experience his sweet and rambunctious nature more intensely and learn more about what makes him tick.
Beyond parenthood, what does it look like to hold space for other people in our lives? For one thing, we could put down our phones and devices to engage with other people in the room or at the table, even if it's uninteresting. That moment might pass and we could discover something beyond boredom. See what happens in your world if you simplify your practice by engaging intentionally with your world.