On the 28th I walked around the neighbourhood with my goldfish lantern and ate mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival, and next week is Canadian Thanksgiving (which is a different date from the American one in November – FYI). So harvest is on the mind – and what harvest has to do with the mind, is also on my mind.
It’s time to reap what we sow
As farmers finish bringing in their crops, it’s time to talk about the produce that come from seeds and tiny cuttings, planted at the beginning of the season – the fruits of their labour. Throughout the summer months, they nurtured and supported these small and growing plants, giving them the resources that they required to reach for the sun and produce life-supporting outcomes.
Same with thoughts. Once planted, they will grow. “Good’ or ‘bad’, your mind will follow your directions, to your benefit or detriment. So you can plant thoughts of success, love, growth, and strength, or those of failure, hate, decline and weakness. It’s up to you. If you feel that you are not reaping the type of life you wish, look back at the seeds of your thoughts. What are you really planting? Through careful uprooting of thoughts that are not helping you, pruning those that may need some tweaking, and tending and watering those that support the fulfilment of your objectives, your ‘field of dreams’ will come.
Clearing out, Closing down
In some parts of Canada, this is the time that people close down cottages, and start collecting items that had been brought out for summer to put them back inside before winter comes. My parents are doing this right now as well as preparing for their annual job of raking up fallen leaves, clearing up their garden, and throwing away bags of leaves and other exhausted vegetation.
It’s a great time for taking inventory and evaluating what’s been going on in the ‘busy’ season. Take a moment and write down what you’ve done over the past six or so months (that would be from about April on). Make a list of what’s worked, what hasn’t. Farmers look at the results of crops to plan what they are going to refine or change for the next season. Is it time to change seeds? Is your crop a success? While all of your life’s activities won’t be in ‘autumn’ mode, it’s as good a time to evaluate where things are going and maybe refine or close down what isn’t working. This autumn cleaning isn’t just for projects, but can parallel with your stuff too – physically tossing (or donating) the unnecessary or ill-suited things we pick up along the way, help us clear up our lives mentally and emotionally as well (Get Organised! can help with that, too).
Transformation and Preparation
Autumn has often been seen as a time of obvious transition – leaves have fallen off the trees but their evidence still remains. The change of colours in leaves (memories of my childhood) is a complex and choreographed combination of light, temperature change and serious self-preservation. Trees are preparing to protect themselves during the quiet and waiting winter months, in anticipation of the burst of energy that comes in spring. Even the tree outside my window in Singapore is preparing to drop its tiny leaves, in its own cycle of life.
We work in cycles as well. Remember there seem to be natural times for preparation, preservation and rest times – for every autumn and winter there is a spring. We’re in a constant state of change. Some may be very subtle and others very obvious. Tulip bulbs and fig trees actually need to be planted or covered before winter to give them the slow start they need before spring comes. You may be in several states of transformation and transition – respect each for its necessary role in continued evolution. Slow periods may seem frustrating, but think of how they may be times to rejuvenate and prepare for new times of growth
As I mentioned, October is Canadian Thanksgiving month. Seated at an overflowing dinner table surrounded by loving family and friends – it really isn’t difficult to be grateful. Transferring this to the every day, however, is an unpractised muscle for most of us.
Take ten minutes and write down everything that you’re thankful for – kids, parents, siblings, family, friends, food and shelter, your health, a job (or better yet, a vocation), hobbies, interests and opportunities… Really write it down so you have a ‘cheat sheet’ that you can refer to at a time when things go ‘wrong’ and when you’re less likely to be thinking about your abundance and good fortune and more likely to focus on failings and lack – it will give an instant energy boost (Abundant Life can also help – moneywise). Spread the wealth – let those on your list know they have a valued place for you. It just gets bigger.
Have a wonderful October.