“If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before”. ~ Mitchell Burgess
Autumn is a good time to reflect on how the year has been for you so far. I’d like to share with you the following simple but powerful and mindful exercise, I’ve devised for my own use.
Find time during the day or one evening to set aside an hour. You will see that I have allocated timings to each aspect of the exercise – this serves as a guide, feel free to adjust (for example you might want to spend much longer than 6 minutes on breathing/visualising).
Grab a notepad, pen, make yourself a cup of tea, and find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for the next hour or so.
Get yourself comfortable in your chair. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and take several slow, deep breathes in and out.
On each out breath imagine that you are releasing all the tension, negative and self-critical thoughts, that have been stored in your mind and body for the day, week, current month or last year. Visualise these tensions and thoughts as murky grey smog, and as they are released into the air they change and become clear bubbles which slowly evaporate into nothingness.
As you breathe in, imagine, bright golden yellow sunshine entering your toes and creeping upward to the crown of your head, flooding your body with warmth, positivity and vitality.
You should now be feeling a lot calmer and relaxed. Close your eyes again and reflect on the following:
How has the year been so far for you?
* Did you managed to achieve all the things you wanted to?
* How have you grown and in what ways?
* What experiences caused you pain or stress?
* What made you happy/sad?
* What lessons did you learn?
* Were you surrounded by supportive and loving people?
* Did you make time for you (self-care)?
Open your eyes and in your notebook, write freely, anything that comes to your mind, let it all out on paper. Close your notebook.
Sit back in your chair, close your eyes and relax. Breathe evenly, reflecting on what you wrote in your notebook. After approximately 7 minutes, open your eyes.
Open your notebook and write a list of all (or some of the things) that you have been grateful for and appreciated this year so far.
Close your notebook, put your hands together as in prayer and give thanks for BEING. Also, give thanks for all that you experienced this year (the good and the bad) – to your Higher Power (be this God, Goddess, Spirit, the Divine, Jesus, Angels, Budhah, Allah or the Universe, etc).
Stand up, have a good stretch and then and give yourself a big loving and comforting hug.
Now go and make yourself a cup of tea/coffee or pour yourself a glass of your preferred tipple – you deserve it!
The rest of the year
Do feel free to adapt this exercise to suit your needs and lifestyle. To enhance the experience you might want to have some music playing, on a low setting, in the background, light a candle (if it is safe to do so) or burn some incense. You might also find it useful to do the exercise with adaptations once a month to ensure you are on track with your objectives or to help you rejuvenate and refocus.
I hope you’ll give this exercise a go, let me know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share with your friends and family!