"We can either make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same"
Autumn seems to bring with it so much change. It's a time when we're settling back into routine, getting organized and, like the trees who are drawing their energy down into the roots, we too start to prepare for the winter ahead. Where I live Autumn brings with it an exuberance that makes this one of my favorite times of the year. It's Harvest Time here in Niagara! The farmer's markets are overflowing with the bounty of the season, the grapes are all being harvested for wine, and parties and festivals abound as we all come together to eat, drink, and celebrate the abundance of Fall.
Yet underlying all of that is a subtle seriousness to the season, a quiet voice that is whispering with each falling leaf that ~ it is temporary. The beauty of autumn is fleeting. Soon, winter will come. And with it, a time of stillness and reflection. The Autumn Harvest signifies how we reap what we have sown. In many of our personal lives, this is also happening. Eventually, what we put our energy into is what manifests in our lives.
The biggest lesson I am learning right now is to expect the unexpected. Just when I think I've figured something/someone out - I'm shocked again and again by the turning of events. Recently, after a good friend simply "disappeared" from his life, without a trace, I sat bewildered and confused unable to sleep, staring at the ceiling. For days I've been stressed, emotional, angry, afraid. When suddenly after another sleepless night - it occurred to me this morning - there is nothing to "figure out"! Sometimes I get so caught in the "why's" of a situation that I completely lose my center. We may never know "why" someone decides to hurt others, or lie, or steal. We may never know "why" relationships end or "why" all of our efforts go unappreciated. We may never get the answers about the "why's" ~ nor should we waste precious energy getting caught up in that. There is so much wisdom in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle in The Power Of Now. The present moment is really all there is. If something is happening, no matter how shocking, it is because it is supposed to. Accept the present moment as if you had chosen it - and then act from that place; calmly, deliberately.
These moments of bewilderment and confusion are the moments when one's yoga practice truly comes alive. Sometimes we forget what the essence of yoga actually is - to empower us and provide us with the stamina and courage to face life as it unfolds. The hours we spend on the yoga mat, the buckets of sweat, the discipline...it's all preparing us for This Moment. I realize now more than ever that I have NO IDEA what is coming next. I really don't know what's around the next corner. But I do know that I will trust that it will all be ok. Like the abundance of this harvest - each one of us will reap what we have sown. Each one of us is on a journey. Each choice we have made, each step we've taken, up until this point, has laid the foundation for what we are currently experiencing. Choose wisely. What will you cultivate today?