Autumn Equinox and the pursuit of balance
Finding your equilibrium in this powerful portal (and all year round!)
We’ve just come through the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon in the Wheel of the Year) here in the southern hemisphere. A time of equilibrium and balance between day and night, light and dark. A transition point. Traditionally it was the end of the harvest; a celebration of the earth’s gifts and a final chance to put away the food needed for the cold winter ahead; and the time to start to rest.
In our modern world we might see it as a call to ‘harvest’ all the learnings of the cycle coming to an end; to be grateful for what the summer has brought into our lives, forgive that which hasn’t come to fruition and – like the leaves falling from the trees – surrender what we don’t need to continue carrying into the cycle ahead and the version of us we are emerging into.
“We come into this world head first and go out feet first; in between, it is all a matter of balance.”- Paul Boese
There’s such power in the balance between light and dark at this time of year, and the gradual shifting of the seasons. It creates space for change. From the feeling of ease that comes amid balance and harmony flows a freedom to dream, create, recreate and reimagine. It might only be subtle – the shifting air fostering a new focus or mindset; the changing colours in nature encouraging us to turn inward for autumn and winter or blossom in the spring through summer. Or it could signal something bigger.
As I’ve paid more attention to the Wheel of the Year, I've come to notice that the Equinoxes (both Spring and Autumn) are my favourite times of year. There’s something about the colours that I’m drawn to and I clearly feel the energy changing around and within me. When I think back, Equinoxes are often the times in my life when I’ve come to major decisions or made big life changes – moving house, changing jobs, moving overseas, starting my Reiki Mastership. It’s happening again right now! In all these situations something needed to adjust for me to come back into balance in order to move forward. And whether consciously or unconsciously, I followed the yellow brick road of change!
What comes to mind when you think of the word balance?
Left / right
Masculine / feminine
Homeostasis of the body
The balance of flavours in a perfect curry.
There are so many examples in our lives and the natural world because I believe our body, mind and souls crave balance.
What is the common thread between all of these? The common outcome of being ‘in balance’?
When have you been noticeably IN balance and felt these things? How did your body feel? How was your mood, your sleep, maybe even your productivity and motivation?
What about when you lose your physical balance and fall? When you’re giving too much or not enough of yourself to something? When you're doing something out of alignment with your values and authentic self?
That feels different doesn’t it? It’s the opposite of ease, peace, flow and grace. It’s stress, anxiety and burnout. Or it’s apathy, boredom, inertia.
Luckily there are many ways to find your way back to balance ... and it all starts with paying attention.
“Life is balance of holding on and letting go.” — Rumi
Becoming aware of where, when or how you’re feeling or doing something in an extreme that isn't helpful means that you can then take some kind of action to redress the balance. This might look like:
Taking note of how you feel in the morning as you get ready for your day; and in the evening as you prepare for bed.
Journaling regularly, being truly honest knowing no-one will read it but you.
Daily meditation or mindful breathing, even for five minutes, to bring awareness to your body, thoughts and emotions.
Practices that balance us physically can also be helpful – balancing poses in yoga (especially the simple Tree pose/Vrksasana) and the pranayama practice of Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing).
Being curious about where you are or are not in balance might feel more powerful around the Equinoxes, but it’s a year-round practice! Find whatever processes resonate for you and work with them over the coming months. Even if for now that's just paying a little more attention. Let me know how you get on!
A note before you go – for each of the eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year I offer distant Reiki healings for everyone my email list who wants it. If you’d like to be part of this – and get my free guide to self-healing – you can sign up here right now!
Images sourced on Unsplash:
Forest by Veliko Karachiviev
Leaf by Paul Streltsov