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A morning practice for self-connection
There is something about the gentle descent of Autumn - the natural movement of being drawn within, to ‘infurl,’ the invitation to release what’s no longer needed and simplify - that I adore.
This past week has been about lighting the first fire of the season, cooking a delicious venison stew, making a big batch of fresh turmeric and ginger tonic and starting a daily dose of medicinal mushrooms (I’m taking 2ml a day of reishi extract from Bristol Fungarium).
Autumn’s is also a potent time for starting a new morning practice and I’m so enjoying mine that I thought I would share it with you….
It’s a journaling practice (so you’ll need paper and a pen) in 3 stages and it takes about 15 minutes.
Stage 1 is to hone in on five words that are qualities or values that you want to cultivate within you. It often takes me a week or so to come up with the five perfect words, so they might change a little every day until I feel like I’ve got it.
I’ll then travel with these same five words for a season.
(You can see from the image above that I also add my cycle day)
Each morning I write down one word at a time and meditate with it for a few minutes:
How does it feel in my body? What would it look like to truly embody this quality? Can I feel the sincere longing in my heart to welcome it?
If you want to take it up a notch, you can even move your body to each word/quality.
Once I’ve completed this, for stage 2 I do a check in with myself, and write down a short list of words that encapsulate my emotional landscape and how I feel. This is a way of starting the day in a deeper and more intimate connection with myself.
It’s also the foundation for the final stage 3, which is to write down the question “What do I need?” and add some intentions and commitments for the day.
I think the biggest gift of perimenopause is the invitation/demand (!) of our bodies to get our priorities right. After a twenty + years of prioritising being in service to ‘work’ and self-care being a bit of an afterthought, I’m slowly learning to flip that to prioritising being in service to myself (and therefore, life).
In the true meaning of the word (from Latin radicalis "of or having roots,")
What if we tend to ourselves first and our creativity and output arises from that?
What if we rest in order to do our best work (instead of working until we deserve a rest?)
This is the cyclical wisdom that nature teaches us: the potency of growth of a plant depends on the quality of the soil and the nurturance it receives.
In other words, the Yin comes first.
Having a daily morning practice of connecting to our ‘soil’ (such as the one I’ve described above) is one simple way of gently retraining ourselves, in our dominant Yang obsessed culture that has it so back to front.