Transition to Autumn with Sweetness
I’m writing this from Bali, I’m on the bed with the doors open onto the rice fields.
It’s raining, just a little.
This is my favourite kind of weather. Hot, humid, sunny in the mornings, light rain in the afternoon. It feels ripe, fertile and sweet.
In Sydney, the seasons are making a slow transition. Summer is turning to Autumn. In some places I have travelled, the seasons tend to change quickly, with little warning. In Sydney, we’ll have three days of winter, then it’ll be summer again for a week. Finally, after a month or so of this dance, Autumn will finally arrive.
We all have seasons that we feel most at home in. Despite looking like I should live in Scottish highlands, I feel most at home in Summer and Spring.
I have always struggled in the cooler, drier months. When I was a child I would suffer from asthma, in my early twenties winter was dotted with colds and virus. There are many explanations for why this might be, stemming from both the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic schools of thought that feel very true for me.
But on a very basic level, I quite simply find winter restrictive. I find it takes more effort to create a sense of lightness, joy and ease. In Summer it is easy to be outdoors, to have bare feet on the grass, to swim in bodies of water, to eat fresh raw fruits and vegetables
Daphne Javitch, holistic nutritionist and the author and curator of one of my favourite Instagram accounts, @doingwell, talks about creating health in the body through flow and movement. For me, to embrace the lessons and healing Autumn and Winter have to offer – I know a commitment to freedom and flow in the body is the perfect place to start.
Travel has always been a very high priority in my life. Every time I travel I am inspired about every 3 seconds (which I can imagine is incredibly tiring for the person travelling with me), and cannot help but collect scents, foods and practices to bring back home. In the endless summer of Bali I’ve been note taking what it is I love about this environment beyond the temperature. What can I bring back home into Winter? Can I let go of fighting the seasonal changes which are natural and healing, and lean into the lesson of truly supporting myself in environments that are not immediately comfortable.
The notes I’m taking from Bali are simple, obvious and quite personal – but if you need support for adding a little movement to the hibernation of winter, here’s what I’ve borrowed from my time here and will be personally be referring to:
· Floral and woody natural incense to burn at the front door or alter
· Jasmine oil in a diffuser, Epsom salt foot bath or used within a body oil
· Foraged leaves & flowers arranged in little bowls
· Homemade body scrubs (coffee, sugar & coconut oil or besan flour & turmeric)
· Daily green juice
· Oil hair masks
· Morning kriyas and daily asana practice
· Twenty minutes rest every day (conscious stillness that allows the inner body to flow naturally and rhythmically)
· Time in the sun every day
· Prioritising massage, acupuncture and sauna
· Home cooked foods that are sweet, moist and hydrating
The biggest note (to myself) here, is to prioritise investing time and money into your health during the periods you know you struggle with the most. For some, it may be specific seasons, months or dates that mark a tough period, where you know you need extra support to stay inspired, uplifted and well. Perhaps make a note of your favourite foods, practices and treatments, and allow yourself to schedule more in times of vulnerability.
Chances are, you’ll gain back the time and money considerably by maintaining your immune system, strength and sense of flow.