As someone who has lived most of her life in Costa Rica, a land of eternal summer near the equator, the concept of seasons has always fascinated me. Just two years ago, my husband and I moved to the United States during the Fall of 2021, when I was introduced to the rhythmic beauty of nature's transitions. The changing of the seasons, especially autumn, holds a particular charm for me.
It is this fascination with the seasonal cycles that led me to contemplate the profound metaphysical parallels between autumn and grief. While I offer guidance and support at our yoga therapy studio, I am also a fellow traveler on the path of healing and self-discovery.
Recently, I've been navigating my own journey through grief. The passing of my maternal grandmother left me with a sense of sorrow that I had never known before. Grief, much like the season of autumn, is a profound and intricate process of transformation, an unexpected one. Just as the leaves change color and fall from the trees, grief paints the canvas of our emotions with its own array of hues, from deep blues to muted grays.
As I write this, I am reminded that my journey through grief has found solace in the wisdom of autumn. In this blog, I will explore how this season, with all its paradoxical beauty and introspection, can be a metaphysical guide through the landscapes of our hearts.
1. The Cycle of Change: Autumn is a time of transition when nature sheds its lush attire to prepare for the stillness of winter. Similarly, grief is a process of transformation, marked by the release of emotions and the gradual acceptance of loss. Both autumn and grief remind us that change is an inherent part of life.
2. Acceptance: Autumn's beauty lies in its ability to gently coax us into acceptance, much like grief's tender embrace. The falling leaves, a symbol of letting go, reminds us that letting go is part of the natural order of life. Grief, too, encourages us to release the grip we hold on the past and surrender to the stillness of winter.
3. Nurturing the Soil: Autumn's fallen leaves serve as nourishment for the earth, enriching the soil and providing the nutrients needed for new growth in the following spring. In grief, the emotions we experience, while undeniably challenging, can enrich our inner landscape. They can serve as the foundation for personal growth, resilience, and a deeper understanding of ourselves.
4. Going Inward: As the days go shorter, the world becomes a place of reflection and introspection as the days grow shorter. Similarly, grief leads us into the depths of our inner selves, where we confront our emotional shadows and explore the corners of our soul that we might have ignored.
5. The Beauty in Impermanence: The beauty in impermanence is a core lesson of both autumn and grief. Just as autumn's vibrant colors eventually give way to the starkness of winter, so too do the raw and painful emotions of grief transform into something softer, more manageable, and ultimately, a source of growth.
6. Finding Solace in the Community: Just like the underlying interconnectedness of the mycelium network, integrating the trees from underneath the earth, so do our connections with our community support our heart’s nourishment.
As I shared earlier, my entire family is abroad, leaning into my community here has been one of the greatest blessings during this period. I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to my incredible team at Lotus Care KC who have so genuinely shown unwavering empathy, sympathy and support during my journey through grief. Their kindness has been a beacon of light in my life. I'm also deeply appreciative of my students, who, in their loving kindness, gifted me candles and wrote heartfelt sympathy notes. These gestures, simple yet profound, allowed me to feel more at home in a foreign country while I navigated the loss of my grandmother. Their support has been a testament to the power of community and the healing balm of shared experiences, just like the mycelium network.
By recognizing the interconnectedness between our own inner seasons and the seasons of nature, and the metaphysical parallels between autumn and grief, we may find that the grief we carry can transform into a source of strength and spiritual nourishment for our own hearts.
As you can see, I've found that the metaphysical parallels between autumn and sorrow run deep. Maybe you have made your own connections within your own journey with grief too? In my journey through grief, I've discovered the profound importance of self-care during this time, a practice that becomes essential as we navigate the complexities of loss and transformation. It's a reminder that, even in the midst of sorrow, taking the time to nurture ourselves can be a source of strength and solace.
I invite you to join me to continue to explore this connection between autumn and grief at the yoga therapy studio in Gladstone, Missouri. We provide the space and tools to gently and safely open your heart, learn to tend for your body, heart-mind and spirit, just as I have been doing.
-Prema, Yoga Educator & Studio Manager
Our mission at Lotus Care KC is to empower the body, mind & spirit to heal from pain, injury & stress through ancient wisdom & modern science. Here are some of the ways that we empower you to understand the stress response and heal from burnout.
Stress is a normal reaction to exciting events like getting a new job, preparing for a trip or starting a new routine. Stress is also a hardwired survival technique built into your body as a means of protection. When triggers arise, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) signals the “fight or flight response,” which mobilizes you to take action and avoid danger.
When your body goes into panic mode, your SNS is activated and your brain triggers the adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoid hormones, like cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline). The rest of your body is then alerted to these symptoms, equipping you with emergency fuel and energy in reaction to your panic.
Having this alarm stage response is very useful when faced with a life-threatening situation. The issue is that your body doesn’t know the difference between a tiger chasing you and work-related anxiety, grief or loss. Your body’s stress response is perfectly healthy when there’s a real emergency (like a tiger chase), but if your body is constantly getting stress signals for everyday issues (such as work-related anxiety), you’ll burn out over time.
When the body continues to function in this dysregulated state (never fully returning to the rest state), your emergency resources are depleted and your body starts to shut down. This final burnout stage represents your body’s inability to cope with continuously high demands. After all, it’s not natural to constantly feel like you’re being chased by a tiger.
Just as the sympathetic nervous system turns on the “fight or flight response,” the parasympathetic nervous system turns it off. The parasympathetic nervous system helps the body conserve energy and rest. The ability to go from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest” is critical for your well-being.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill we can take to harmonize our nervous systems. A return to a state of relaxation doesn’t occur promptly for most people in today’s fast-paced society if they don’t take steps to care for themselves in a deep way. While being concerned with everyday worries, chronic stress is disrupting the natural balance required for optimal health, speeding up the aging process, and increasing the body’s susceptibility to illness. Finding ways to activate the relaxation response is vital.
In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, a state of balance is called sattva. Practitioners of Ayurveda cultivate sattva by performing self-care techniques to purge stagnation and stress. Cultivating a self-care practice gives rise to vibrant health and centered character traits that foster great clarity and creativity.
TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE STRESS
*If you are concerned about your stress level, please reach out and we will set up a personalized stress care program for you.
-Prema, Yoga Educator & Studio Manager
Connect. Heal. Serve.
7001 N. Locust Street, Suite C101, Gladstone, MO 64118
All rights reserved 2024 Lotus Care KC, Wellness Jules, LLC
Proudly powered by Weebly