Summer’s End as a Doorway to Transition

Posted on August 1st, 2013 by in Healthy Living

Labor_DayI never was happy with summer’s end and the onset of Labor Day.  Don’t get me wrong—I’m a big fan of the Labor Movement, the people who brought us the weekend. I love my weekends. But Labor Day marked the end of so much—of summer, of expansion, of shorts and bikes and swimming and outdoor ease and flowers and birds and grass. Summer’s spreading out into lengthening light and longer days, into picnics and porches was doomed. As a kid, Labor Day meant school was a breath away, and winter’s gloom and doom was immediate.

But it isn’t. We’ve been given autumn, a time of potentially mindful transition, to utilize and to allow our bodies and our intentions to gradually shift, like the turning of the earth and the shifting of the seasons.

So I’ve been practicing seeing Labor Day as a marker of positivity, an opportunity to let go of summer’s more frivolous, external focus, as I begin preparing for the internal focus of the inevitable winter. Perhaps Labor Day can herald the start of this season of transition, an autumn dedicated to mindful change, as I practice letting go of what was and prepare for what might be—a winter of more skillful presence?

Labor Day opens the door into so much change, and our bodies change, too, as do our nutritional needs, as Ayurveda remind us. The lighter salads and fruits, the foods of summer, no longer satisfy us, as the animal bodies we live in instinctively adjust and shift gears as the animal bodies we live in instinctively adjust and shift gears, leaning toward warmer foods like cooked veggies, stews, and soups. How can we support these adjustments? How can we relax into the cooling down, as the world both around us and inside of us so radically shifts?

I intend to use Labor Day as the start of this inquiry. What different foods does my body really need?  How can my focus both expand and soften, just like the vistas around me as they open up without the hindrance of leaves? How can I reestablish balance with food? With exercise? With stress reduction?

The key to all these questions is mindful intention. To stop, to pause, and to consider, opens the door to conscious choices. Proactive consideration rather than habitual reactivity helps to reestablish positive, balanced, and healthy behaviors. However you can weave the power of pause into your life, the beginning of autumn is a powerful moment for that self-intervention.

Journaling is a powerful tool for me; some wacky integration happens, some moving through of feelings, when I put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. I intend to write a farewell to summer! In this missive, I plan to offer my gratitude for the grace of the light, my appreciation for all I was given, and offer my prayers for letting go. And I choose to write my intentions for the winter. From the depths of my heart, how do I choose to be in winter?

I choose to honor what was this summer, to relax into autumn as a time of reflection, so I can envision the kind of winter I want to have. That’s my plan. What’s yours?

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About Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Life Coach, RYT

Aruni, Senior Life Coach and Program Advisor for the Kripalu Healthy Living programs, is a certified professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. She has been teaching in a variety of diverse venues for more than 35 years and has been on the Kripalu faculty for more than 20. Author of Recovering My Voice: A Memoir of Chaos, Spirituality, and Hope, and her latest book, Already Home: Stories of a Seeker, Aruni has also developed the Kripalu coaching methodology, based in presence and right action.
  • My Peace Of Food

    I love the thought of using Labor Day as another point to stop and reflect. I often find myself longing for fall during the summer, while at the same time complaining that it passed me by so quickly (no wonder)! Also, choosing how to “be” in winter — the intentionality…lovely. Thank you.

    • KripaluEditor

      Thanks, My Peace of Food! We appreciate your taking the time to read the Kripalu blog. Enjoy the transitions!