Fall Fresh/Autumnal Equinox

October 5, 2018

By Pamela Jansky, RN-BC, CDE, NBC-HWC

Integrative Nurse Health Coach”It is the summer’s great last heat, it’s the fall’s first chill: they meet.”  –Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

We recently celebrated the arrival of fall with the Autumnal Equinox, also known as the September Equinox, the time when our days and nights are closely equal to one another. The word equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). It seems very fitting that many of us enjoy the balance of the climate in the fall as temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights. We begin to feel a shift in our energy as the business of summer and the start of a new school year begins to settle down.

Fall is my favorite season of the year. It is a great time to be out in nature and connect to this beautiful earth, our home. Known as the Garden State, New Jersey is in an area where we can enjoy and experience the bounty and the rhythm of the seasons. Local farms produce fresh seasonal produce to nourish our bodies. Throughout our state, we have a wide variety of outdoor activities that can nourish our body and soul. From our sandy beaches, to our mountains and our pinelands, our state is lush with much to do, see and experience. We have skiing, hiking, rafting, beaches, rivers, parks, winery’s, quaint towns and let’s not forget the festivals! We live near two amazing cities with all the culture they have to offer. There is indeed plenty to keep us busy, but how often do we slow down and mindfully appreciate what is right in our own back yard? Local food is healthy for the body so what kind of local soul food can you find.

For many, the change in season can be a meaningful time for reflection. Fall is a wonderful time to take a fresh look at everything! It is the perfect time for a pause as we take in the beauty of nature. I especially love the beach in September and October as the crowds disappear and a stroll on the beach offers the peaceful sound of the waves rolling in as the seagulls gently caw as they glide overhead. Our spirit also has many other opportunities for renewal as we “slow down and smell the falling leaves”. Experiences such as enjoying a walk through the woods at a state park where the aroma of the woods may bring back sweet memories of childhood and wonder, or perhaps a cruise along the Hudson or a hike in the Poconos to witness the fall foliage.Even in our daily routines we can practice mindfulness by paying attention to the sights and sounds all around us, especially the ones in our own backyard. A crisp fall day as you rake the leaves, the smell of the earth as you plant your mums, a beautiful blue autumn sky, or the sound of geese flying by. What are some of the things that you enjoy in the fall? Why not make a list of all of the things you love about fall and set your intention to notice them in your everyday life. Pick some apples, go for a hayride, share experiences with those you love, and in all you do pay attention! Practicing mindfulness naturally produces gratitude and a sense of wonder. It makes you feel alive! At the close of the day, practice gratitude by jotting down a few things that are beautiful or good and give thanks. There is so much to notice and experience in your own back yard.

Call Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine at 732-263-7999 to learn more about mindfulness, our services and events!