Story. Narrative. Mindset.
As the colder weather approaches, nature encourages us to incorporate an element of self-reflection. It encourages the introvert within each and every one of us to peek out if its hiding place after the outgoing days of Summer.
While many often yearn for the longer and lighter days at this time of year as we begin to descend into darkness, I relish in the changing of the seasons; I dig out my oversized knitted jumpers (which always feel like they're giving me a big squeeze when I put them on), I replace my light salad dishes with warming soups, dahls and stews, I dive into books which have been left neglected for the past months and, with these tools, I slowly allow myself to drift away from the familiar buzz of summer into the quiet, calm of Autumn.
With this calmness comes a space for self-reflection, reassessing goals and an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the sound of our own voice, softly buzzing in our minds.
As the trees shed their leaves, we too can follow suit by letting go of routines, habits and thoughts which no longer serve us. For many, the transition into Autumn can be difficult, but by altering our mindset to suit, seasonal change can be Nature's way of encouraging us to gather all the elements we have been gripping on to during summer and exhaling that which no longer nourishes us or brings us joy. In this way, we simultaneously make space in our mind - altering our narrative, and create space in our body - bending and stretching our way into Autumn allows for oxygen to circulate into the tight pockets of fascia we have neglected during the previous months of doing, rather than allowing ourselves to simply be.
In Western society we so often experience this external pressure to do, be, have it all – whatever that means. Have those pressures permeated and invaded your personal narrative? Have you let them interfere with your inner voice?
Too often, from the outside, we can be seen to be ticking all the boxes for our health and wellbeing; moving our body, time in nature, nutritious food, spending time with loved ones, and yet we still may struggle to speak to ourselves with compassion. Just as the body has a direct impact on the mind – i.e. exercise has been proven to be beneficial to our daily outlook – so too the mind has a huge impact on the body. As has often been mentioned here before, mindful movement is beneficial for so many aspects of life, but do you pay as much attention to mindful thought and being kind to yourself?
The mind and body are inextricably linked; often stressors of the mind manifest themselves in the physical body. There is so much which is entangled in the - all too often dangerous - web of the mind, whether it be body image or ambition, we may be giving our internal dialogue more control than it rightly deserves.
With this in mind, let us consider how we converse with ourselves...
The story we tell ourselves every day is paramount to our health, contentment and sense of internal peace.
Nestle down in the depths of your mind and use this gentle nudge from Mother Nature to create space there - not to judge or comment on your re-occurring thoughts but simply to be in their presence.
Don't shy away.
Give yourself a chance to be uncomfortable, to learn which of your thoughts stem from ego, and which of your thoughts stem from self love and compassion. For now, maybe all you do is acknowledge them. Acknowledge that Nature's teachings are guiding us towards letting these thoughts go - these thoughts which burden us, which interrupt our self-narrative and our positive narration.
Acknowledge and let go. Turn up the volume on your internal intuition.
Try, just for one day, speaking to yourself with a soft, gentle kindness - a heartfelt affection which we so often reserve for others. Ask your mind what it would truly benefit from this morning, this day, and sort through all the pre-conceived societal notions of ‘achievement’ and ‘success’ to listen carefully for the answer which is true to you. It is an amazing thing to realise that YOU are in control. Many obstacles may be thrown in your path but your reaction depends entirely on your mindset; on the narrative which you choose to live by, on the story you tell yourself every day.
Tomorrow, when you rise, lie quietly in the darkness and ask yourself softly,
‘How are you this morning friend?’ ...be patient while you listen for the reply. Whatever response comes, honour it – live your day with that first thought in mind. Let your actions lead on from where your mindset is today.
Start fighting for your own side, start being your own hero, start telling yourself the story about yourself which you deserve – that you’re doing your best, that your soul is shining bright, that you are living your truth – and repeat it day in, day out until it becomes a routine, a habit, a subconscious thought process.
Take back control of your narrative; start detangling that web, alter your inner monologue, let go of that which no longer serves you and exhale into stillness.
"You carry so much love in your heart. Give some to yourself." - r.z.
[Written by Ashley Roy - Friendly face at HLC and Naturopathic Nutrition student]
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