Harvest time in our household is a time of bountiful abundance. More apples, pears, tomatoes and beetroot than there is room in our bellies or the pickling jars. Sounds all very rainbows and unicorns, but if I’m honest this gift of life sometimes becomes a time consuming chore of picking, washing and chopping. Recently though, I was reminded by my dear friend and inspiring yoga teacher Frances Hearnden that this an atavistic act of ancient raw truth. She talked of how too often contemporary living can be reinforcing patterns of imaginings that suggest a lack of, not enough, be it clothes, youthfulness, lifestyle choices and this sense of lacking feeds a ‘dull anxiety’ that prevents us from taking part fully in life and the moment generously. But harvest time, the precious moments like ripe blackberries plucked and bursting with sweetness, help us to reprogram our thoughts away from lack and towards enough. This sense of having more than enough means that generosity too can ripen and sharing becomes a natural expression of abundance, be it the rhubarb left by the allotments for any willing taker or the warmth of smile to a stranger.
I find myself wondering what my personal harvest is this year, which ideas sown in its early months have flourished and grown? We gather in and we take stock. Who has helped me harvest these endeavours and how can I thank them? And finally, just as the trees begin to shed their leaves, is there stuff that I am ready to shed and to let go of? These are questions that you can ask yourself before, during or after meditation, questions sewn in the conscious mind to see what emerges without expectation, but with a deep curiosity.
And finally I take inspiration from the autumn equinox. This is a profound time of balance between the darkness and the light, the dusk of the year when night and day are perfectly balanced and I too look to explore balancing postures in my daily yoga practice and the ongoing call for practicing equanimity in my mind. I look to honour the yin and yang of myself, the quietness and the busy-ness, the ice and fire and the logical and the intuitive, becoming just a little more whole and little less fractured. New autumn classes begin this September, as the kids return to school, maybe add the seasoning of yoga to your personal harvest and join us.