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I love autumn.
I think of this time of year as a spiraling inward, a time to pause and notice the transitions of this season, and what they bring. Watching… noticing… helps me prepare for the coming dark and stillness of winter.
So… being the dreamy B that I am, I have spent many a morning sitting in the crisp air on the front porch watching the sun drift slowly upward into the beginning of the day as the leaves on the Rocky Mountain maples let go in the breeze and skirt along on the winding currents to the ground. I just love that moment of letting go leaves do in their autumn dance, their swan song to the summer that has passed. As I watch the leaves floating along, leaving their mark on this autumn canvas, it gives me courage to look at what needs letting go of in my own life… to make room for new seeds to be sown.
I try to spend as much time outside as possible now…. noticing all the changes taking place in the outside world. Every day there are obvious changes, a shift that was not there the day before. Suddenly, the hummingbirds have left the cañon, the insects have fallen silent, the shrubs, bushes, and trees begin pulling their energy toward their roots away from growing upward and outward. Spaces between the branches begin to open up as the leaves begin their Falling. I think of the end of autumn as when the sky opens up to be seen in it’s fullest.
It is also a time to make a conscious shift toward high compliance and preparation for the cold to come. For me, that means increasing the amount of root vegetables in my diet… carrots, beets, sweet potatoes… and winter squashes high in beta-carotene. Cooked greens like kale, chard, and spinach replace raw salads. My fruit consumption changes too… eating only a few pieces of fruit per week.. I crave cooked whole grains and keep foods made with flour grains to a bare minimum.
As my outward activity begins slowing down, I yearn for slow-cooked foods… soups, stews, slow-cooked roasts. I eat much more meat in the winter, and balance that with reduced dairy. And then there is sugar… ah yes, sugar.. so much associated with holidays and traditions. But the longer I follow the BTD way of life, the less sugar cravings I have. I only desire sugar now if I have not had adequate protein in the day, or in using sugar like a drug… something to take me out when I am feeling lousy. But those times are few and far between now…
All of these things help me begin to slow down, pull inward, inducing the quiet necessary to prepare for the darkness that gives birth to the dawn a new year… new experiences… new growth.
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