Let all the barren and dry things in your life that don't matter fall off in the breeze. Stop clinging to what doesn’t work for you anymore. Let it all go.
Welcome back to our Co-Creative Mandalas blog!
Each month, we share insights, inspiration, and all the ways the cycles of the Great Mandala uplift and support you. We draw upon the metaphors and messages of each season to explore and celebrate our individual and collective journeys toward Unity.
The Co-Creative Mandalas have a name that represents something about the natural world and
the energy of the current time.
This month's mandala is Luminosity.
Happy Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (and Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere). Twice a year when the sun shines directly on the equator there are nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world.
Wherever we are located, Autumn announces itself before it arrives--the daylight hours begin to shorten, the air cools (even when temperatures still feel summer-like), the light angles change. In Colorado where I live, as if on cue, overnight the temperatures dropped nearly 40 degrees and brought welcomed rain to the sun-parched Earth. We notice the changes in our garden, too. After the summer-long burst of growth and production our plants have begun to slow and start forming seeds. The color of leaves are changing from green to orange, gold. and red.
When changes occur in nature, they resonate within our own spirit. Whether you consider yourself a “nature person” or not, you are connected to Earth. And as such, are affected by the forces and energy in nature–just like trees, just like the gardens, just like all the animals.
Autumn is asking for simplicity in life. As the season changes, the inner and outer energy changes. Are you noticing that your spirit wants to release and turn inward? I invite you to allow autumn to work in your favor. I believe that when you say goodbye to the things that limit your potential (like trees letting go of their leaves), you open your life to the limitless possibilities within and around you.
The equinoxes are moments of balance on Earth. The earth is literally balanced on its axis, it's leaning neither toward nor away from the sun. As a result, Earth is flooded with this beautiful energy of balance. Energetically, the autumn equinox is a time of balance and pause, a transitional moment between the bright half of the year and the dark half of the year. This time also brings with it a sense of equilibrium to those parts of your life that need it.
We're at the halfway point on the path of darkening days. This time is a gateway to what is called the dark half of the year (which is the time between the fall and spring equinoxes). The word "equinox" invokes balance and implies an balancing of the forces of life. Can you feel the call back into the dark? Right now, it's faint, but it is happening. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, we're being called back into a slowing down time, to inner reflection. It’s like the slow fade at the end of an old movie.
We're shifting out of a season where so much of our energy has been focused on the outer, Yang-energy in our lives, into a season of introspective Yin-energy. Fall equinox is the beginning of exploring our inner lives; diving into our shadows, exploring our dark spots, letting go of what no longer serves us. Today we experience what Chinese philosophy calls the "valley between the light side and shadow side of the mountain". In the days ahead, we'll shift more into the dark half of the year; the inward-focused side of the Great Mandala.
From a spiritual, personal growth perspective, autumn is a magical season of transformation, regeneration, and release. Beginning today and throughout the fall, the task is to let go, let autumn's gorgeous change unfold, and rediscover balance. This is a shift between the extroverted spring/summer seasons, which are all about play, pleasure, and connection, and the introverted fall/winter seasons which is a time for rest, solitude, and reflection.
This time of year always brings me back to an inquiry I often entertain about our light and our shadow.
They are two parts of one whole, of Luminosity. They are the Yin and the Yang of our inner life and outer life. You can't have one without the other. Without darkness you would not even know what light was, everything would be white and so you’d see nothing at all. Without darkness there would be no light.
Through experience, I've come to believe that balancing the light and dark aspects of life is vitally important and is the focal point of my spirituality. Daily, I strive to honor the shadow and the light, and incorporate both light and dark into everything I do. I've also come to understand that darkness is not evil. Life cannot exist without both dark and light. Imagine if it was always daytime and never night; what kind of a life would that be?
In my opinion based just on my experience, we must go within the darkness to see the light, the Luminosity, of our true nature to be in alignment. We are the physical body and spirit; right and left hemisphere; the masculine and the feminine; Yin and Yang energy.
We are both. You can not see one if you don't acknowledge the existence of the other. Until you fully accept your dark half, you can not see the light. We are the duality that has come here to experience Unity within by integrating both.
Check out this blog post by author and Yoga instructor Julie Peters who offers a wonderful perspective on The Spiritual Meaning of the Autumn Equinox
Sometimes, this time of year we notice parts of life that feel out of sorts, funky, wonky, or down. The equinox can help bring these things back into alignment. Luckily, the autumn equinox comes with nourishing wave of beautiful, balancing energy.
If you invest some time reflecting on where you need more balance in your life right now, you can draw on the equinox's balancing energy and direct it to those parts of your life that really need it. Take simple steps toward what you want. Don’t push, let the autumn energy speak to you. Listen. Respond. Move forward.
The autumn equinox is one of two days throughout the year when Earth is in perfect balance. That makes it an ideal time to examine balance in our own lives. Below are some powerful questions to ask yourself that help you bring balance into your life. Stay present. Enjoy yourself! Use these questions as journal prompts throughout autumn:
1. Where do things feel out of balance in my life right now? Where do they feel in balance?
2. How can I bring some balance back into this part of my life? What did I do to foster balance in my life?
3. What's one action item I can start today that would help maintain and/or restore balance to my life?
In Autumn we are drawn, in particular, to the balance between life and death. Everything is dying all around us. And that death is necessary, in order for new life to grow in the spring.
That’s true for the trees and the flowers, and its true for the Self as well. In order to experience new growth, we need to let go of our old leaves–old patterns and habits that no longer serve us.
What are you ready to let go of? What do you need to shed in order for new life to grow?
The Co-Creative Mandala below, "Luminosity", is created from a photograph of a dahlia (the solar symbol of the universe). The colors are related to your solar plexus, heart, third eye, throat, and crown chakras. Dahlias also represent release and healing. This mandala invites us to relax and reflect; notice balance and harmony; and remember your brilliant light within.
It's not about binary but awareness of Oneness riddle. Between two extremes I choose the way in the middle.
Ana Claudia Antunes, The Tao Of Physical And Spiritual’