The month of May bring’s longer and warmer days, which makes us feel lighter, more expansive and even a little bouncy. November brings darker and cooler days which brings a more contractive and cocooning type of energy. If we think we should feel the same energy in November as we do in May we set ourselves up for disappointment.
Yes, darkness and cocooning can be depleting, especially if we stop exercising and increase our TV and computer hours. Add extra empty calorie foods to the mix and November starts to feel pretty heavy. But, if we approach November and the darkness it brings with respect towards what it offers rather than frustration for what it lacks it can be a powerful month of introspection and inspiration.
Here are 11 practices to brighten our November and make the most of the darkness it brings:
Meditate: Meditation brings introspection, stillness and enhances inner stability and calm. If you need guidance I have short audio meditations on my resource page. They are perfect for beginners or anyone who needs a moment to get grounded. You can also join my Inspired Living Bright Side of Darkness 40 Day Meditation Virtual Satsang which begins October 22nd (Details at the bottom of this blog);
Soup: Take time to make homemade seasonal vegetarian soups with good proteins and fats. In certain geographical areas such as Canada, Fall is an unpredictable season. And in the world of yoga/ayurveda we believe that external nature impacts our internal nature and with Fall being cold, wet, dry, warm, windy, cloudy, sunny… all over the place really, we can start to feel unsettled ourselves which means it can impact our sleep, digestion and moods. By eating nourishing, warm, grounding foods that are easy to digest we support a more stable internal energy;
Satsang (good company):"Satsang" means good company as oppose to "Kusang" which means bad company. Satsang is about making sure we spend time with friends who inspire positive energy. Setting dates with such friends is a good idea, so is going to yoga class and you can also join my Inspired Living Bright Side of Darkness 40 Day Meditation Virtual Satsang which begins October 22nd (Details at the bottom of this blog);
Sleep: We tend to need more sleep in November so instead of sleeping in, we go to bed early;
Journaling: November is a good time to reflect and write our gratitudes as well as set intentions in terms of what we want to bring into our lives as we move forward;
Let go: November reminds us that endings are necessary. The tree doesn’t hold on to the leaves out of fear of being naked the following summer :). You could declutter a drawer, a closet, your car…Maybe you have a warm jacket you haven’t worn in years that you can give away. Many are in need. Be realistic with what you choose to let go so that you can experience the power of letting go and be inspired by it. I am offering a talk on the subject of letting go at Beyond Yoga October 27th. Join us!;
Stay Fit: "Motion is lotion " I heard this great saying from Carole Houde at Beyond Yoga and I love it. The negative side of the dark energy is that it can enhance stagnation, so we need to remember to keep moving. You can do this by committing to getting on your yoga mat (come to class! I teach at Empower Yoga on Carling, Beyond Yoga in Kanata and Vraie Nature in Chelsea) , dance, jump on a trampoline, jog, walk, bike, take the stairs or choose something that you love, as long as stagnation is not an option;
Relax: Have a bath, practice yoga nidra (guided relaxation also available on my resource page), go for a massage, energy treatment or….;
Read: Have an inspiring book easily available and everyday read a little something that expands your mind and nourishes your heart;
Stay Awake: Make space for thing(s) that spark your curiosity and keep you motivated, grounded and awake. For some that means a creative project for others it's learning something new. All good, as long as it keeps us wanting to show up and explore; and
Generosity: Examples include listening to someone without interrupting, offering our expertise or being aware of the ripple effect our choices have and reducing our consumption. You don't need to do all of these things. Choose the one(s) that inspire you.
What is Bright Side of Darkness 40 day Meditation Virtual Satsang? It's a group commitment to 40 days of daily meditation. When we commit with a group we create an energy that enhances our potential to follow through.
Where Do We Meet?: I have created a private Facebook group page.
Why Facebook?: It's easy. If I do it on my website I would be the only one who would see the group and who would be able to post. With Facebook we have a group energy where you can post articles, thoughts, quotes or... on the subject of meditation. You get to choose if you want to share your thoughts or if you want to be a silent partner. I.e someone who logs on but does not post.
When?: October 22nd to November 30th 2017. Time of day: Your choice.
Purpose of Inspired Living Bright Side of Darkness 40 Day Virtual Satsang: Make the most of the cocooning season and enhance our connection with our intuition, gratitudes and aspirations.
Why 40 Days?: It's believed to be the amount of time it takes to build a new habit.
What Happens if You Miss a Day of Meditation?: Don't dwell on the past and start again.
How to Join: Send me a Facebook message telling me you want to join the group.
Who?: Everyone is welcome so do feel free to invite friends and family.
What I Will Provide: Aside from creating the Facebook page, I will provide an 11 minute audio meditation. I also have shorter meditations on my resource page if you prefer. And, I will post short daily inspirations on our Facebook page.
Type of Meditation: As mentioned you can use the 11 minute guided meditation I will post on day 1 or the shorter meditations I have on my resource page or use any other meditation practice you appreciate.
This is NOT a Course: Please note that this offering is not a course. I am not teaching meditation. Yes, I do teach meditation and if you need guidance you can book a private consultation. I would be happy to work with you. Or register for my workshop titled Yoga Sutra Studies at Empower Yoga.It's one of my favourite workshops to teach. It's about the yoga of meditation. It's valid for CEU's if you're a yoga teacher but it's open to all. The workshop is this weekend October 21st and 22nd 12:00-6:00PM. Visit empowermeyoga.com to register.
Motivating Darkness Story
This is an old story that has been said in many ways. This is how I share it:
Walking home a woman sees her neighbor desperately searching for something on his front lawn. She asks what he’s looking for and when he tells her he lost his keys, she offers to help. After a while of searching she asks, "Are you sure you lost them out here?” To which he replies, “Oh no, I lost them inside” Surprised she asks, “Why are we searching out here?” He says, "It’s dark inside and I can’t see a thing.”
This story reminds us that we are often searching outside ourselves for what resides inside.
Regular meditation, yoga, and journaling lighten and brighten the darkness.