Halloween, or ‘All Hallows Even’ is the traditional time to remember those who have moved on to the spirit world. This dark and eerie festival has been turned into a joke, or opportunity for a party. There’s no harm in having a bit of fun, but it’s also a shame to miss the spiritual significance of Halloween.
In the following we look at:
- The power of being grateful
- Meditation and mindfulness
- A ritual to banish bad habits
THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON
Modern nature-worshippers realise there is more to the seasonal cycle than light and dark, warmth and cold. As we go round the ‘wheel of the year’ Nature offers us opportunities to develop different sides to ourselves and to see other meanings to existence.
In the summer months you might feel like expanding your life, being physically adventurous, taking on fresh challenges etc. Of course, all this does not have to stop as winter approaches. But the growing shadows are an invitation to reflect and turn inwards. This isn’t in the least about becoming morose. You are just mirroring natural cycle, where seeds lie incubating in the earth and animals hibernate.
Listening to the messages of Mother Nature can bring peace and harmony and make you feel enriched.
We are often told to ‘be grateful’ – which is the surest way to make anyone feel anything but! However, true gratitude is one of the most magical experiences you can have.
Autumn is a nostalgic time when you may readily find that your thoughts are turning towards the past. That can be melancholy, but if you can redirect your memories so you focus on good times, you may feel joyful and grateful.
Whatever the case, promise yourself that you will spend a few moments each evening reminding yourself of all that has made you joyful, all the gifts you have, all the love, kindness and pleasure. Relive those moments, relish them, be warmed by them.
Think also of everything in the present that makes you feel great. This may be something as big and wonderful as a good relationship, or something as small as a robin coming to your bird-table to feed.
When you are being grateful in the sense of appreciating, savouring and feeling your soul lifted by thankfulness, you are giving yourself a massive dose of healing and positive thinking. So make five minutes gratitude a daily habit, to stash away your own winter store of spiritual nourishment.
MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS
In the ‘old days’ in farming communities there may have been less to do as the days shortened. In our time lives just get busier and busier. However, it still feels right to become more meditative now.
If you do not already meditate, make a real effort to get into the habit. You can do this with countless CDs, apps and on-line offers. Only commit to ten minutes, because more could be daunting, but don’t tell yourself you’re too busy because anyone can set aside ten minutes.
The time devoted to this can change your life for the better.
LEARN TO LET GO
The trees are letting go of their leaves, annual plants are letting go of their lives, many animals are limiting their activity as the cold approaches. What are you going to let go of?
There are probably many things in your life that you would be better off without, from clutter through time-wasting activities to negative thoughts that make you miserable and hold you back.
On a physical level, it’s always therapeutic to get rid of some junk. Christmas is coming and houses become full of decorations, food and presents. It will make you more able to welcome Yuletide and its joyful renewal if you have more room to move.
On emotional and spiritual levels you can feel reborn if you free yourself from harmful habits. Of course it’s hard to change what you have slipped into the groove of doing, but you can make a start. Be aware of what needs to change. You might like to start with something small first such as spending too much time on-line and move on to much bigger issues, like envy, self-criticism etc.
Empower yourself by changing a minor habit first, than move on to the following.
A RITUAL TO LET GO AND MOVE ON
Identify three harmful tendencies you have that you would be so much better without. Choose one relatively trivial matter such as untidiness, and limit this in scope – for instance you might resolve that you intend to banish an untidy desk, rather than eliminate it immediately from your entire life. (that could come later!)
Choose a medium one, such as complaining about the weather, nagging your partner or similar. Choose also something big, such as giving up smoking, or comparing yourself to others. Think carefully about your choices and word them precisely in your mind so you know exactly what you are intending to achieve.
Go out for a walk and pick up three dried leaves to represent each of these habits. As you walk, affirm to yourself that you are walking into a new way of being. Be mindful of the contact your feet are making with the late autumn ground, the scent of the air, the dying colours of Nature and the sounds all around you, such as the sigh of the wind in the trees, the scraping of bare branches or maybe the ethereal stillness of fog.
When you can be quiet at home, light a joss stick containing patchouli and a black candle. Sit in front of the candle, holding your three dried leaves and affirming to yourself that you are beginning a fresh phase. Ask whatever divinity you believe in – or simply Mother Nature – to bless you.
Carefully, using tongs and a heatproof dish, burn each of the leaves, telling yourself that the bad habits are dying. When you have done this, light a white candle from the black one. Extinguish the black one and celebrate by playing music and drinking wine or juice, while you visualise your renewed life.
Some habits take longer than others to banish. You can repeat this little ritual as the autumn deepens until you are totally rid of the negative patterns.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We have examined the benefits of learning to let go, being grateful and meditating and looked at a ritual for banishing negative elements. All of these are spiritually in harmony with Halloween and are a constructive way of channeling the energies of the season. However, if you are really struggling you may find this extra difficult as winter creeps in. Don’t worry – our team of encouraging, warm-hearted Readers are waiting to turn you around. Put in a call today and see what a difference this can make.
PUBLISHED: ? October 2017