Harvesting What's Yours
The harvest moon occurs this year on the night of Sept. 27, just after the autumnal equinox on Sept. 23. At this time of year, night and day are about the same length, so it can be seen as a time of finding balance.
This practice of Harvesting What's Yours gives you an opportunity to stop, look and listen, so that you can better recognize and integrate what your life has offered you.
You may be familiar with gratitude practice, but this month's tool is a bit different; it's more aimed at reflecting on your experience and discovering something that may have been less obvious.
You'll want a pen and a piece of paper, or a tablet, phone or computer ~ some way to record your observations. You will also want to find a time and place where you won't be disturbed for about 20-30 minutes.
Start by sitting down, closing your eyes, and taking three mindful breaths. If you are familiar with the breathing practice I often share at workshops, you can do that. Otherwise, simply take three slow, deep breaths.
Think of a challenge that you faced in the past. It can feel tempting to get stuck in a pattern of looking at all the things that went wrong, or perhaps the ways that you were treated unfairly. Just for now, see if you can take a moment to reflect on what truths those challenges may have revealed to you.
This is not meant to be an exercise in minimizing your pain or sugar-coating a difficult situation. Instead, its a chance to look at this experience from a different angle; to come into a different kind of relationship with it.
Perhaps you faced a challenge that helped you to understand something new about yourself. Or, maybe you learned that you can trust yourself. Or perhaps you are simply grateful that you weathered a particularly intense storm, and you're on the other side of it now.
Let yourself reflect on this inquiry and see what comes up. What have you learned from a challenging situation in your life? Write down whatever seems helpful.
This feels like a fitting practice for the equinox because it is a way of finding balance; of seeing the "gift" in the challenge that you faced.
In a way, you haven't fully integrated or reaped the harvest of an experience until you can identify what it meant to you, what you received from it, and how it changed you.
Nearly every time I have experienced a major loss in my life, it has been accompanied by a gift; something that I would not have been able to see or understand or do if I hadn't faced the challenge. This gift was inseparable from the loss.
I hope that this practice of Harvesting What's Yours supports you in relating to yourself and your experience with curiosity, honesty, and self-compassion.