by Tara Herrick Brown
Autumn is a time when we bring our energy inward. This inflow invites us to take stock in all the actions we implemented in our summer months and begin shedding the parts that no longer serve us. September 22, 2017, marks the autumnal equinox—when the sun sits at the equator, covering exactly half of the Earth in daylight and the other half in darkness. It is the perfect balance between the polarities of light and dark.
Polarities are a natural order of things. This time of year not only balances nature’s dualism, but also gives us the opportunity to unify the duality within us. In nature, we see the waxing and waning of the moon; the entering and exiting of night and day. In our bodies, we sleep and wake; inhale and exhale; and with each exhale, release what is unnecessary for our bodies, discharging toxins and stale breath. Our minds too, strive to balance polarities; happy and sad; old and young; and love and hate.
Leslie Temple-Thurston, in her book, The Marriage of Spirit—Enlightened Living in Today’s World, examines the importance of polarities and illustrates a self-awareness tool called the “squares” technique, helping identify, transform and release the polarities no longer serving us. Temple-Thurston awakened to the squares process through her own health crisis, and closely examined a polarity that at the time consumed her—the polarity of life and death. She reflected upon her fears and desires for both.
This season calls us to let go of the energy of summer (action/growth) and welcome the energy of fall (release/letting go). To transition easily through the equinox, find some quiet time and pull out a journal. Bring awareness to the things that are ready to shed and follow this step-by-step process:
- Identify a polarity that evokes feeling in you: life/death; rich/poor; strong/weak; love/hate; healthy/sick; old/young; productive/lazy; tense/relaxed; trust/betrayal; sadness/joy; gratitude/greed; letting go/hanging on; anger/hurt; intimacy/distance; disappointment/satisfaction; boredom/creativity; struggle/peace; or find your own.
- Draw a box that is divided into four squares and label each corner of the square: desire to …; fear of …; desire to …; fear of …. (In the above life/death polarity example, the square is labeled: desire to live; fear of living; desire to die; fear of dying.) For each corner ask: How do I feel about this corner? How does/did that look for me at one time? Why do I desire to fear this thing? Each corner of the square is an aspect of our consciousness that is out of balance; some part of the ego that pushes or pulls us off our centers.
- Make all corners conscious. There are parts of the square that likely live in the subconscious. It is an important step to become aware of how we have a desire for the negative polarities identified (e.g., Why do I desire death? Why do I fear life?)
- Apply data to the square. Write. Journal. Do not edit. Let a stream of consciousness flow. All the data will not fit into each corner of the drawn square. That is the purpose of the journal. Perhaps one page per corner is needed.
- Once all the writing is done, offer up the square (and all the pages) to spirit. Say a prayer. Burn the pages. Energetically give it away. Do not continue to analyze what arose and try to fix it. The work is done. You made it conscious and now you can let it go.
- Wait for grace. After offering it up to spirit and letting it go, sit in silence. Wait until there are no longer feelings of tension in your mind or body. Wait for peace and balance. Wait for grace.
To read the complete chapter of the squares technique from Marriage of Spirit, visit Corelight.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Marriage-of-Spirit-chapter-eleven.pdf.
Tara Herrick Brown, MS, is an emotional and spiritual wellness practitioner at Elevate Albany Wellness. She is holding an Autumnal Equinox gathering with guided meditation, chanting and a cacao ceremony on Fri, Sep.
22, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the Nourish series of workshops and events, visit inur.com.