By Marilyn Halpern, MSW, LSW ~
Have you savored vine-ripped tomatoes, a Palisade peach, juicy watermelon or enjoyed Colorado sweet corn this summer? I hope so! The abundance of fresh flavors can be found at your local farmers’ market or neighborhood grocery store. It’s time to celebrate the harvest literally and figuratively.
The bounty of seasonal food allows us to reflect on the components of a successful harvest: sun, soil, water, seeds, plants, time, and effort. A lot goes into the fragrant peach, which you can now enjoy.
The process of growth allows us to contemplate our own inner harvest. This summer how have you spent your time, energy, and resources reflecting on your life’s purpose? How are you nurturing your happiness, health, and personal goals? Every day provides an opportunity to cultivate your best life. The harvest encourages abundance, growth, and vitality.
Michele Tracy Berger, a creativity specialist in North Carolina, provides this Harvest Meditation. To prepare for this mindfulness practice, gather paper and a pen to use later. Allow your mind and body to become relaxed. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes or soften your gaze. Take several deep breaths noticing how the belly expands on the in-breath and contracts on the out-breath. As you settle into your body allow yourself to imagine a feeling of great warmth flooding through your body including your chest and back. Think of the warm sun filling a garden with light and energy. Breathe in the feeling of expansion. Let your mind’s eye experience the different colors associated with a garden: blazing yellows, scarlet reds, brilliant greens, and rich purples. Now think of the vastness of your inner landscape with each breath. Reflect on how your time and energy are being used to develop the fullness of your life.
Slowly repeat the following phrase to yourself (in your mind or aloud)—”I welcome abundance” or another phrase that is meaningful to you. Breathe slowly and deliberately. Be open to words, phrases or images that come to your mind.
Invite the energy that has gathered during your mindfulness experience to offer wisdom and clarity. Repeat the phrase over the next 5-10 minutes. After your meditation, write the first responses that come to mind. Over the course of the month, try to complete this practice once a week.
This time of abundance is the perfect opportunity to harvest your best intentions for the coming months. It is time to nurture your inner garden. Enjoy all the joys of September – the bursting colors and flavors of the harvest provide the ideal backdrop for savoring the coming days.
Marilyn Halpern is the founder and executive director of Aspen Care Services. This locally owned business provides medical power of attorney, care management and professional guardianship services in the Denver Metro area. For more information visit – www.aspencareservices.com.
Photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck