Harvest and Burn
Now we are entering fall.
The shifting weather and windy days remind us that it is time for a change. For so many years we were programed to begin again in fall. To take up courses of study again or to redouble our efforts. We’ve been taught it’s time to put in an extra push before the end of the year. The mantra is: Do more. And keep on creating.
But I think fall is the time to burn shit down.
You’ve spent the last 10 months since the New Year growing your life. You’ve made new advances and had mini-awakenings. You’ve had challenges and unexpected turns. You’ve bumped into your habits and had a hard time making real change. Some things have worked well. Others haven’t.
In fall we turn our attention to harvesting the bounty from all of that growing. Harvest means gathering all of the wonderful awareness and insights from the year. Then remembering them in a meaningful way. It’s important to take time to harvest wisdom of your awakenings because if you don’t you WILL forget. And then you’ll be stuck repeating the same lessons over and over without learning anything.
Along with the harvest comes letting go of those things you don’t want to keep. (this is where the “burning shit down” comes in). If you try to keep everything: the things that work and the things that don’t work anymore, your life gets over full. Despite your best efforts, you will forget the insights you’ve harvested because there’s so much other stuff in the way.
So we need a fire to get rid of all the excess.
Fire is warmth. Fire is heat. Fire is light in the darkness. And fire transforms.
Take the broom and sweep through your mind and your life. Gather the debris and feed it to your fire. Deadwood burns best. So find the parts that aren’t working and burn them away.
In a figurative way you do this through practice. You can think of your practices as a heart-fire. One that burns with loving awareness. Anything that isn’t pure love will eventually be burned away by the power of your practices. Let yourself - your moods, your plans, your assumptions & your judgements - cook in the heat of your heart-fire. Mantra, Meditation, and yoga asana are all great ways to hold awareness around those parts that aren’t so helpful and kiss them as they are burned away.
When the excess burns to ash what is left is what is this year’s harvest.
After years of offering no less than your full self to your heart-fire, I hope that all you are left with will be your Heart, pulsing in harmony with all of life.
Want to make this a real thing? I always encourage fire making (in a safe environment of course). Spend a little time contemplating and make a list of your harvest from this year of personal growth. Then in a second list write down what you want to burn away. Make a fire and burn it up! I’d love to hear what is in your harvest and what is going into the fire this year in the comments below.