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Autumn, A Coming Home to Self

Blog

Autumn, A Coming Home to Self

amanda oler

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Greetings earthlings, this post is nearly a month past my self appointed deadline. Unfortunately things do not always work out the way we hope and we can’t rush what's not ready. To quote Vicki Noble, author of my beloved Mother Peace Tarot Deck: “Be patient—there is nothing to do but wait. There is no way to hurry this birth... Trusting that the idea is taking form, a thinker must wait, just as one would wait for pumpkins to ripen fully before picking them.” (Oh, hey, fall...I look forward to basking in the delight of your vibrant array of gourds)

In building my brand, Elaia, I wanted to make a commitment to myself to post a seasonal blog. I had this intention of how the potency of posting a piece on each equinox or solstice would channel the magic I often experience in practicing said rituals. In my mind’s eye the posts would paint a picture of how my routine changes alongside the elements within the season and how I work with them. The truth is I wasn't feeling the magic myself. I had been sick for over a month, physically exhausted, and in the thralls of excitement and angst of what showed promise to be a beautiful new relationship. I was physically depleted, emotionally out of my mind, and spiritually stagnant. I had this witty post all ready, replete with "ancient wisdom" and feminine woo woo, recipes for stock, and a signature incense blend perfectly in sync with Autumn.

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My dear friend Jackie gently pushed me to do a few simple shoots to accompany what was meant to be this joyous transition of seasons. Truth be told I was not joyous. I was scared and uncertain. I was consumed by anxiety and disappointed in my body. Confused as to why I suddenly felt like a victim of unforeseen circumstance. Disheartened by the fact that I couldn't figure out how to step into my usual spiritual practices. I'd fallen off.  And it had to be ok. I could do nothing more than surrender to what was happening with all sides of me.

Ready to "go live" on September 22, Jackie asked for my content, as she is the tech savvy mastermind that so selflessly cradles me when stressing over all things computer related. I told her, “I can’t. This doesn't feel authentic. I don't feel what I wrote.” While what I wrote was honest in the ways that I change up my routines, what didn't feel right was in that moment I was not experiencing those softer, cozy attributes of autumn. The exactitude of my state was the dimmer side of fall—I felt like I was falling. (You're witnessing the metaphorical theme of the season here, no?)

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Often when I get excited about the transition from summer to fall I think of cozying up in bed under the weight of heavy duvets, all the ways in which to cook with yummy warming spices, night walks with my dog in the crisp cool air, prepping months worth of healing broth, basking in the glory of the golden hues of the changing leaves on ginkgo-lined streets in my neighborhood, getting organized, and syncing back into a routine with my son’s school and sports schedule. This year these often exciting deeds felt somewhat burdensome.

In keeping true to myself and living fully in my authenticity I choose to be honest about where I am, share it unabashadley, and remain confident in my momentary struggles rather than hide the messy parts to pretend that my humanness is exempt of inner struggle. And to my truth, these past few months have been about messy edges.

This year I witnessed magnificence in the changing colors of the leaves but was sad that they would soon dry up and fall to the ground. I breathed a sigh of relief with summer’s end to step back into a routine and restore some order in my household and life. At the same time I was nervous about not knowing if the longer colder nights would leave me feeling empty and lonely, tapped and listless. Historically for me, cooking and stocking my freezer and pantry with dried goods packed in pretty mason jars, making like a squirrel and prepping for winter, is a welcome, magical ritual. This year it felt like a chore.

I had made this unrealistic promise to myself to have a limited edition scent as well as a blog post ripe with humor, spiritual practices, recipes and wellness tips. I have never believed in promises so what was I thinking?! I am sure we are all familiar with the age old quote "promises are like pie crust, they're meant to be broken". (Side note: YUM. PIE. Ok, excitement brewing currently thinking about the sweet treats that accompany this season.)

Ok, so. This post all I can write about is a surrender to the change. Autumn is often associated with death, the ending of a cycle. To this I stand arms wide open, vulnerable and receptive, and comfortable in my fear because with death comes rebirth. So, bring it Mother Earth, and thank you for your infinite wisdom. Father Time had me riddled with distress for a moment but I am finding my way back to you, back to self. And THIS, this is the power in the changing of the season: the certainty that we can’t control. Just move with it, whether joyous or uncomfortable.

To quote a brilliant writer,  Rainer Maria Rilke, "Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final." This also reminds me of one of my all-time favorite books that has sat atop my dresser for over 20 years, A Tear and A Smile by Khalil Gibran. "I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes to flow from my every part turn into laughter. I would that my life remain a tear and a smile. A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding."

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Alas! What I am offering this time around is me in true raw honest form. No witchy rituals, no savory recipes but realness and some of my forever go-to's for getting through tough times. Like music. Always music. Listen loudly and cry in the shower or dance alone in your living room and move, move cuz nobody’s watching and you give zero f@#*’s.  Here's my fall playlist (link here).

Offering up wisdom since the day I received this deck on my 16th birthday, The Mother Peace Tarot. (Link here) Tara Brach's podcasts found on Apple's podcast app. And again, the enlightened musings of Kahlil Gibran. (Link here)

Lastly and most importantly staying immersed in community. I have been fortunate to form strong and meaningful bonds with  many women in various groups. The constant unconditional love and support from so many has been worth its weight in gold. I proudly sported a bumper sticker on my first car that read “sisterhood is powerful”. Maybe we all need to adorn our cars with one today!? (Link here) I think most women today are deeply affected by our current political climate. Let’s stick together ...no pun intended.

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In regards to my 3rd baby, Elaia, what I am excited to share is that perfume mists are on their way! The new sample kit is just moments away from being ready for purchase and I have an intoxicating, lovely new scent, No. 6, with notes of geranium, rosemary, and ambrette seed. I have been devouring this aroma by diffusing it in my home.

There you have it. A VERY belated Happy Autumnal Equinox!

So it is, so mote it be.

Much love,

 Mandie

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