After much driving, I've been back in Portland for one week. It's nice to be back in a place where, even on rainy nights, it feels good to take a walk outside.
On the way home I tried to make my drive as pleasant as possible by continuing to visit sacred sites and nature through Colorado, Utah, Idaho and eastern Oregon. My friend Jennifer, from Portland, called me the morning I was in northwest Colorado and heading to Utah. I think she was the perfect messenger to make sure I did not miss Arches National Park!
What now? So much outward activity begs balance with inward time. For the next two months I'll be doing a retreat at home with spiritual practice. I invite you to consider your own time of balancing outward activity (work, social time, shopping, holiday travel) with restfulness. Below are some tips about how you can maximize your own alignment with the quiet and dark season of winter. If you are signed up for my newsletter you will receive Clay Pot Medicine newsletters twice a month. What you will find in each is a text for meditation and contemplation.
Tips on how to align with the winter season:
Hi! I write this from Kansas, close to the border of Colorado after driving west all day. The landscape is different than I have seen anywhere else, prairie transformed by long rows of trees to prevent erosion. But one familiar thing is the leaves are a bright fall yellow.
And after two months I'm really tired of driving but I have a few more days yet to go.
Where was I lately? The past couple of weeks I spent some time in Michigan, St. Louis and Kansas, and of course on the highway in between (some pictures below). Because I was visiting with friends, I had the chance to celebrate Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day on October 24th (mark your calendar for next year!) and attend church services on Sundays. The churches were special because I had been wanting to visit them for quite some time. If you're curious, they were Unitarian Universalist and Mennonite.
What about finding a place to practice? I continued to see potential for practicing oriental medicine in most places I visited including Grand Rapids, Michigan and Wichita, Kansas. Since I am considering where I would live, I'm developing a critical eye towards noticing where are the places with more nature and how people live near/in natural places, or if they do.
What is the next step? Once I return to Portland, I'm going into retreat at home for at least two months. Much outward activity begs inward time. The timing is in alignment with the season since we are on the cusp of winter. In my next newsletter I'll share some tips about how you can maximize your own alignment with the transition from fall into winter, so make sure you're signed up to receive the newslette.
I invite you to consider how you feel as the season turns closer to winter. Are you inspired to do anything in particular? What is a favorite ritual between Halloween and Thanksgiving? What makes you feel most connected with nature at this time of year and how do you notice this is so? If you'd like to share your thoughts and experience, I invite you to leave a comment on this blog.
I'm a Licensed Acupuncturist who loves to cook and share tips on Chinese medicine. Lately I've been on a road trip. Please subscribe to my newsletter for news on feeling your best!