THE ART OF HEALING BY ALYSSA NATOCI

There is Magic in Our Bodies: October and The Art of Slowing Down

I moved back to Michigan in July after spending two years in California. I forgot about the hectic energy that summer and warm weather attracts here. We all have to take advantage of the sun. Daylight begins to wane and we’re scrambling to speed up, still in denial all through September.

But October slows our pace. It starts off vibrant, brisk, and flooded with warm, golden sunlight. It feels like the very essence of being alive. We pick orchard fruits that we haven’t tasted in a year; we’re charmed by the bright orange, green, and spotted hues of pumpkins and squashes piled up outside of grocery stores or at roadside farm stands. Those colors are only matched by the turning leaves-- electric against the deep blue autumn sky. Energy is still abundant in early October. There is a magic that bubbles to the surface. The veil is thin.

And then the world begins to decay. Everything living drops dead around us. The birds fly away. The sun grows weaker or disappears altogether. The end of October is a symbol of death, deadness. It seems to wipe out every last trace of the living. Finally, we slow.

There is stigma around death-- negativity. But this is a magical time. Magic is acknowledging that the earth is still alive amidst this process of shedding and deterioration.

October is a reminder to us all to slow down and to rest after the busy summer season.

A reminder to acknowledge any pain or health dysfunction as an act of magical care-- our bodies create these obstacles as a way to nourish and support. A reminder to tune into the magic.

There is magic in slowing down and checking in with our bodies, because there is magic in our bodies. Our bodies are vibrantly alive even when we slow down, and especially when they are healing. Our magical bodies literally shut down aspects of function in order to hibernate and heal.

I’m realizing that healing can look like the opposite of healing for as long as it needs to, and I am taking the opportunity to surrender more deeply to my own body’s healing process while I witness October’s transition.

There is an art to slowing down for the sake of healing, and it involves routine. I am committing to a few daily and weekly rituals to ease myself into this new seasonal pace.

WEEKLY

  • A hot bath with Turquoise Goddess Daily Oil.
  • Making a big pot of nutritious broth with mushrooms and kitchen scraps
  • A hike in deep woods with socially distant company
  • Discovering a new inspiration-- be it a piece of architecture, art, a poem, an activist-- and dedicating some time to learning deeply about it.

DAILY

  • Reading. I try to read 100 pages a day (roughly 2 hours of uninterrupted reading) instead of looking at screens. I fiercely believe in the healing power of novels and will have to write another blog post on just this topic, but I read nonfiction and poetry, too :)
  • A few drops of Sea of Serenity in my water or tea throughout the day. I find that when I am regularly taking this tincture I am able to find and hold onto stillness. I feel at peace and in tune with myself, similar to the feeling of taking a few deep breaths to calm down, but prolonged.
  • Drinking 3 liters of water per day
  • Eating grounding, nutritious foods throughout the day -- especially root vegetables, dark greens, local meats, and lots of brothy beans.
  • Remaining present. Taking breaths throughout the day to check in on the moment I am residing in and making sure I am connecting with it and the others around me.

These commitments facilitate my own healing, and they also support my artmaking goals. I am entering into a Master of Fine Arts program in January. I will be studying creative writing and moving one step closer to realizing my dream of becoming a novelist. I find it comforting that the path my body has nudged me towards aligns with my deepest artistic and professional desires as well. It’s finally lining up… and I suspect that I will be able to find physical relief as I transition to this new lifestyle. It makes so much sense that this transition should happen as the earth quietly settles down for the winter. I am excited to share updates in the winter.

A few questions for you, in closing:

  • What helps you stay still? Is it a warm beverage, CBD, grounding foods, a book, knitting? Take a moment to jot these down.
  • From this list, what can you incorporate into your daily and weekly schedule to begin pumping the breaks on the pace of your life as you transition fully into autumn?
  • What has your body been communicating with you lately? Perhaps it’s digestive discomfort, or maybe a headache indicating too much screen time or not enough water?
  • Rather than focusing on the negative/getting rid of habits that have overworked your nervous system, what activities can you add into your schedule that could fill up more time in your day to slow down your pace? Making broth and/or nourishing food prep is an example.

And here is my last message to you: if you achieve a lesser number of things in a day you are not failing. It is a radical act of self-care and self-empowerment to do less. There is MAGIC in doing less. Please remember this, because you are magic.

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