by Kezia Bacon-Bernstein
September 23 is the equinox, a twice-annual occurrence during which the Earth tilts neither toward nor away from the sun. The word “equinox” is derived from the Latinaequus (equal) and nox (night). On the equinox, night and day are more or less equal in length. Here in the northern hemisphere, the September equinox marks the first day of fall.
In cultures around the globe, the equinox is a time for festivals and celebrations. A common theme is balance. The equinox’s precise symmetry of day and night invites us to look at our own lives, and consider where adjustments might be made. You might ask yourself: “How am I balancing work and my home life?” or “Compared to the attention I give to my family, am I doing enough for myself?” These are valuable inquiries: Just like the ever-changing balance between day and night, our own needs tend to wax and wane.
Consider the following simple ritual for the September equinox. You could do it on your own, or with a group, sharing your intentions and insights while enjoying a walk or a meal together.
Close your eyes (if appropriate) and take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose. Get a sense of how you feel in this moment. What feels right about your life right now? What areas need some attention? Are things balancing out for you? Or do you feel the scales tipping precariously in a certain direction? What can you do to restore your own sense of equilibrium?
When the answers are clear, move on to this next inquiry: What would you like to accomplish in the upcoming year? What are your goals? What are your dreams?
Now let those thoughts fade, and notice what’s present. Does a specific plan come to mind? Perhaps a word, a feeling, an image? Take in another deep breath and imagine integrating this thing into your deepest self. Trust that simply by setting an intention, you are taking steps toward achieving this goal.
About the author: Kezia Bacon-Bernstein is a yoga teacher, writer and certified Lifecycle Celebrant, who performs weddings, baby blessings, and assorted other ceremonies for individuals and families. Mother to a five-year-old boy, she is constantly trying to achieve and restore balance in her own life. Marshfield, Massachusetts is the place she calls home. Learn more at hellokezia.net.