Halloween is a beautiful time of year. As we snuggle deeper into our favourite sweaters and watch yellow leaves pile up in the streets, those first cool breezes remind us that we are truly alive.
This is another one of those holidays stolen from the pagans. Originally, Halloween was known as Samhain, and it was known as the time when the veil between the worlds was thinnest. Pagans would light bonfires, dress up, and roam the streets to keep spirits away. These days, of course, halloween is known more as the day where kids load up on sugary treats, and “good girls go bad” by donning a pair of fishnets and some kitten ears to titillate the object of their affection
Surely, we can do better!
If this is a time in which we straddle the worlds, maybe it makes sense to give that some thought. Let’s pay homage to the things that make us happy to be here on this planet. Let’s celebrate the memories of loved ones who passed over. Let’s connect to ourselves, deeply. Here are some ways in which we can do that.
Even though Thanksgiving usually has a monopoly on gratitude, I’d like to suggest you push it up and start getting into the thankful spirit right now. After all, halloween is literally about death… And you’re alive. That is such a massive thing to be thankful for. No matter what is going on in your life, YOU ARE HERE! You have options! You can do whatever you want. Being alive is the ultimate freedom.
Grab a huge piece of paper and scribble down everything you’re thankful for. Invite your friends and family members to join in and add their thoughts. Once you’ve filled up the entire page, consider framing it, or at least hanging it prominently in your home! When life is difficult—and we all know that times have been rough lately—it’s absolutely vital to remind yourself why life is worth living. Why it’s worth fighting for. And all the many blessings we are so lucky to have.
Celebrate Those Who Have Passed
The way we deal with death in the Western world is less than ideal. It’s so desperately uncomfortable that we rush through it, hoping for it all to be over as soon as possible so we can return to our “normal” lives. Except for the undeniable fact that once someone you love has died, life is irrevocably changed. Your sudden awareness of your own mortality haunts you forever. And I believe that if we treated death—and the memories of those we loved—with more respect and presence, we would be able to deal with it in a healthier way.
You don’t have to go to the funeral or even a cemetary to truly honor someone’s life. As we approach Halloween, devote a few minutes a day to thinking of someone who you miss. Consider their true character -- not just their positive attributes, but their flaws too. Think about the things they liked to do in their spare time, the ways they contributed to their community, and the vibe they created when they walked into a room. How could you recognise this in your own life? Where could you go, how could you add value, how could you uplift people in the way your loved one did?
Another thing that can be really helpful in terms of healing is to write a letter to someone who has passed. So many of us are filled with regret over conversations we were never able to have, either because timing was bad or because there was too much pride or ego in the way. It will heal your heart to write those things down, to get your feelings out, and express what you were never able to. If writing isn’t your thing, you can always talk out loud. I love to do things like this in the bath: it helps me get into a more connected state.
Connect To Yourself Deeply
There are so many opportunities to connect with our true essence but we miss out on them because other things seem to take priority. The truth is that getting acquainted with ourselves is actually one of the most valuable ways we can spend our time!
Take yourself on a #radicalselflovedate—go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, ALONE, and start the delicious process of learning to enjoy your own company! Or start a meditation practice, and do it every morning for 7 days. Go to a library and let yourself browse the stacks without judgement. Write a page in your journal and see what comes out when you simply allow yourself to scribble. Or challenge yourself by moving your physical body in all new ways— my Bad Witch Workout 7 day free workout plan is a wonderful place to start!
You won't know who you are or what you’re capable of if you don’t give yourself the space to explore. It’s never too late to begin.
Happy Halloween, everybody!