It’s back to school and we know all about the impact this has on our stress, anxiety, excitement, joy, sadness, well…all the feelings. It’s a busy time for people in general and it comes in the midst of seasonal change, which for me is always something that impacts my emotional and physical self. Don’t get me wrong I legitimately could not be more excited for Fall. Not for the pumpkin spice or the leaves changing (although I do love the leaves).
If you know me at all, you know that I’m so tired of being hot. I used to love summer. I mean I lived to sit by the pool or the ocean and bake in the heat. Didn’t phase me at all. Now I’m done. I want cool Fall mornings and crisp chilly evenings. I want that clear black sky we get when the humidity drains away. I want to stop sweating. For real.
Now one of my absolute favorite things about back to school time is clearing out my house. Shedding the layers of junk we accumulated last school year. No I don’t always do that in June and stop judging me if you do! It is also a time of planning and organizing for me. I don’t necessarily love this process BUT I love the result of this process. I love the big clean calendar just waiting for me to fill it in with the bits and bobbles of our life. It gets me to a place where there are neat little lines in my agenda, goals, set schedules and expectations etc. etc.
Don’t get me wrong. You will see a post from me sometime in January/February decrying the horrors of having to constantly be somewhere my schedule, or my kids schedule, tells me to be. But right now, it’s exciting and new. I’m looking forward to the structure. This is the cycle that I accept. Let’s be real, sometime in February you will also get a post from me begging for the sun to shine hot again but that’s another topic as well.
Also, yes I do get giant white boards, calendars, and a personal agenda to write all my schedules in. My family needs a lot of coordination or we (read: I) get all kinds of confused and stressed. These are just some of the ones I use and love. What are your favorites? How do you get ready for the transition back to school? Are you past this time in your life, measuring time with a new scale now?
So many friends are in different seasons of life. Whether we are standing together on the side of the soccer field or pool deck watching our kids, coffee and other tumblers in hand. Dropping off together for the last year (hallelujah) of private pre-k. Or they are dropping kids off at college, mid-pandemic, to return to an empty nest and uncertain future. And some are caring for aging parents, saying goodbye to loved ones, beloved pets, and relationships they thought would last a lifetime.
These are times of transition and change. Of big emotions and even bigger forks in the road. When we stop to look around and notice what we are walking through right now it is heavy and laden with risk, fear, change, excitement, possibility…hope.
There is a power to this time. An energy. It can push and pull us in all different directions if we let it take hold or if we fight it.
So what do we do then?
We let go of the outcomes. We connect to our inner voice. We feel into our space and experience, allow our reality to be whatever it is without resistance, and then we walk through the change. We meditate and journal. Lean into our routines. Maybe we find a daily reader to help us focus and tune in to our intentions and desires.
When I started refocusing my attention inward I picked up a copy of Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie. It was a pivotal moment in my own transformation. Part of the reason it was so important to me and my personal development was in the habit, the daily reading and reflecting. But another aspect was the actual time spent focusing on me and what is really valuable and important in my life. Any parent out there knows how hard it is to make that commitment and time for yourself. It was a practice (and it still is) that allows me to walk through changes and transitions with more ease and less resistance. There are a lot of these readers out there – I linked to the one I love – and I would suggest you find something that speaks to you and your current situation.
I’ll say it again, this back to school, change of season, still in a pandemic, divided world, with lots and lots of mis and dis-information out there, time is hard. We can do it though. We can do hard things. And guess what, we can ask for help when we need it. Or support, or sympathy, or someone to laugh and cry with us about whatever it is we are experiencing. Reaching out is the first step. Being honest with ourselves and the people who care about us. Sharing our real stories, the ups and downs. Letting our authentic light shine.
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