grace from fall

This season is made only more delightful for how it recently reintroduced me to my socks.  It seems that I sincerely love socks.

And while relishing the renewed warmth of my toes, I engage in the ritual chopping of veggies for large pots of bone-warming soup. The soup boils slowly on top of the stove, teasing the flavours together, until it’s hard not to notice the amazing aromas in every room of the house.

 

All the while, the gardens outside are putting themselves to sleep with only a few interventions from me. And what about those compelling bold, soft and subtle hues of a season that are urging us toward our own version of an eventual hibernation?

 

The slowing down of growing things and how we no longer tend to them is a grace-filled gift just waiting for us to unwrap. The clock seems to tick more slowly to allow more time for reflection on the moments of the day.

Gratitude is a beneficial tool for helping us to unwrap the gifts of fall.

 

While simple in concept, gratitude needs some direction to make it concrete enough to be useful.

 

How about book-ending the day with gratitude?

 

 

  • Before you get out of bed, before the busyness of the day, before your first relational conflict and before you create fantastical stories about the regular events of your day, name something that fills you with gratitude.

 

  • And, just before you fall asleep at night, after a day of mindless tasks, surprise deadlines, disappointments and seemingly unsolvable problems, name something that fills you with gratitude.

 

Gratitude rewires your brain to notice what is working well in your life instead of focusing on the negatives.

Fall into autumn with a new, daily habit of gratitude!

Make a concrete, book-ending plan to see grace-filled results in your daily life.  You will be grateful you did.

 

 

expect less

Chances are, I would make an awful self-help guru. Tony Robbins and his contemporaries will likely hold a public shunning upon reading my new mantra for this upcoming school year.

My mantra is:

 

        ~ expect less ~

 

Brutal

Where’s the set-the-bar-high pep talk?

Where’s the you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to encouragement to help others over the 8 months of hump-days?

Where’s the return-on-investment for my employer?

What kind of educator are you?

Step to the back of the queue, Negative Ned’s and Nellie’s!   I have set my mind to ‘expecting less’ and it is my intention to experience more peace this year by doing just that.

Read on, MacDuff!  Just getting to the good part.

 

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Imagine it

What would it look like if I went through my work day of supporting students, collaborating with colleagues, problem-solving with parents and facilitating meditation classes all while ‘expecting less’?

 

I imagine it would look something like this…

 

Less wishful thinking that others can read my mind’s manifesto on how things ‘should’ be done.

More clear, direct requests for what I want.

 

Less personalizing when situations still don’t go my way even with clear, direct requests.

More acceptance of all outcomes whether or not they fall within my way of doing things.

 

Less soul-sucking over-efforting to drive up my number-of-people-pleased stats.

More doing the task in front of me with integrity and authentic presence regardless of who is watching.

 

Less compulsion to efficient task completion as if someone is literally waiting at my door for results.

More doing the task in front of me with integrity and authentic presence regardless of who is waiting.

 

Less obsession with results. And even less obsession with the mythical, perfect results.

More focus on making eye contact, taking a breath before speaking and listening, listening, listening. (Then way more self-care for balance!)

 

Less complaining.

More expecting less!

 

Less frantic, externally-driven movement.

More internally-driven, deep-breathed pacing.

 

Less reaction.

More response.

 

Less performing.

More presence.

 

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By the way, I will also be expecting less from you. Great news for you.

Bring on the busyness of a new year.  My mantra and I are ready for you!

 

 

decaying gracefully

November.

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The birth-month of the colour grey.

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The dim season that reminds us, in cool hushed tones, that all things decay then pass.

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Because our seemingly fool-proof escape plan includes the perfect hibernation scenario, we forget.  Surely we will be one of the ones who succeeds to see yet another spring.  gracefuldecay6It will not happen to us so we sleep even while awake and make plans of the forever kind.gracefuldecay7

Wake up! The gift of the November grey is the necessary reminder that we too will pass and we know not the time or place. We all pass. The gift is in the accepting of it.gracefuldecay9

November is not a morbid month.  Decay and real growth are not mutually exclusive.  gracefuldecay10Let your own colour be the vibrant contrast to the neutrality of this time.  Open your eyes, breathe deeply, see the grey of this very season and choose to decay gracefully.