I’m feeling really different these days. I don’t know, fresher somehow, lighter and with some sort of renewed purpose. I’m not ordinarily someone who sits around wondering why she’s here. I’m pretty directed that way, and endlessly curious. So I could pretty much go on learning for the remainder of my days.
But when I get in touch with my emotions, and the sensations I feel in my body and in the energy around me, it’s as if the universe is pushing me forward somehow, asking me to take a broader role in the world. Part of me knows what to do, what is being asked. Part of me doesn’t. So on most days I’m content to take one more step toward whatever.
But then I started thinking about trees, and how they lose their leaves once a year. Sure, the process is visible in fall, when the leaves are turning color and hitting the ground, but it must begin in summer. Just when the leaves are losing their very greenest color, and the air is getting hotter, the tree is agreeing to change. It’s setting forth a contract to do what it always does — move into the inevitable slowing down of autumn.
I feel like those leaves, making an agreement to move through the intense changes of spring and summer, so that things can slow down a bit in fall. I love that time of year, anyway. There’s something deeply reverent and still about it. And this fall, there’s something in me that says I’ll be in a far better and more enjoyable place, even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with right now.
Time to think about fall where I live, as the weather gets cooler and thoughts turn to warm drinks in the morning and naps in the afternoon. My workout routine is changing, as I add more restorative yoga and detoxing stuff to my regular cardiovascular work, weight lifting, hiking, walking, Pilates and dancing. My diet is changing, too, and as I take a brief break from writing, I’m thinking about how to give some of my free time to volunteering. I’m even thinking about how to have a small garden, which is difficult, since I live in a condo building with verboten common spaces. But maybe it’s possible on a smaller, indoor scale.
Then again, as the weather changes and I find myself wanting to stay inside and plan all kinds of upcoming travel and adventures, maybe it’s about giving myself that ease to dream. Maybe this season of harvest is about canning and baking not just food (well, some of that) but ideas. I find that though I’m not a particularly restful person, liking instead to be busy with reading, exploring, discussing and experiencing, I need more time to ruminate, to just consider my next moves. I need time to allow my mind to woolgather, and the more I do this (it feels unbelievably indulgent; I dare you to try it sometime) the more it cracks me up,. It’s as if my mind has collected all this great stuff over time, and then unfurls it like a slideshow when I slow down long enough to watch it. My mind tells me jokes, sings me songs, pokes my ideas forward, and comforts me when I’m scared. It tells me everything’s going to be OK. It establishes peace among the warring parts of my body and intentions.
So to reframe this time that’s gathering in intensity where I live, I don’t need to DO anything. Maybe it’s about accepting that I need more rest than I used to, or that rest isn’t necessarily a bad thing (try telling that to my mind right now). Surely I’ll be a better, happier and more productive person if I’ve had some sleep, if I’m a little kinder to myself. Surely, reframing this to accept my needs will help with my growth in many areas. And as I silence the voices in the back of my mind, or allow them their time at the podium and no more, I feel a little clearer about where I’m headed. I see that only some of the path can be covered in any given day, and then it’s time to sleep.