I first noticed it on my drive this morning - about 8:30 a.m.
The sunlight was shining on me differently - a different angle, a different color. More diagonally and a warmer, more golden color than the brighter sunshine of the summertime.
We've been moving into it over these last few weeks, a fallen leaf here or there. A deepening of my breath and relaxing of my shoulders. Even the temperature these past two nights is cool and crisp. We have arrived into the next movement of seasons.
It's a different sensation of participation in life - less of the higher, pumped-up action of summer barbecues, pool-time and running around for errands and social events. Even with life moving fast because schools have started again, things feel slower to me - like each step I take requires some effort, and some purpose. I am no longer lazily moving about in parking lots or hallways, just hanging out.
I've noticed that as the autumn sets in I have been looking inward at myself more closely, noticing the circumstances and decisions that are challenging for me, and noticing where I have managed to get in my own way and cause myself suffering. As I look into this mirror reflecting my past back at me, I ask myself - how am I going to choose to be now?
You see, I am at a pivotal juncture in my life - aren't we all? I am in the process of starting a business, building a new practice, being a new practitioner out of school, learning Chinese herbal medicine...and that's only the professional list. I am also learning how to support my husband as he expands his scope and time at work, how to run a home and be a homeowner, how to cook new healthful meals and even how to tend my cats properly as their needs change. My friendships continue to shift and evolve as new friends arrive to the scene, babies are born, people move away or closer by.
Life is always moving... This busy life offers many opportunities for decision making. Some are small - like, what to buy for dinner. Others are huge, like, how to structure our business and wellness center. Then there is the "when" and "how" to do everything too.
Somehow in the midst of all of this I have learned to be peaceful. Sure, I have the occasional freakout which is typically some kind of aggravation about dishes or laundry, followed by yelling at hubby and then eventually bursting into tears. And sure, sometimes it looks like spouting off an email too quickly before I've really considered a response. Though, not too many years ago I was in a constant state of these upsets and fast reactions. I was asleep when I should be awake and visa versa. I had acid reflux almost all of the time. I was twisted up with stress in every part of my being. Today, not so much. I breathe deeply, I sleep well, I am not malnourished. My mind is not racing and clogged up with thoughts and to-do lists. Generally, I am more peaceful and when the waves of crazy arrive, I ride them more gracefully.
Hence, it is from this place of peace that I even have the capacity to ask myself - how am I going to choose to be now that things feel a bit busy? How am I going to be when some of these decisions feel like a very big deal? How will I go about this?
This time of year offers an opportunity to let go of that which no longer serves. This is a time of year for looking at the greater good, and listening to the truth deep within and then moving forward on a path aligned.
As the temperature cools and the sun starts setting earlier, I am slowing down. I've decided to allow myself to be pensive. I am making room for listening to my heart and arriving at big decisions instead of making them.
In arriving at these "big deal" decisions I know I am staking a claim on the future somehow, I am choosing one thing and not another. I might be missing out on something. And my experience of life will be different because of it. I've always struggled with this - it's uncomfortable for me. I get nervous - worried (worried equals shallow breathing and forehead wrinkles) like I will make the wrong choice.
However, this is an opportunity to brave forward into the unknown of one choice with full awareness that I am leaving something else behind. Grief is the celebration of that which is lost, something of value. Anytime a line is drawn in the sand there is a loss to bear and a future to honor. Yes, I will be missing out on one thing yet it is because I have elected to experience another. Maybe there will be tears, or discomfort of some sort. It's part of riding the wave.
And those little decisions - they need not require so much attention, so I am cutting my losses and making them with greater speed and less thoughtfulness - after all, it's just dinner...green beans or broccoli...not a big deal.