As September greets us with a definite feel and smell of Autumn in the air, we begin a time of turning inwards. The evening light is already drawing in, the moon looked absolutely gorgeous on Sunday evening a nearly fully moon suspended in a beautiful purple sky. As we greet the turning of the wheel and changing of the season what do we wish to reflect upon and change? For many of us life is changing as we emerge from lockdown too. All being well schools will be returning this week, and this September will be a bigger change than ever for children, teachers and parents. So many having enjoyed this family time, so many worrying about how will their children fare when they return have they kept up with their lessons, have their peers been away and had lots of adventures. A time of anxiety on so many levels. For many, but not all, a wrench as their children go back to school leaving the home feeling empty and hollow. But we must remember this isn’t all, some children for many reasons have been at school throughout the past months until the summer holidays.
My question is as life is emerging as people are trying to find a new normal what is it that you are reflecting on? We talked the other evening about the heady Covid days. This may sound odd but we recall the glorious weather, the time we were able to wander around the beautiful countryside with hardly a soul in sight and certainly no litter. The peace, the quiet, the tranquillity. As life begins to change for you, whether that be returning to the office, waving your children goodbye, re-opening your business, what is it that you are resistant to? What are you kicking against? What do you wish to keep from your heady Covid days? How can you keep this in your life? What changes can you make?
Talking to people I hear how businesses are reflecting on how things have worked for them, that it’s actually been ok having staff working from home, that business ticked on. Employers are reflecting back on what worked well and what didn’t they are reviewing their business plans, so why aren’t we reviewing our life plans?
As life changes some of us will find it easier than others, if you read my last blog about lifeboats perhaps it’s time to think about what are your lifeboats. It might be that just now you need to go with the flow, but as you bob along notice when you are resistant to the flow what is that about? What can you do? I remember a particular family I was working with alongside a couple of my friends and on a Wednesday evening as everyone else had gone home and we waved goodbye to the family at 8pm, we could still be found half an hour later still talking about them and then discussing going home to drink a glass or wine or similar. Oh the irony of working in a Drug and Alcohol Service! Instead a couple of us began to take our love of swimming into our Wednesday evenings, we were already all year swimmers so darkness and coldness didn’t bother us. (although I say that now I have whimpered at the recent drop in water temperatures!) I remember one particular dark, chilly evening and off we went to our local spot not far away. A beautiful clear evening, the stars were reflected in the water’s surface, in we glided and that was it, our woes were washed away. As we dressed on the banks of the pond my swim buddy turned round to me and said “that’s better than gin” A phrase that has stayed with us, but that for us was a perfect lifeboat. Instead of going home worrying about work, I will add here that the gin/wine did in fact rarely happen once home it was usually tea and chocolate but whatever the coping strategy was it wasn’t a healthy one, we went home with our cups not only full but overflowing.
Also a thought; as life throws these things at us what is the message? What do we need to be paying attention to? What do we need to change? Do we need to change is there a lesson that we are missing? Are we not noticing the signs, the messages around us? Is life keep throwing us the same message in a different format until we stop, listen, notice, get it?! I’ve seen and heard so many saying at the beginning of lockdown that they didn’t like/want to work from home and now it’s time to go back to work physically they want to stay at home. Does this resonate with you? I invite you to ask yourself what was it that you didn’t like about working from home initially, what is it that you now like about working from home? Is a mix possible? How can you bring the likes into the workplace? Did you like a lunchtime walk, can this be done? All too often we fall into the trap of eating at our desk, even when there is a place at work that you can escape to and sit and eat and chat or read or just breathe and relax.
Sometimes it can feel all too overwhelming, back to our lifeboats. I’ve had a break from social media for a few days and not looked at my emails but then when you do there are a gazillion notifications on Facebook and a trillion emails in your inbox. How to deal with it all? Finding our own way can be difficult, chat to people see what works for them, something they say might just hit the nail on the head for you. Remember no way is wrong on right, what works for you is right for you but maybe not for your friend or colleague.
Today is 1 September and we this week we greet the Full Corn Moon or Harvest Moon. I think it says it all and we are harvesting or reaping what we have sown. We can reflect on what has grown well and not so well. What have we nurtured and what have we neglected? Which can lead to us to reflect on why we nurtured some of our seeds and not others. A perfect time for new beginnings, now I know I normally talk about new beginnings at a new moon, but full moon is a time of releasing, and releasing can mean new beginnings.
My question to you is after reflecting back over the past few months what are you letting go of and what are you keeping? Remembering that by releasing, by letting go we make room for new. Were you one of those that were out running or cycling, exercising daily or like me are you emerging with too many of those lockdown pounds? I was a mix of exercise and eating and drinking but it would appear that the latter won and outweighed the exercise, hampered by my old knee injury flaring up. This can bring a time of reflecting on how our bodies feel. How often do you really listen to your body? How often to do mindfully eat your food? I have to say that far too often I am to be found woofing my food down and not paying much attention to it all. Phrases like, “I must learn to chew my food” are heard from me and many of my friends or “that didn’t even touch the sides” On a retreat once a few years ago we ate a meal in silence and we were asked to really think about the food we were eating where it came from, not only what it tasted like and the texture but really sink into the food. I remember eating a carrot and having visions of seeing the carrot grow in the field, rabbits nibbling at the leaves, I had a whole beautiful picture of the lifecycle of my carrot. Something I could definitely do with doing more often.
These are just some of my musings and ramblings from my bed this morning. I hope they help you greet September, the Full Moon and the turning of the wheels of your life.