Welcome to fall!
People seem to have a wide range of feelings about this season. The less-than-enthusiastic see the leaves falling off the trees and summer plants in the garden fading away as a negative. The cool mornings and earlier sunsets can feel like a precursor to winter and darker days ahead.
Not me. I see fall in a whole different light. First of all, the symphony of colors as the leaves change is a wonder, as is a fresh-picked peck of apples (and cider donuts!) Those cooler days make long walks more comfortable and a cool night is just splendid for sleeping.
And it all seems designed to remind us to slow down a little. Look around. We don’t have to be on the move every moment that the Earth is spinning. Not the way we do in summer when we feel like we have to make the most of every sunny day and build in vacations, county fairs, and swimming at the beach.
Those perennials that aren’t blooming anymore – what happens to them? They pause in their life cycle, and then they emerge brighter than ever next year. The trees turn green again and the days get longer. But for now, we can take a little pause. And we can even make that pause purposeful…
Slowing Down: The Purposeful Pause
We talked not long ago about Purposeful Pause: stepping away from your career for a little while to reevaluate your career and how it fits with your passion, values, and purpose. We also talked about ways to break it up into small bits if you can’t take significant time away from work, so I have a real treat for you…
For the next 4 weeks, I am going to walk you through the phases of a purposeful pause that you can do in just moments a day by carving out small blocks of time on your calendar. We’ll start by refreshing ourselves and by the end, we’ll be ready to re-emerge – bolder and brighter just like those flowers.
I also want to acknowledge that as the end of the year approaches, many of us engage in the planning and budgeting process for the year ahead, regardless of what industry we are in. You can do the same for your life outside of work. Be intentional about what you want to accomplish and what you want your work/life balance to look like.
Set goals without putting too much pressure on yourself, but think big. Is it time to focus on getting out of debt or buying your first house? Do you finally have the inspiration and motivation to write your first book? Are there people or experiences that you need to make more time for?
Slowing Down: Time to Reflect
For now, just sketch those thoughts and desires on paper. Let them marinate. Sit with them. We’ll worry about concrete steps to take in a little while, but for now, start envisioning what the future should look like. The fall is a perfect time for quiet and calm reflection without layering extraordinary demands or complicated timelines on yourself.
One more thing to think about as the year starts to wind down is who you are spending your time with. Are those relationships serving you? Are there any you have outgrown or that cause more friction than they do comfort? Surrounding yourself with good people is one of the great keys to both personal and professional satisfaction.
Hopefully, these reflections of mine have set your mind to thinking. I encourage you to make a cup of tea, wrap yourself up in a light sweater, and settle in with a notebook. Paint a picture of what’s fantastic in your life now, and what you’re going to make fantastic by the time the trees turn green again.
I’ll see you right back here next week as we begin our 4 weeks of purposeful pause practices!