Gathering up your life: Transitioning to Fall
September is the new Summer for Moms!
It’s the first week of Fall, but for many moms with young children it feels like summer has just begun. The kids are back in school full swing and activities have been sorted out. Moms can take a collective exhale and breathe some new life into themselves. How about taking a few of those precious moments to gather all of the seemingly disparate parts of your life to see how they fit together? Hint: Even if your kids are not yet school aged, Fall is a great time for gathering.
Gathering up your life
Why is gathering important? For me being pulled in many directions is discombobulating, frustrating and exhausting. Taking time out to gather up all the activities, to do’s, schedules and desires in my life and putting them into one place is a necessary exercise to get me back on track.
Gathering also helps integrate the seemingly disparate parts of your life. It is difficult to create meaning when our days are filled with pressure and anxiety from work, kids, meal preparation, volunteer commitments, errands, chores and more kids. Spending our evenings flopped in front of a screen doesn’t help either. This constant state of inattention leaves us out of touch with our emotional life and functioning on autopilot. Gathering helps us to understand what is important and creates a framework to ensure that we focus on the important pieces.
How does this work?
- Gathering creates perspective. Looking at all of the parts of your life through one lens enables you to decide what is most important and where to spend your time. It helps to name your lens or give it a theme. My theme this fall is expansion. When I look at my world through the lens of expansion, I know which activities support me and which activities to let go of. I can apply the expansion theme to the parts of my life that are stuck and look for movement. I can make peace with the areas that just are not ready to expand and move toward a state of flow with those that are.
- Gathering helps integrate what you have learned over the summer. Maybe your tried a new sport, took a class or read an interesting article. You could have learned something new about your child that can be applied to their daily routine. Take a moment to jot down your life lessons, skills or aha moments from the summer. Now find anchors for these lessons in your busy schedule. Here is an example from my summer: While traveling around the Southwest in June, I was reminded that I love an open and flexible schedule. I love being able to direct my travel from what comes up. Rambling for me is luxurious. I will build in a rambling day every month to bring about the sense of spaciousness and freedom that I remembered from the road trip!
- Gathering combats indolence. The feeling of indolence is a warning sign to stop spreading yourself so thin and begin moving in areas that serve you. When feeling sluggish or stuck it helps to draw back from overcommitments to others in order to bring some much needed energy back to yourself.
I believe that gathering is a universal theme for mothers in September. We all need to take a bit of time out to come back to ourselves, to gather our energy and focus on activities that heal and reinvigorate our souls. I hope that you find time to gather yourself with those precious few moments of “me-time” this season.
If you need some help figuring out how to make it all work or creating a strategy for what’s next, I am available.