No, don’t worry, I’ve not gone mad. It’s just that this time of year has always felt like a second New Year to me, has it you? It must be all those academic years being engrained in us from such a young age!
Even though the daily temperatures are still in the low 20’s here in the south of the UK, you can tell that Autumn is moving in. Not only are the kids going back to school, but the long, lazy evenings spent on beaches or in pub gardens with friends and family are already becoming just a warm memory. It’s dark by 8pm and the warm, muggy mornings have been replaced by a crisp freshness in the air. I don’t know if it’s because this is my birthday month, but I must admit, personally I love this time of year and that sensation! It’s as if the earth knows that something new is just around the corner!
Many of us will have had time off over the summer, whether to fly off to explore foreign cultures, have a relaxing staycation or to just simply switch off from work. I had a bit of a mixture this year, sprinkled around work commitments. I had a fun and fairly active family break on the coast and lots of days and evenings spent catching up with friends and family. Then there was the all-important ‘me time’ to relax and recharge, including making my way through a pile of personal development books that I’d been saving for a few months!
Whatever the reason for a break, with down time often comes reflection. Quiet times where we start looking inward and asking how we feel about things. As someone who is very much into mind/body/soul connection, practising meditation, mindfulness and energy management strategies regularly, this is something I advocate on a regular basis. However, for many of us living in this 24/7 world where you could be doing anything you choose (or not!) at any time of the day or night, a holiday can seem like the only opportunity we get to switch off and have time just to ourselves.
To me, this quiet reflection is vital, not just for our general health and wellbeing but also for assessing where we are in life, and whether we’re still on the right track for what we want to accomplish. And our needs and desires change over time. Do you still want the same things now as you did 5 or 10 years ago? I’m guessing not. Whether you achieved those dreams back then or not, the things that are important to you, or that you aspire to having/being/doing now, are likely quite different to then.
When we’re running around in our busy everyday lives, getting the kids to school, joining the thousands on the daily commute or running our businesses, buying and cooking the evening meal and trying to have some semblance of a social life, weeks and even months can fly by without us even stopping to consider whether we’re happy with how things are going. Or, we have that feeling in the pit of our stomach every now and again that tells us things aren’t quite right. We’re not as happy as we feel we could be, even if we feel that really we should be! Yet we keep putting it off because we think we either don’t ‘have the time to deal with that right now’ or are too afraid to face reality and deal with the consequences! Because, if we admit that things aren’t the way we’d love them to be, what would we need to change? What would the impact of that be?