|Posted on October 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM|
This is the time of year when I have the hardest time staying focused on my work, and it’s always been that way. I don’t have a problem so much during the winter unless it’s ten degrees or less and then thoughts of staying home and curling up on the couch with my throw and a hot beverage beckon me.
The spring and summer are when I am probably at my most energetic, naturally—when I don’t have to exert any effort to do all that needs to be done. But when the calendar says September, and especially when the temperature drops to 50 at night and only reaches a high of 70 during the day, then for me, it’s time to go to the orchards for apples, cider, apple butter, and fall veggies such as kale, turnips, potatoes and such. It’s time to decorate with red and golden leaves from my yard, and for building a fire in the outdoor fire pit.
Autumn is also the time for going to the river and walking along the banks and doing other things there such as talking to the birds, reading a book, leaning against a tree and feeling it’s energy, and noticing whatever else is going on. I also do that at other times during the year, but the autumn energy makes these trips very special.
I admit that I've had a problem for the past few years with feeling guilty for playing hooky when I “should” be taking care of biz. After all, there are things only I can do, and if I’m off somewhere doing other things, all those necessary tasks won’t get done. I’ve been working seven days a week for several years now, and I got to the point where the idea of NOT being in the office seemed terribly wrong.
Friends and clients would tell me that I needed some time off, that all work and no play...you know the ending. Yeah, I understand that, but it can’t apply to me for all the reasons mentioned, right? But you know what, they are right, within reason, and so this year I have made a few changes. Nothing major, but for me, they are significant.
For several weeks I have been taking off two half-days each week to go to the river. I live within a very few minutes from the Ohio River, but for these days, I travel about an hour to the quaint little town of Madison. It has a lovely historic district that draws visitors every day and especially on the weekends, and part of that district includes a beautiful lane that runs parallel to a good portion of the river. The town built a lovely walkway that is part brick and part concrete, outfitted with lovely old-style park benches here and there, and some beautiful old-fashioned street lamps. They also did some magnificent plantings along the walkway of flowers, hostas, smaller trees, and such, and it is very picturesque.
Tuesdays and Fridays are my days of choice, and I make sure I have a snack of some type, my nice cobalt blue glass water bottle with the word “abundance” etched into the glass, a notebook in case I want to do some journaling, and a couple of books on some form of spirituality that make me feel good while teaching me something.
Within five minutes or so of getting to the river, I hear the crows come in. It is a wonderful sound and when they land on a nearby tree branch and begin talking to me and turning their heads from side to side to check me out, I am in heaven. I take peanuts for them and the squirrels, and some popcorn and cracked corn for any ducks or geese that wander up. Gazing at the mighty Ohio River brings me calm and peace, and whether it sparkles from the sunlight dancing off the water, or raindrops hitting its surface, I sit in awe of it and its place in the world.
Directly across the river is Kentucky, and I love looking at the gorgeous hills and the little farmhouses below. I watch as cars travel the two-lane road there and I know that within five minutes, I could be traveling that same road. I will look at the cars going by or the farmhouses, and ponder on the stories of those people—what type of childhood they may have had, or wonder if they are happy at this point in their lives. Do they have children? Have they suffered much tragedy in their lives? I feel connected to them and to the land, the river, the crows and the whole of Nature, and I understand this is how it should be. It is an amazing feeling.
What makes YOU feel peace and joy way down deep inside? Whatever it is, that feeling is an indication that that’s one of the things you should be doing. We have our own little internal barometer that helps us distinguish the good feelings from the bad, and which feelings promote our happiness and fulfill our purpose and which lead us away from our intended path.
I’m not talking about the feeling you get when you eat a half gallon of ice cream. You may get a temporary feeling of euphoria right then because of the sugar and because you feel you are getting by with doing something bad, but down deep where it counts, there will be an uneasiness that lets us know that when we ate the ice cream, we sacrificed the true peaceful feeling we would have gotten had we made a better food choice.
Trust your intuition and be willing to act on what you get. Do the things that make you feel whole and satisfied. Don’t do something because it’s what someone else wants you to do, and don’t get so caught up in your problems or issues that you can’t see the actions you should be taking. That’s what I did. My 7-day work week began when my husband passed away, and I threw myself into my work in order to keep my mind occupied and because being in the home we shared with all the memories contained within its walls was very painful. But the excessive hours, lack of sleep, and my one meal a day which mostly consisted of chips and salsa was harming me physically and mentally.
Take care of that beautiful body of yours that houses your soul. It is a work of art and a true miracle. Treat it with the care and respect it deserves and it will reward you many times over. Take time to break your routine with fun or relaxing activities. Take time to meditate. Get outdoors and connect to Nature in whatever form you choose. Be kind to yourself as well as others. But most important is to live in the present moment. The present is ALL we have and with each moment of the day we have the ability to choose what we will think and do. Our thoughts create our feelings which create our beliefs and our actions, which form habits and reprogram our subconscious. You have so much power within to create the life you desire---don’t throw it away. It is a gift from the Creator.
Laugh, love and shine, dear ones.