Settling In – the restorative power of autumn
Snap your fingers and blink twice. Summer’s gone! Kids go back to school, the days get shorter, leaves start to show some color – life slows down.
Or does it?
Summer is a time when nature itself seems to conspire to get us outside. The longer days and bright sun activate some part of our brain that says, “Move! Get busy. Do things. Winter is coming!”
It’s easy to come to the end of summer feeling exhausted by all of the activity and sometimes it is hard to remember the quiet wisdom of the seasons. The habit of so much doing can carry over into months when nature would like to remind us that it’s okay to slow down.
We have this space between summertime and the next big holiday season of early winter. It’s when the earth seems to take a breath and sit down for a little while to rest. It is so easy to ignore our need for unstructured time, especially when work and duties at home don’t stop.
But there’s great wisdom in “doing nothing” on purpose.
According to distinguished professor Manfred Kets De Vries in this Forbes article:
- But doing nothing has never really been acceptable. We associate it with irresponsibility, wasting our life. Most of us feel guilty if we don’t have something to do. On the other hand we get a buzz when we feel really busy. Distraction-inducing behaviours like constantly checking email stimulate the brain to shoot dopamine into the bloodstream giving us a rush that can make stopping so much harder.The danger is we may lose our connections, not just with one another but with ourselves. If we don’t allow ourselves periods of uninterrupted, freely associated thought then personal growth, insight and creativity are less likely to emerge.
I would like to intentionally cultivate more downtime and give myself space to listen to what autumn has to say this year.
I’m curious… what are your favorite parts of fall? What sort of “nothing” do you love the most? I would love to hear from you if you would like to drop me a note. Maybe send a picture of you or your family enjoying this special season.
As always, please keep me in mind when your friends or family mention that it might be time to think about a new home or needs advice with their finances. Your referrals are the lifeblood of my business!