Thinking About a More Soul-Full Fall
Are you beginning to notice nature’s hints that fall is approaching? If not, you will soon. Like the physical shock of leaving the house without a sweater on the first cool day of the season, we can also be caught off guard spiritually by the arrival of a new season. How about allowing your soul some time to think ahead and intentionally welcome the approaching autumn season?
SEPTEMBER: Think about time.
I hate to say it folks, but September means vacation season is over. School is back in session, and all sorts of other activities and obligations are kicking into high gear. Before it all takes off is a good time to think about making slight readjustments to your daily, weekly or monthly schedule. Here are some possible ”tweaks” that would give a few more minutes for mindful reflection and/or prayer activities. For example:
- Set the alarm a little earlier.
- Skip a customary TV episode.
- Combine reflection with a routine activity such as washing dishes, riding public transportation or time spent waiting.
- Plan a day of personal retreat.
- Drop a time-consuming habit.
- Invite a few spiritual friends to pray together some evening, for a Sunday brunch or for a simple coffee meet-up.
- Take advantage of serendipitous awakenings in the night.
- Discern what time of day/night you are most spiritually sensitive.
OCTOBER: Think about nature.
Autumn can be SO inspiring! The panoramic views of colorful forests…nippy fall air…kicking through piles of leaves on sidewalks…close inspection of that one perfect red and yellow maple leaf…the total mystery of nature’s conspiracy toward such amazing radical change. How can we allow the multicolored metaphors hidden in autumn’s arrival to inspire us to the max this year?
- Take a long hike.
- Plan a family getaway to the forest.
- Regularly frequent a bench at the local park.
- Pick one special tree and pay it a weekly visit.
- Fill a box with leaves, nuts, pods and such.
- Record your autumn reflections in poetry, photography, public land art or another expression all your own.
NOVEMBER: Think about thanks.
Thanksgiving has a way of coming and going but never really living up to its full potential. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to flood the whole month of November with giving thanks?
- Every day of the month write down a different thing, person or event you’re thankful for.
- Commit to spend as much time giving thanks as eating on Thanksgiving Day.
- Tell one person face to face each week of the month why you’re thankful for them.
- Make an ongoing family collage of thanks throughout the month.
- Send hand-written, handcrafted cards of thanks to people who have encouraged you along your life’s journey.
DECEMBER: Think about giving.
Quite often, December feels like we’re enduring a merchandising mêlée. How can we move beyond the über-commercialization of Christmas?
- Give of yourself this year.
- Decide to intentionally give one person (or several) more attention and more communication.
- Volunteer at a local organization that helps those in need.
- Make your tangible gifts more eco-friendly, more fair-trade, more local, more homemade, more life-giving or more encouraging.
- Give a gift to God this year.
- Create and dedicate to Him a work of art inspired from your times of spiritual reflection and meditation…a song, a poem, a dance, an instrumental performance, a film montage, a virtual photo album, etc., etc., etc.
Reconnect to this space throughout the season where I’ll be posting more detailed and practical ideas to make the season more soul-full. www.praylikeagourmet.com