The trees have gone exuberantly golden, the sky is bright blue, and there’s a squash on my counter that’s about to be transformed into a thick, buttery soup.
It’s autumn, and it’s GORGEOUS.
This time of year always makes me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and PONDER things. Ponder them deeply, pensively, deliciously.
This hasn’t happened as much as I’d like (because life, and having children– in fact, at this very moment the babies are yelling at each other upstairs and I just remembered the birthday party starts in 15 minutes and we haven’t wrapped the gift yet) but even a few minutes of quietly keeping myself company this week yielded a huge epiphany.
Or not so much an epiphany as a big fat bright orange sign (very autumnal, don’t you think?) sitting right there in the path in front of me.
It’s been there for a while, but I’ve been averting my gaze.
It says, “YOU’RE RUNNING LOW. TIME TO FILL UP.”
I haven’t even let myself look at it even though its bright orangeness has been fluttering around the edges for a while, trying to sneakily worm its way into my peripheral vision for months.
I wouldn’t let it.
Shhhhh, I don’t have time for you.
Shhhhhh, we’ve moving and I’ve just got to get the kids settled and get my work done.
Shhhhhhhhhhh, I know I know, but not right now– come back in six months.
But this week there is no shushing it.
Because this is the time of year when things fall away, when we are looking at so much luscious ripeness paired right up with death and endings.
This year, this season is saying to me, “Hold up sister. Before you go any further, you need to stop and REPLENISH yourself.”
This is the word that arrived the other day when I was having an autumn reverie–
It whispered to me, crawled down my neck, echoed in my ribs.
I was reluctant, but there it was, under my skin, thudding in my veins.
more than a suggestion, an urgent request.
I finally gave up fighting it.
Ohhhhhh, all right (I said resentfully).
Because goodness knows, the truth is that after this crazy year, dearhearts, I am dry as a bone, dry as baked mud, dry as a cigarette.
And I know that in order to bring to life all the ideas and projects swimming around in me, I need to stop. Pause. Drink deep. Quench, slake, drench, soak, marinate, refill, slurp, soak, revive, and FILL THE HECK BACK UP.
–>>True life moment insert: after I wrote that last sentence, I dashed off to grab wrapping paper, get the girl off to her birthday party, and console her weeping brother (who wasn’t going and in fact was suffering the terrific injustice of a NAP). My plan was to snuggle him for a minute and then zoom back down to finish this missive while he slept.
Here’s what happened instead:
Which exactly illustrates my point.
So my personal focus for October is working with the energy of REPLENISHMENT.
If you’re anything like me and all my friends, I’m going to guess you’ve been chugging along, doing all the things, fulfilling your many obligations, loving your family and your friends and this broken country of ours, and using up all your reserves without even noticing that the gas light is on and you have no idea where the next station is.
This is a precarious position to be in, my friend. We are not at our full strength when we’re running on empty. We don’t make the wisest choices. We can let things go too far. We can miss opportunities because we’re too tired to make the most of them. We feel brittle and fragile, like a wind could scatter us.
But there is a simple, soulful way to change all that. It doesn’t take a spa vacation– it takes your fierce attention. It takes your commitment to your sweet, sacred self. (And if you want me to help you with that simple-but-not-so-easy-task in a private, intimate way, guess what??? I’ve opened up a few spots for private coaching this month because I want to take this work deeper and deliciouser with a few kindred spirits– click here for details!)
It’s easy to think, “Oh, I need a vacation…” or “I need a spa day…” and there’s nothing wrong with those things. But I think what we really need even more than a temporary escape from our lives is to get to know ourselves intimately and tenderly and find out what will nourish us– not just for one day or one week, but every day from here on out.
How do we weave replenishment right into our everyday life? How do we learn to rest and refuel even as we stay in motion?
The answer will be different for everyone. For some people it’s a fierce daily exercise regimen that makes them clear and strong. For others it’s deep gulps of solitude, preferably with a sketchbook in hand. Maybe it’s more sleep. Or more science fiction novels. Or more pure time snuggling the baby. Or acknowledging the new creative being that wants to be born. Or healing the old parts of you who have come up to be reckoned with. Or incense or tulips or yoga or prayer or breath or sex or dancing or meditation or travel or morning pages or or or– who knows?
Even if you don’t know what you know.
I believe that your soul is willing to show you what you need if you are willing to listen. (My problem, most of the time, is that I don’t WANT to listen because it seems dreadfully inconvenient.)
The ways I need to fill up in this new life here, out on the prairie and mothering five kids, are different than the old ways that worked for me in verdant Portland as a single mom. So I am committing this month to becoming a humble student of the energies of replenishment that will keep me strong and vibrant here in this new world and life. I know they’re here, and I’m going to find them.
Because before we sail off with our most vibrant plans for this crisp, get-things-done season, it’s essential that we stop and fill our most potent and precious energies back up. To bring our focus back to our own tender hearts and souls.
You know my goal is a global takeover by the wise women. That’s you, dearheart. And to do the big wonderful things out in the world that I know you’re here to do, you’re going to want to make sure that the inside of you is full, replete, luscious, and lit up– and that you know how to keep it that way.
Because when you’re lit up and filled up, you’re magnificent. Nothing less.
(But maybe more.)
P.S. If you’re feeling tired, dry, or like you’re running on empty, let’s change that together. I’m opening up some rare spots in October for personal, private coaching, just you and me, all distractions aside, all our walls down. We’ll come up with a plan just for you to help you fill back up and stay that way, with fierce devotion and tender solace. If everything feels too hard right now, if you feel lost or bewildered, come fill up with me. It’ll make all the difference.