Oh September, how you kick my butt. It’s ok, I still love you.

Your crisp sunny days and new rhythms make up for your rude termination of my summer lovin’ and ruthlessly tossing me into a whirlwind of transition.

K funny face 1For years, September’s disruption took me by surprise. Somehow I thought ‘back to school’ and settling into fall routines should make life smooth and easy-peasy.

Except there’s this little thing called TRANSITION.

I distinctly recall, right around this time last year, making a mental note: “Tanis, next year, do not put too much on your plate. Mixed with your ambitious visions for the month, please leave some white space to make room for the impacts of transition on all of us…. For the love of all things holy, please remember.”  Since this wasn’t the first time I’d made this plea… this year I DID remember… However

… in the middle of August, we made the impromptu decision to move our family to Whistler from the Sunshine Coast…

before the start of school. GULP.

Yeah, nothing like moving towns, homes, school and work, to create white space! Oops.  Oh and my fabulously fierce nine year old was NOT keen on the plan either. SAWEET.   (deep breaths)

Here’s the thing: I was following my intuition.

Listening to my intuition is muscle I’ve been building over the past few years and it’s proving to be pretty darn solid. We’re all learning to trust it more… SO we went for it. We called it an adventure, and we decided it was for a year… just to check it out. A much easier decision than something (gasp!) permanent.  So… a one year adventure it is!

Who’s not up for a one year family adventure?  Right?

We ALL have things in our lives that throw us for a loop… fortunately in our case – we chose it (mostly).

Life happens, the question is, what are you going to make of it?

Big or little things happen all the time that throw us for a loop, mess with our plan, rock the boat, or completely turn our lives upside down.

Shaking things up, shifting seasons, changing routines, are all also phenomenal opportunities to tune into what you really want to settle into rather than staying with the autopilot status quo. New routines, new habits, new sense of priorities, new ways of dancing through the storm.  And the best part is: these times give us rich opportunities to learn about ourselves and to make the shifts from automatic pilot, to making the conscious choices in our lives that will get us thriving.

Yep, fertile ground for practice.  As a good friend calls them: AFGOs (Another F’ing Growth Opportunity).

There WILL always be something. What you need to do is to make a choice – are you going to suffer and barely survive through it, or are you going to DECIDE to THRIVE through it.

IMG_6079

 

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
– Vivian Greene

 

 

So instead of waiting for calm seas that may or may not come, let’s learn a few new dance moves together shall we?

This fall, I’ve returned to 2 very basic practices that have grounded and centered me and will help you groove through your days too:

1.    Make your bed. It takes 5 seconds.

Seriously. It will create a sense of calm and devotion to start your day. That’s a pretty good return for a 5 second investment.  If you live with kids or animals or a partner you can probably relate to a home that is ‘well lived in’ shall we say. ‘Often looks like a cyclone hit it’ might be another apt description of my home on any given day.

What I know for sure is that we all feel better when our surroundings are clean, tidy, and orderly. It affects some of us more than others. A clean house makes my shoulders drop a few inches and makes me feel like all is well in my world. Does it change anything outside of the cleanliness of my home? Nope, but it feels like it does.

One day we might all get our homes to the point of always being totally calm, clean and orderly… or maybe we won’t. In the meantime – your bed can always be an oasis of peace and order and that can make all the difference.

What tiny thing would make that kind of difference for you?

Clear kitchen counters?
Your bedside table?
Fresh flowers on your table?

Just pick one tiny piece, give it love and devotion every day and see what happens.

2.   Move your body while soaking up the beauty of nature every day.

IMG_3426For me, it’s a run or ride, and some days if I’m really squeezed on time it’s a five minute speedy walk with the dog to the river and back.

However long or short, make the most of it. Open your eyes, and really notice the beauty and miracles that surround you. Notice the insane variety of reds in fall leaves, the squirrels, or the weeds that emerge victorious over the urban concrete jungle. Sometimes I even use my phone to capture images – like a miracle photo-journalist. (this is a cool activity – give it a try!)

There’s a lot of science behind why moving outdoors and soaking up nature has such a massive impact on the way we experience and navigate our day. Let me translate it as this: It gets you off the hamster wheel and hits a re-set button deep inside.  It basically resets your nervous system into a green zone. It also gives you great perspective, which allows you to return to your day and challenges with new eyes and ways of thinking.


Neither of these are big things
however:

  • They will make a shockingly massive impact on how your day feels.
  • They take a ridiculously tiny amount of time and effort for the return they deliver.

Discovering the tiny things in your life that will fuel your capacity to THRIVE through your days is magic…

If you think this is totally silly… I invite and challenge you to give it a try 😉

What are your simple practices that make all the difference?

Please – share some ideas with us below…

If you don’t know –chew on it and let’s figure them out together.  Start with something super simple like these two.

And if you know but haven’t been regularly making them happen…

  1. DON’T beat yourself up about it.  Radical self-compassion I know!
  2. Just try again.  Make it as tiny as it can be, and dabble here and there and see what happens.  Be curious, not judgmental when you do. There’s magic in that- I promise.

Little things make a big difference, especially when they come from a place of caring about yourself rather than beating yourself up.

BIG LOVE to YOU, Tanis

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8 comments on “Oh September, how you kick my butt. It’s ok, I still love you.

  1. I recently started honouring what Christina Crook describes in her amazing book The Joy of Missing Out as the “holy hours” – the first hour after I wake up and the last hour before I go to sleep. I choose not to be online or on a screen during these times and, instead, I go for a walk, listen to or make music, sit with a cup of tea, read a book or meditate. It makes all the difference in my ability to thrive.

    1. Oh Heidi I just LOVE the idea of “holy hours” thanks so much for sharing. Not only is that doing some things that are so supported both by the science of human physiology but also by everyday wisdom… but it also speaks to me of making time sacred and welcoming ritual into our lives. The Fear of Missing Out is a bit of an epidemic right now in our culture, and is preyed upon for sure so I’m excited now to add this book to my reading list. Thanks so much for sharing – and keep on thriving Heidi!

  2. Hi Tanis,
    One small change I made a month ago is every morning I start my day with a glass of water and time with my journal, grounding and writing daily intentions, Through out the day I remember my intention, especially if things go awry, this keeps me more on track with the bigger picture and I am not so easily lead astray by “life”. Ultimately I feel more in charge/empowered in my life.

    1. What a great way to start your day Lorraine! Taking charge of your day by starting in the drivers seat and setting a clear intention is so powerful and proactive. Water – you know it’s amazing how many of us wander around dehydrated and are living like limp wilted plants – Brilliant how you start with that before anything else. Amazing how these small changes have a huge impact on how we feel isn’t it? Thanks so much for sharing and keep in touch – I’d love to hear how these little shifts continue to impact your days.

  3. Love this post. Especially those AFGOs. 🙂 I am a bed maker but realized we had totally slipped on this in the months of September and October. I am up first but my partner had decided to just stop making the bed and I was too busy to make it a practice. This week, though, I started making an intentional statement of making the bed.

    Usually, I’ll make it before bed if it’s not made. 🙂

    A small change I’ve made in the last month is to do more breathing. I tend to be a breath holder. So I’ve started doing Kundalini Yoga every Monday morning. I love it!

    1. Hey Shawn – this is great. Yeah those darn AFGOs… one thing you can definitely count on continuing to show up. 😉

      You’ve really highlighted a lovely truth. Whenever we forget, or fall off the wagon so to speak with a practice that we know serves us… it’s ALWAYS there waiting for us to just pick it back up again – no fuss no muss, just start again.

      And BREATHING – oh yes!! Talk about the simplest of practices but the most essential. Just noticing how we are breathing is so powerful. And breathing is definitely something you can work in no matter how “busy” we decide we are… you can always choose to breathe a little deeper. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Love this article and reading about your one year adventure! That’s exactly how I phrased our various experimental moves with my daughter when she was little. We went from Toronto to a year and Salt Spring, and then three in Victoria and then went back east. I also make my bed every morning, try to clean the kitchen counters every night before bed. I agree it really helps!

    1. Thanks Debra – and YES the kitchen counters! Me too! Sometimes I decide all the counters are too much of an investment but just doing the island – oh my – does that ever create peace in my world. 😉

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