When kids head off to school with new backpacks and new hopes for a new year- so do I. Maybe it’s because of my first career as a teacher or maybe because I love a blank notebook and the feel of new pens. Fall feels like a new start. Even when the weather in Florida is still 90 degrees, and the world feels uncertain, Fall holds the promise of hope.
With a new schedule comes the desire to get back into routines, prioritize, and plan. One of my fall rituals, besides putting cinnamon in everything, is to create my list of re-commitments. I do a little self-reflection on things in my life and things about myself that I want to shift or course correct. My recommitments are a way for me to refocus with more consistency, consciousness, and fresh energy.
I’m sharing my list of recommitments in the hope of inspiring yours.
This tops the list every year because of how deeply it affects my quality of life and my time here on earth. For many years my default pattern was to prioritize my to-do list and my to-pay-for list over the needs of my health. Now I spend more time preparing and eating whole and fresh foods, moving, stretching, and strengthening my body, emotionally releasing, resting, getting enough sleep, and avoiding toxins. I’ve also included getting outside support for chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massage, getting lab work done, and taking supplements. As I move into my late forties, vitality and health are my most important recommitments and priorities.
In order to recommit to my health, I recommit to the practice of spending the first couple of hours awake in devotion to optimizing my mindset and taking care of my body. There have been too many mornings this summer where I’ve found myself in a time vortex, on my phone in a doomsday rabbit hole of depressing news and angry social media comments. I end up feeling heavy dread and discomfort before my feet even hit the floor. Mind and Body Mornings help me start the day connected to my body, my heart, and my own wisdom. While I don’t have a specific routine ( I like variety) I do a combo of the following:
Doing this first thing in the morning helps make sure I’m prioritizing my well-being.
I’m an introvert and I do a lot of Zoom calls for work. At the end of my workday, after I cook dinner, I don’t have much energy for connecting. It’s easy for days to go by without talking with a friend (outside of my work relationships). The pandemic has made in-person meetings and making new friends even harder. So this fall, I want to more consciously create time and reserve energy to reach out to friends I love. Whether as a phone call while I’m cooking, a Vox message when I’m walking, or a text on my lunch break, I want to put friendship back on my to-do list. I also want to make plans to see some of my friends who live near me in person. It takes energy for me to get out of the house but what I receive from spending quality time with my dear friends is worth the effort.
I have a talent for refining. Whether that’s a system, an email, a recipe, an event, or myself, I’m always looking for what can be better. I have to be careful not to let this talent slip into an overly critical mode that has me “knowing better” than others. (Like somehow I know what’s better for my son, my husband, and lots of people on social media.) Being critical can feed my ego at times, but it doesn’t feed my soul. I want to stay open and curious, seeking to understand with compassion rather than to be critical with judgment.
Here’s where I can take my gift of refining and put it to much better use. In today’s digitally cluttered, stressed, info-overloaded world, we not only need simplicity, we also need space. For me, the mess is stress and clear space is soothing to my nervous system and brain. This fall I want to find more space in my closet, cupboards, google drive, and day-to-day. Space and simplicity open us up to new possibilities, instead of the energy spent trying to keep the lid on the trash can that is about to overflow. This may mean putting more effort into creating the space now to have more simplicity later. It means letting things go by making discerning decisions. It means holding boundaries, sticking to my planning rituals (Set it Up Sunday), and creating systems that make routine tasks simpler.
What are your recommitments?