Back in the day before electricity lit our lives up year round, fall’s longer nights and cooler weather prompted us to move indoors and spend less time engaged in the hubbub of daily life. It was a time of rest and restoration. Harvest was ending and families huddled together preparing for winter’s onset.
Today we’re often too busy to even notice the leaves turning but we can change this. This week, take 15 minutes to go outside in the morning to smell the fall air. Notice the the trees, their leaves, and how effortlessly they let go. If you live in the city, pay attention to how outdoors feels different than last month. Stop to reflect on nature slowing down.
Then choose another day to write down what you’d like to let go of. Put each on a slip of paper. Maybe it’s guilt over a mistake or pushing yourself too hard. Just write whatever comes up without judging or censoring. At the end of the week, take all you’ve written and burn them one by one, releasing them from your soul. Fall is an excellent time to release the old to make way for the new.
You can also do this with your family/friends. Give each person slips of paper to note what they’re ready to discard and burn them together. Reflect and reconnect with yourself and others, creating space for what you do want to enter your life like the trees shedding their leaves for new growth.
Since we’ve been discussing the thoughts which bind us, let’s review several myths about motherhood/life. If you’re not a mom, substitute the word “women” and whatever situation pertains.
1. Myth: Good mothers never make mistakes. They always know the right thing to do. Reality: All mothers make mistakes. The trick is to learn from them and not wound yourself with guilt.
2. Myth: Motherhood is always bliss. Reality: Motherhood is likely to be the most challenging and rewarding experience you will ever know. Each woman will experience it in her unique way.
3. Myth: Motherhood is easy. You automatically know what to do. Reality: Being a “good enough” mom is hard work. It is a journey not a destination.
4. Myth: Good mothers sacrifice everything. Reality: No woman is a bottomless pitcher. You must replenish your resources regularly or your health will be compromised.
5. Myth: Motherhood is instinctual. Reality: Motherhood is a learning process. It is in the “doing” that you become a mother.
Sound daunting? Here’s one thought-changing strategy. Take any belief and ask yourself what’s the evidence that this is true? My personal favorite is #4. Take #4 and observe how you feel when you sacrifice everything? Martyrdom is rarely pretty and lessens the qualities, like patience and kindness, which make you a good mom/person. Then substitute the reality-based statement above which the evidence is likely to support.
Preview Chapter 6 of Life Will Never Be the Same for more ideas. The more you release judgemental thoughts, the better you’ll feel. For inspiration, click here.