Living my Autumn Manifesto
Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, the changes in nature echo and symbolise personal shifts that I tend to feel at this time of year. I enjoy seeing the rhythmic changes, as the leaves and foliage change colour, the sun is lower in the sky creating a beautiful golden light, the weather changes, autumn flowers bloom, trees and plants drop seeds that fall and scatter, and there is a feeling of change in the air.
For me each season brings with it something new, a new chapter. I take real pleasure from noticing the changes and love the blurry edges to the seasons as they move to the next. My word of the year is Awaken and with this in mind I decided that I wanted to awaken more of a connection to the seasons than I have done before. I want to awaken more awareness and I want to awaken my senses.
To help me achieve this I've been writing a manifesto for each season of the year. A manifesto for me is a statement that pulls together my thoughts and the key things that what I want to get out of the season ahead and to help act as a guide. For me it's about thinking of the simple pleasures I love during the season, celebrating what the season brings, creating direction, actions, and practical and achievable intentions, with the outcome of connecting more to each season in an intentional and focused way. Life is full and creating a practice to allow myself to intentionally become more mindful is a such a good thing. Living with and observing the seasons is something that I do unconsciously, I adore it, but I want to awaken more of an awareness.
We are now just a few days away from the Winter Solstice and wanted to let you know how I have been living my Autumn Manifesto...
Be open to bringing in the new
There have been moments this Autumn when being open to bringing in the new has enabled me to action personal change and deal with challenges thoughtfully, wholeheartedly and with grace. I've been more open to new opportunities that have arisen, from what I am doing, the connections I'm making, or the approaches I'm taking. I discovered that by being open can allow space for growth and enable me to gracefully step outside of my comfort zone and embrace it.
I've been open to learning new creative skills this season, including making a wreath and a silver ring whilst I was away at Sisterhood Camp Winter 2016. For me these activities reaffirmed how much I love trying new things and being open to giving them a go.
Create space and new foundations
Creating space has been a favourite element of my autumn manifesto. When I wrote the manifesto I had come to the end of what felt like a full year until that point. I knew that if I managed to create space during that time, I could once again create space to enable me to bring other things into my life.
I've been gradually creating space in parts of our home, tidying, clearing and taking a mental note of what we own. I've been creating space to allow moments of time set aside to start to create new foundations. I've been altering routines and trying new things, such as learning to cook a wider range of meals.
Map my journey
I've have started to mentally map my journey for the time ahead. I've created starting points for different aspects of my journey that will help me along the way. For many, the concept of a journey may sound a little cliched, but for me it is about the connection to the forward movement that a journey brings, the focus of having a route and the momentum you can create as you move along it.
Bravely take a step and plan change
When I wrote this element of the manifesto I didn't know quite what it would bring. I had initial ideas that were related to my coaching business and blog for the time ahead. I felt that I would need to bring bravery into focus to help encourage me to make further plans that would bring about change. I realised that I am taking a step but I am taking it slowly and sitting with ideas, rather than rushing things. It is taking a little bit of bravery to work this way, as I normally want to work with more pace.
I'm taking other steps at the moment that for me have been unexpected. They are exciting and I'm reinvigorated by what they are allowing me to do. This element of my manifesto has recently come into its own. I gathered my resources, had courage and bravery to let go of self-doubt, and took a confident step into something I hadn't planned or thought that I wanted to do. The experience was something I hold dear to my heart and I'm grateful for what it may bring.
Snuggle under a blanket and take time to reflect
Taking time to reflect has been something I always make time to do but it seems to be even more apparent this season. I have been making time in my week to snuggle under a blanket and think. My manifesto has given me space, ownership and encouragement to enable me to do it. It has been a season of real contemplation and deep change for me and I can clearly see this as I look back at my blog posts, and the images and words that I am sharing on Instagram. It has all been about shifting, moving forwards and change.
This Autumn has seen more change and shifts forward than I expected to happen. A few of these changes have come out of the connection I have made to my manifesto and how I wanted to shape the season, others have just arrived and my manifesto has helped me navigate those moments.
I look at the picture of the ring above nestled in the foliage of the wreath I made and it makes me smile. The marks I made on the ring are my reminder that my life is made up of many different moments. An uneven patchwork of different shapes and sizes, some uniform, some imperfect but when it is all put together it makes a wonderful whole. My ring is going to be my lasting symbol of this season. Each season this year I have created a manifesto that has enabled me to add so many new moments and experiences into my life.