Since ancient times, September has been viewed as
the beginning of the new year…
A time of reflection and resolution. The Jewish community just observed the High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of public and private atonement. a sacred withdrawal from the world for twenty four hours in order to become right with God and others, so that real life might be renewed with passion and purpose.
Change in the natural world is subtle but relentless; seasons seem to give way to one another, even if the monthly motion is so swift we don’t realize were moving. But when the leaves start turning colors, it’s time for turning over a personal leaf so that our lives might be restored.
Back in 1949, Katharine Elizabeth Fite wrote in Good Housekeeping, “What we need in autumn is an emotional or spiritual shot in the arm.” She urged her readers to start a new September tradition: create personal and positive resolutions this month. Don’t wait until January, she argues. That’s when you are “worn out in spirit, body, and pocketbook, and have no real urge to do anything but rest.”
It seems to me that January resolutions are about will; Septembers are about authentic wants! What do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can love the life your leading? It could be as simple as seeing friends more often, setting aside time to have adventures with your children while they still want your company, rekindling romance in your daily round, calling a solitary hour a day your own, or just taking more walks in the warmth of the sun.
No one else has to know about your autumn intentions, either! They’re a little secret we can each carry in our pockets, folded against our hearts in order to craft a richer life, instead of comparing and competing with one another. September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change. I can try to do that. So can you…
To craft your autumn resolution, pick up a journal or take a walk as you think about these questions:
- What could I add to my life this season to bring me more pleasure?
- What could I take away from my life so that I feel more pleasure and joy this season?
- Is there anything I can add to my life this season to experience more gratitude?
- Can I take anything out of my life this season in order to feel more gratitude?
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