September has been and gone and brought with it all the wonderful golden hues of autumn. Fall is quite possibly my favourite season. The sunlight is particularly beautiful in September and October, as the sun gradually gets lower in the sky and seems to soften and glow as it goes.
As the days shorten and the nights get longer, there is a moment of equilibrium with the autumn equinox, followed a few weeks later by the harvest moon, which was particularly spectacular this year in the UK. I was in the car heading east, and as the moon rose and hovered just above the horizon it seemed so perfectly round and luminous.
It’s been a pretty busy month, I have had quite a lot of freelance work to get on with, plus catching up with everything that I let slide over the summer. It’s so fulfilling to see this blog space grow but that makes it even more necessary for me to be mindful about stopping for pockets of slow and scheduling breaks and complete downtime in my week. I felt like I made a lot of progress over the summer with my anxiety and any related stress. It was good to find myself feeling new levels of relaxation and the peace that comes from letting go of certain expectations. I have been really keen to hang onto that feeling, if not all the time, knowing that I can find my way back to that centre is the next best thing.
Helping with the above, has been a gratitude practice that I have been doing…. I think of 5 things, and list them in my head. You can also write them down if it helps you. I mostly do this before bed, but have also been doing it at random points during the day if I find that I am slipping into negative or worrying thoughts (so some days I repeat it twice). I am sure that joy and gratitude are inextricably linked, the more thankful we can be for all the small and simple good things in our lives, the more moments of joy we will be able to discover. I wrote more about gratitude with some specific tips over a year ago and you can read that post here.
Also we have a new member of our family – hooray and hello to our lovely cat, Juniper. We went to the cats welfare at the beginning of September and chose a tabby cat that had been with them for a couple of months. She has recently had kittens and is only about a year old. It’s wonderful to have her be part of our home. As I write this, she’s currently dashing about the house like a nutter, and I am waiting for her to settle in her chosen sitting spot for the day – ahh to be a cat.
Bailey has been settling into school well. In fact on the first day back she said “I’m so excited, I kissed my shoes”. It’s wonderful to see her so much more relaxed about school and the learning they do. Last year she came home with lots of worries, and nearly every bedtime I would get a “mummy, I have funny feeling in my tummy….” so much so that it felt like what ever reassuring words I comforted her with didn’t seem to help. In the end, I resulted in pretending to pull the worry from her tummy and throw it out the window. This would involve funny actions, to Baileys delight – some evenings the worry was very heavy and would take quite a bit of effort to work it loose. For whatever reason this little bit of lighthearted silliness seemed to really help her and it meant she went to bed with a smile on her face as opposed to a worry in her tummy.
A few things that I have been loving this month that I want to share with you all…
If you haven’t come across the new podcast Courage and Spice by Sas Petherick, it’s a brilliant listen. She talks about how we can navigate the seas of self doubt, and it is full of little nuggets of wisdom. You can find all episodes and more information here.
The Global Guardian Project is a fantastic independent magazine to help educate our children about this amazing planet we have the privilege to live on. The monthly e-magazine looks at all things environmental and ethical. “With 50+ pages of educational stories, videos, art projects, interviews, a book club, recipes, and challenges, designed to teach families how to become global stewards and change-makers in their own home and in everyday life.” They often focus on different countries but also look at topics such as zero waste. You can buy their learning capsules here. Currently, you can help fund the project through Indiegogo. There are different gifts available for your donation, so head over here to have a look.
Finally, I had a wonderful day in London for the release of the new Monty Don book ‘Down to Earth’. I actually had the pleasure to talk to Monty – yes, we are on first name terms 🙂 The event took place on the roof garden of the Ham Yard Hotel, which is a wonderful bit of green in the heart of Soho, where they grow vegetables, herbs and have bee hives too. The book is beautifully written. If you like Monty Don you are bound to love this book. It’s easy to dip in and out of, you can look at an overview of the gardening to be done each month, or you can read up on specific topics like, how to grow herbs, or how to tackle weeds. The book is published by DK books and you can get a copy here.
Hope your Septembers were full of good things.