I am deeply inspired by fall. I'm not sure if it's the cool air, the warm color palette or the extra sugar in my pumpkin spice latte. Whatever the reason, I find myself ready to create, write and process all the chaos in my head.
This fall, along with my birthday last week, really has me thinking about how I process things. I'm beginning to feel behind and a little lost. I'm not processing as fast as I would like, the thoughts and ideas are coming faster than I can make heads and tails of them.
I'm a person who can't hold a lot of things in my head at once. To combat this inadequacy, I created a binder to hold all of my writing. It's sectioned off to accommodate all the topics I cover so I can easily write down ideas and then go back and polish them to publish on my blog or as fiction later. This process has really helped me organize my thoughts and organize my next actions. In turn, this reduces my stress. I like being able to start where I left off without a lot of fuss and without always feeling like I'm forgetting something.
Even with this innovative solution, self-doubt has crept into my life. I am feeling overwhelmed this season as my mind moves faster than my body and available time to develop my ideas. The notebook definitely helps, but I've been having trouble figuring out what else I'm missing.
Right before my birthday, I ran a small 5k race by the shores of Lake Washington. The race was not one of grand fanfare or advocating a cause like many of the races I run. Instead, it was just me and the road. I didn't mind this since it offered me a chance to think.
This race made me nervous, only because I had yet to really push myself since my summer vacation. I am finally loving myself where I am. Yet, this felt like a test where I forgot to study and all the self-doubt came barreling to me.
The entire race, my only focus was my breath. I didn't worry about the 3.1 miles I had to cover or the person coming up behind me and easily passing me by. I trusted my legs and body to be strong and I focused on breathing in and breathing out and the space right in front of me.
It worked. Not only did I finish the race, I ran well - a personal best. It was a real victory!
As I sat by the water's edge after the race eating a granola bar and letting my body and breath return to normal, I thought about my process, my self-doubt and what made this race different.
It wasn't the distance I was worried about during this race, it was the fear of not being enough. That struck me as I gazed out at the serene view of Canadian geese wading through the water. Why do I feel less all of a sudden?
I'm not sure I can answer that. My great conclusion is simply that with every change of season comes an opportunity to observe where you are and make sure you are heading in the direction you desire. It takes time to adjust the process, but as I do I am also learning to trust myself.
During that race, where I did my personal best, the difference was in my breath. I focused on breathing and being in the moment - it was a balancing of rest and pushing myself. I kept a fairly steady pace, but in some moments I was working harder and others I was able to trust my body to hold me up and just run.
I need to do that in all areas of my life - to trust myself and trust my process - my writing, my hobbies, homeschooling, fitness, healthy living, I could go on.
I need to relax a little and stop worrying so much about how my ideas and actions will be perceived and instead focus on what energy I want to put out into the world.
I need to flow through this seasonal transition and enjoy the moment I am in right now. Also to listen to my body and trust it to support me.
I need to remember that there is a time to push and a time to rest. Success comes with finding the balance in the give and take between the two.
My birthday and this race marked a turning point for me. I am confident again, ready to make some waves - to put myself and my ideas out there again just to see what happens. I am thankful for that and for another year of experience to draw on as I write, process and figure out how to make the most of this, my one life.
All Photos by Amanda McCusker
Have an inspired day!