The month of September brings new beginnings; it can be a time to hit reset. The school calendar begins, the seasons shift. Gretchen Rubin, writer on the themes of happiness and good habits, writes on her blog, “September is the new January.” Rubin argues that September is a great time to start new habits, and that this back-to-school time brings about space for self-evaluation, reflection, renewal, and possibility. I agree with Rubin and I encourage you to start something new this September by making rest and retreat a priority.
As the season is changing from summer to fall, you cannot escape the signs of this shift. There air is becoming crisper and there is the crunch of leaves underfoot. The earth all around is letting go of the old and preparing for the adjustments and retreat that winter brings. So, you too, can reflectively shed some of the old noise, and mindfully embrace some new habits of rest. Embrace the transition this fall brings and its invitation to rest and retreat.
This season of fall moving into winter, calls us to slow down. To prepare for what’s to come. This can be challenging in a world that moves so fast paced and glorifies busyness. With children back at school with new activities and homework, it can feel like we have even less time. But I would encourage you to prioritize time for rest, for whitespace, for sabbath. We aren’t meant to constantly go, go, go. Your mind needs break, to bask in silence. Silence helps release the tension in your mind and body and relieve stress.
In order to cultivate silence, you should find a quiet place. It can be outdoors or indoors, whatever feels inviting and comforting to you. Turn down the volume of the external stimuli that you can control, no TV buzzing in the background or earbuds blasting in your ears. Try some deep breathing. You may find when outer noise is extinguished, your internal volume turns way up. This is okay, don’t judge yourself too harshly for this. Instead, observe the thoughts and let them go. It is normal to have a mind that wanders and chatters incessantly. The key is bringing yourself back to the silence, again and again and again.
With the new beginning that September brings, prioritize rest and retreat. I invite you to schedule in these times, starting small. Observe what this quiet time brings and how it feeds you.