When the familiar character of Fall fills the air, I am reminded of the gratitude I've always had for my favorite season. This is the first weekend afternoon I have sat in my home, alone, for a very long time. So long in fact, I can’t remember the last time. So, what did I want to do when I found myself in this beautiful quiet and still place? Run from it. Go shopping. Do errands. Leave town. Anything but stay in it. We have a little farmhouse up in the wine country that I can buzz up to in just over an hour! I love it. I love the idea of getting away and having time in nature. I take walks. I eat healthy. I even grow vegetables. Sounds heavenly, I know. Yet, as I sit here today in the quiet of home, I recognize I can just as easily use that house as an escape to run from what I don’t want to deal with — embracing the illusion that I am “relaxing“ in St. Helena. Additionally, often my time there is actually spent entertaining, eating out, shopping, socializing and running to Pilates class like I do at home. All of these things are wonderful and important, but balancing activity with relaxation is really crucial, too. What I realized today, sitting in the stillness, is I haven’t mastered that balance.

I think I’ve been running on adrenaline for months; maybe even close to a year. It's been a heck of a year — one of those years we all endure at some point. I have needed to be fully present for others and spend time on things that weren’t really a part of my plan. It has been busy, and I’m glad and actually grateful that I could be there for the most important people in my life and offer my skill sets in different situations — and I am truly appreciative to be able to drop everything and pinch hit when needed. However in the sometimes chaotic energy of "I need to help" I realize I’ve become accustomed to a pattern of running. Doing. Moving. Anything but being still. Anything but focusing on what I’m truly being called to ... if I really want to be more conscious and useful to myself and others. I haven’t been allowing myself to drop into the real space and time to be creative, insightful or tuned in to what is most important to me. In recent months, whenever I’ve had those bits of time I have filled them with social activities and events — convincing myself I need to catch up, and feel connected.

Now, as I face another one of those spacious windows, I am wrestling with myself to stay right here right now — and not run. Don’t invite a friend over for a drink. Don’t race to an exercise class. Don’t stir up something social to occupy the void.

What I am learning is creativity doesn’t flow when there is no space for it. Blog ideas don’t come through. Inspiration isn’t as forthcoming. Plan a coaching event? No way … too tired! Bottom line: I need to be deliberate about using the space in my life. With the energy of fall and a new season I’m going to roll with the harvest theme, and see what fruits I can bear. Our beautiful seasons are nature’s reminders to bring us back to who we truly are. So once again,  I am thankful for the energy of the Fall.