The one thing I’ve learned this year.

Is it just me, or is your mood mirroring the grey weather here in the UK?

On balance, we’ve had a good summer, but I often find this time of year depressing as I know there’s 6 months of grey weather ahead.

I have a process I follow in Autumn which mirrors what I do in the garden, so I’m harvesting, pruning what’s overgrown or dead & planting bulbs for Spring. You can read more about that here

As always, when I work through the questions, I realise I’ve achieved more than I initially thought, & the moments which brought me happiness & joy were also unexpected. I notice those moments had one thing in common, each time I was fully present & accepted life is at was now in that precise moment.

Accepting life as it is NOW.

As a childless couple our life has largely been unconstrained by others. However, Roger’s mum is very frail so we can’t plan too far ahead, which for me, being a planner, is hard to accept, especially not knowing how long our life will be this way.

First the acceptance…

Accepting this has been a challenge & when I’m struggling, I remind myself of these 2 quotes from John Kirkwood’s book ‘The Way of the Five Seasons.

First, he describes acceptance as meaning ‘assenting to the reality of a situation without attempting to change it, protest against it or run away from it. This does not mean that we have to like the situation or give wholehearted support to it, but there is a simple recognition of the truth that this is the way things are in this moment.

And then ….. ‘acceptance is a posture that it full, alive, present to life and an active welcoming of whatever is happening.’ … ‘It is a breathing in of life in all its manifestations. It is an active meeting of life in the moment, a simple recognition of that which is right here, right now.

The key phrase to me is ‘in this moment,’ being fully present for everything, knowing that in time, each will pass.

Then being right here right now.

Acceptance goes hand in hand with being right here, now in this moment. As Eckhart Tolle says, we recognise that ‘Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.’

As I wrote above, those moments when I have accepted everything & been fully in the middle of all my experience have brought me more laughter and joy than I anticipated. They’ve also brought sadness & that’s ok. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t fully experience the light without fully experiencing the dark, so I welcome everything.

What that means in practice

This year, life has been different; we’ve been more spontaneous & done things which didn’t require too much forward planning. We’ve hiked more than usual including walking the North Norfolk Coastal path (a great new adventure of a multi-day walk – 47 miles in 4 days). We’re also taking advantage of living in London, including last minute trips to the theatre.

Enjoying the moment includes taking time to pause, be still & absorb my surroundings. When creating something I have tendency to rush to finish & instead I’m slowing down & being mindful of the process.

I’m still a work in progress but I’m getting there. When I remember I feel much more relaxed & peaceful which lifts my grey mood somewhat & that’s a step in the right direction.

I found this quote by Rumi, I’m not sure if my door is quite open yet, but it’s certainly ajar.

Now over to you

I’d like to refer you to my previous blogs on Autumn which include the process I refer to above, you can find them here  & specifically you’ll find the Autumn process  here

What do you think of the quotes, do they resonate with you?  If so please leave a comment below.

You can read book reviews and interviews I’ve done here.
And you can order your copy of Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness on Amazon UK and Amazon USA

4 thoughts on “The one thing I’ve learned this year.”

  1. Dear Lesley, I have been wrestling with a big decision. It regards an opportunity I maybe “should” take, as it could be beneficial in many ways. But the environment for this opportunity is unhealthy. There’s a lot of negativity, and even if it wouldn’t be directed at me, I don’t want to be a part of it or in any way appear that I condone it. But…maybe…if…. I know in my heart that the right decision is to turn it down. But…maybe…if…. This morning, the questions and insights you offer in your post have helped me to accept what I know to be true for me and (and this is the big part) let it go. I feel such a sense of calm, and of trust, because I know something better will come. Thank you. xoxo

  2. Thank you Lesley. This article is perfect for me at the moment. I’ve been fed-up today about everything and my energy levels, but we can waste so much energy railing against what is, rather than accepting it.


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