More than any other month, September, to me, has always promised the greatest potential for a fresh start. It doesn't carry the burden of January's bold insistence on NEW! IMPROVED! EVERYTHING! Nor is it weighted down by birthday-triggered analysis of the prior year. Instead, September softly beckons with cooler temperatures and crisp air, inviting us to re-establish the grounding rhythms and routines that so often fall by the wayside in the languid, lazy days of August.
This year was no different. As we wound our way home from our annual end-of-Summer escape to the mountains, we shifted our focus to the month and season ahead. We talked to our daughter about her excitement and apprehension surrounding starting the first (?!?) grade, and I pondered an intriguing opportunity to stretch myself in the year ahead - and potentially alter my career trajectory...
When I launched this venture more than six years ago, it seemed the natural extension of a desire for something different - a craving to carve out a more flexible way of being that would not only help others navigate their own path toward more mindful living, but also afford more time to be with my daughter. While I wasn't entirely sure how it would unfold, I had an abundance of time to (over)consider, (over)analyze, and ultimately grow comfortable with the shift.
This potential change afforded no such opportunity. I was being considered for a faculty position teaching yoga, mindfulness, and life skills to middle- and high-school students who have struggled in traditional academic settings. With the school year fast approaching, a decision needed to be made.
Rather than months to plan and prepare, the whole process unfolded in a matter of weeks: the informational phone interview took place while on vacation. An audition and discussion with the head of school squeezed into the brief interval between returning from our trip and leaving again to visit an ailing relative. Conversations continued by phone and email on the long drives to and from Connecticut.
Hungry for concrete data, I delved into list-drafting mode. But as is so often the case in matters of consequence, the simple "pro" and "con" designations didn't capture the immeasurable intangibles: the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young adults who weren't being served in traditional school settings vs. the reality of relationships built over years spent working closely with clients and watching their practice progress.
The unknowns were daunting: Am I equipped to teach middle- and high-school students? Would I be able to hold the attention of a surly teenager who would prefer to be anywhere other than in the classroom? But at the same time, I was excited about the challenge of working with a new population - and heartened by the idea of sharing valuable skills with young people who could benefit. The prospect made my heart happy - and I allowed that to be enough.
Life will look a bit different for the next year - perhaps beyond. And I am exploring what it means to be comfortable with the unknown. Will you join me?
Whether you are experiencing a major life change or returning to a tried-and-true Fall rhythm that you know will serve you well, you will inevitably face decisions for which you don’t have every detail and data point. We will all, at some point, be asked to choose between options that seem equally wonderful (and equally imperfect). As you encounter these situations, I encourage you to listen to your heart and step forward - even when you aren’t fully certain where your foot will land.
Let’s explore uncertainty together...