Tree that has half red leaves and half green leaves

As I set up my calendar for the month, I select a quote I’ve found that speaks to me. I write it in my planner and leave space below it to capture phrases I hear or read that speak to me and relate to the quote. I found this practice centers me for the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For October 2022 the quote was, “Change your leaves, keep intact your roots” by Victor Hugo.

After doing this mindful quote practice for more nearly two years, it still surprises me how much the quote I pick for the following month rings so true and offers the space for the reflection I didn’t know I needed. Here are quotes that caught my attention in October:

  • Permission to adjust
  • Pay attention to the invitation
  • Faith over fear
  • A feast of joy
  • What is really true?
  • Everything is ordinary and extraordinary
  • You were born for a time such as this
  • Amplify belief
  • The ability to manifest choice
  • You will make this change a blessing
  • Seeds of awareness
  • Allow what blooms to bloom
  • What is the expression of what comes through you?
  • Cultural humility
  • Ready, relevant, and reliable
  • You can’t give it if you don’t have it
  • Unlikely collaborators
  • Whatever is, is welcome
  • Walking in an answered prayer

I love that October is my birthday month. The fall aways speaks to me. When I stand outside, breathe in the crisp air, and see the trees’ colorful transformation I feel my most grounded. Like all is right with the world, with me, and I get charged – or rather recharged – for another year of living.

This recharge comes from reflection. The month is a big annual check-in for me based on the simple question: How am I?  This reflective question, conversations with loved ones, meditation, and experiences throughout the month (both professional and personal) brought forward gratitude, restlessness, joy, exhaustion, and possibility.  

In October…

I stepped away from a lot at work… and it was OK. In fact, it was freeing. Stopping the habitual grind and the self-imposed expectations is giving me space to determine what I want to do with my expertise, passion, and gifts. I did (and do) feel a bit untethered but I am getting more comfortable with the open space as I see what it is making room for.

I focused on mindfulness at a two-day conference with a best friend… and found emotional release. As I stepped on to the elevator with my friend following a morning meditation practice, she calmly stated, “I think I had a meditation orgasm” just as a random guy walked on. Awkward silence (with us stifling our laughter) for the ride down 12 floors. As the doors opened, the man calmly turned to us as he walked out and stated with a smile, “I might need to look into meditation” and walked away. I hurt from the delightful laughter that followed. Then later, tears poured down my face as I participated in a meditation with the guide playing his cello as he led us in a body scan. My body shedding its pain, fear, anger, loss, and worry like a tree dropping its fall leaves – making it possible to grow a new.

I shared more candidly and authentically in old and forming relationships… and savored the deeper connectivity real conversations generate. I shared how I was struggling. I shared hard choices. I shared concerns. I shared personal nuggets normally protected till more trust was in place. I asked more personal questions. I listened without multitasking. I re-discovered the core truth that we are all more alike than we ever want to admit. I also savored how comforting it is to connect more personally.

I began each day with a prayer – a whisper to God about those in my world who could use a boost… and loved the feeling of starting a ripple of love in the universe for those I cherish.

The month left me feeling more grounded. My roots intact in solid ground and nourished. It also left me with unanswered questions for discovery in the coming year. And I welcome the journey to come.

October 2022 Quote: “Change Your Leaves, Keep Intact Your Roots”

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