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 throughout the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For October 2023 my quote was “If it’s out of your hands, it deserves to be out of your mind, too.”
October marks my new year, as it’s my birthday month. Over the years I’ve gotten more and more intentional about what I do in this month… specifically what tone do I want to set for my next year. This year it began with a two-day mindful leader summit filled with educational content and lots of meditation practices. It closed with a Lord of the Rings costume party at a horse farm in Tennessee with my extended family. In between were compelling conversations, long hugs, big laughs, hard tears, and introspection. Here are the quotes, lyrics, and phrases that that caught my attention along the way:
- It’s weird, it’s human, it’s inexplicable
- Sparring with uncertainty
- What messages came back to you?
- Be in the mystery of it
- With anticipation
- Tune into your bold
- The strength of one resolute soul can become the strength of many
- Could we shut out the background noise and remember our truth?
- It broke me and I asked my soul to lead
- Energy follows thought
- We all must choose our path in life, but let us also strew that path with flowers
- I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be
- Forever evolving
- Soul whispers
- Then I put on my crown of joy
- Spread your arms and hold your breath; Always trust your cape
- Drink like a pirate and dance like a mermaid
- Your dream is the plan
- Forget about enlightenment – sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind singing in your veins
- You are what you practice
- Drop our roots deep to rise high
- Wait in faith for just a moment
- Rip up the script and make magic
- She used her heart as a compass
Near the end of the month, I sat on the interstate going 5mph for about 45 minutes. I had been cruising at top speed with the sunroof open, crisp air swirling, as I sang loud to my playlist. The slow-down, slowed all of me down. I turned off the tunes and took some deep breaths. I then got a chuckle as I looked to my right and there were two tractor trailers pulling double cabs of porta potties – about 80 toilets in total. Here I am in a mindful moment, being fully present, with thoughts swirling in my head, and I’m surrounded by poop potties. The Universe is always good to show us our place and provide a humbling laugh. Perhaps those poop potties were where I needed to dump my ruminating thoughts.
Then a call came in from a college friend. “Happy early birthday… what is your intention for the year?” Ooof, big question to which I didn’t have an answer and didn’t want to toss one out flippantly. I told her of my current view and that I better wait for more scenic inspiration. The joy-filled call ended, and I eased along down the road with her question on my mind, and Tracy Chapman’s poignant tunes in the background as the sun set.
The result… connection. I realized that throughout the month, what I unknowingly laid out, were moments of connection. Connection to the quiet nooks and crannies inside myself. Connection to loved ones. Connection to fun. Connection to possibilities.
Here’s to my next year and the connections to come.