Insights: Change of Seasons

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Summer has ended and fall is here. The change of seasons is always a wonderful time for reflection.

Last weekend I spent three days at a place in Big Sur where there was no cell phone service, no internet and no television. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to reflect and regroup. I took a journal, an open attitude and my chocolate.

There was a lot to learn that weekend, more than I could have imagined. The quietness and stillness of not having technology around was amazing. It slowed me down; I did not feel overwhelmed. I was surprised that I did not miss any of my devices. In fact, it was refreshing. I felt more present to my life. I felt happier.

Next, the food I ate there was mostly grown on the property. It was not fancy, but so rich in flavor and color. Part of what made the food taste so good was that I was not distracted or rushed to eat.

I did what I wanted when I wanted. There was no structure to my days.  How pleasurable that was. It actually made me a little anxious to not have a plan. However, it did not take me long before I was just checking in with myself and deciding what I wanted to do or experience.

With a mixture of hiking, sitting and listening to the ocean, reading, eating when I felt like eating and sleeping, I got reconnected to my body and myself.

The most important part of this weekend was my experience with the mineral baths. This area of the property, bathing suites were optional. This made me uncomfortable. Here I am sitting in this environment of the waves hitting against the rocks, while the sun is setting, sitting in the hot natural mineral water. What was I focused on? Being self-conscious in these pools.  You cannot focus on the beauty of the experience if you are being self-conscious. Once I was aware of what I was doing, I took a deep breath and with some self-talk about where do I want to put my focus, I was able to transition from how I felt to what I was experiencing.

Focusing on the beauty of my experience I felt so alive, happy and content.  No need to be self-conscious.

I ended up not doing any journaling, but when I got home I wrote out what stood out to me about life. Let me share with you my thoughts. Many of these thoughts may not seem original and you may have heard them before, or they might be new to you. No matter what, think about what feels true for you and want to hold as you transition into this new season.

–                     Be with what “is” in this moment.

–                     Have great expectations, and then let them go. Now be open to all possibilities.

–                     Be who you are and let others be who they are, then decide if you want them in your life.

–                     Every moment is an opportunity to be present, to be mindful, to be authentic.

–                     Live with your heart, and then decide with your head.

–                     Make a difference in the world, but not at the cost of yourself.

–                     Life is tough. But we decide how we handle it and our attitude towards it.

–                     Find peace with what is, even when you don’t like it.

–                     Find joy in the small things. That is what is important.

–                     See people for who they are, not who you want them to be.

–                     Keep learning, keep growing, keep exploring.

–                     It’s okay to change your mind. And it is okay to not.

–                     Not having an answer is an answer.

–                     Everything has a beginning and an end. Nothing remains the same. Everything evolves.

–                     Use your senses. They make life more fun.

–                     Only have people or things in your life that have meaning or purpose.

–                     We all make mistakes, but there are always opportunities to repair, to make right.

–                     We know the answers, it is just a matter of truly trusting ourselves.

–                     When being with another person, see them, not the external, but see who they truly are.

–                     There is no room for self-doubt, there is only room for learning and growth. You cannot                               doubt yourself and grow at the same time. You get to choose where you put your focus.

–                     Courage is being who you are even when society or others disapprove.

–                     Lean into what “is” no matter how painful it is. Resistance will only make it more painful.

–                     Never rush, you won’t get there faster.

–                     Breathe…

Take a moment to write down how you want to be in the world.

Contact Dr. Shelly Zavala at or [email protected].



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