VARLOW ACADEMY: NOTES FROM A MOUNTAIN MAN
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Do you find yourself feeling strange as the season begins to change?
I wanted to share something with you at this beautiful moment as we begin here in the northern hemisphere to transition out of Summer and into Autumn. It has been a lovely time, warm, sunny. We have felt good in our bodies, leapt into cool waters, lay on thick patches of grass, lived with fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance...but something is coming.
Smell the air at night, feel the temperature drop. Do you hear yourself wondering about whether to put on the heat? No, wait, it's still summer. Forget that!
Dear readers, I have in my life lived in many places, parts of the world, cities, countryside, and as I grew as a person I began to find myself challenged by the coming cold. The quiet, the darkness and the loneliness and depression. But I am not a person that feels terribly comfortable feeling sorry for myself. Perhaps life would be easier at times if I did. Instead, along the way in this life I have felt that I must make adjustments as my environment adjusts. I felt I should 'Lean In'.
I have called it 'Leaning In' for a while now, and what I mean by that is that I make alterations in my physical and mental spaces to adjust to the changes around me. I 'Lean In' to the darkness, to the changes. I believe that by embracing these changes a person grows stronger in mind, body and spirit. I 'Lean In' to what I love AND to what I fear.
You do not need to stop enjoying summer. Keep your swimsuit ready! Get in the water whenever you feel like it! Set up a chair in the sun to soak up that warmth. They warm parts of the day will be less and the cold parts will last longer in the morning and come on earlier in the evening. Veronica and I will linger longer over our morning coffees. We will perhaps soon wear long sweatshirts as we have our morning talks by the creek. In fact I am writing this post in part because it feels like it is time to write again. I am leaning in to that 'back to school' vibe that late summer provides.
You may bemoan summer's passing, but do not linger in that state. Look back and appreciate, live these last weeks with gratitude. Hope if you want for some late return in September for more days of warmth. Keep your swimming suit ready..AND...'Lean In' to this next coming time of deep greens and blues as the sun makes its journey slightly lower every day. 'Lean In' when a cold day keeps you indoors. Make your home the sunny place, the warm place, the studious place. Get ready for a nice bath. Books, baths, movies, parties, work, creativity there are so many good things to lean into.
But you must not only focus on what you want, you must also lean into what you FEAR! It is by confronting our fears and overcoming them that we grow. To know yourself better, to be stronger, surer, that is the best way to personal strength as well as the kind of wisdom that will allow you to help others, allow you to be a better person.
So I ask you to do this when the first cold rain gives you a shiver. Open the window a crack and let the cold air mix with the air inside. Light a cauldron or incense and let the smoke mix with the cool, damp air. Breath in the smell of autumn decay for it is the fertile stuff that will grow new green in the spring. Let Autumn know you are ready to Lean In to your experiences. Don't like the coming darkness? Go see some art that can help you appreciate the darkness. Welcome it. Be strong!
I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying it is natural and you will learn a lot about yourself in the process. Here are some of my past fears about Summer ending: School starting, cold, loneliness, sadness and more...and these things are still there, but I have strategies to deal with them. I see them coming. I've Leaned In to them enough now to know when it is time for me to pivot so I'm not surprised.
Here are some things I look forward to as the Summer passes into Fall: Writing, Tea, Baths, Quiet, Puzzles, Hugs, Movies.
You do not want to be that person that gets on the elevator at work and looks at total strangers with wide eyes talking about how 'cold it is'. You want to be the one nodding back and saying to yourself inside 'the cold makes me stronger.' When I worked at MoMA at The Met I used to bike to work from Chelsea a few miles every day no matter the temperature. I believed it made me stronger and that belief combined with bravery and exercise and saving a few bucks on the crowded and sad subway made me stronger in every possible way.
Lean In to the ending of Summer. Be strong. Be brave. I believe in you and I'm here to help as well.
Do you have fears about the end of summer? Perhaps you have strategies for your own 'Lean In'. Please share them below!
If you are interested in a personal one on one session with me please email me at [email protected]. I am available as a life coach, guide, tarot reader, listener and healer. Feel free to reach out and let me know how I can help.
Also, I am regularly offering up your Freaky Weekend Tarot Mantra, Mountain Man Magic and adventures on my instagram - you can follow along on the journey with me at @davidvarlow. There's such a great group of friends there in the comments!
Love to you and All the Best.
-- David Varlow
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