My Autumn Manifesto 2017 :: Reflections

Look up at Autumn

I don’t know about you but the autumnal months moved at such a pace and with the days feeling short this year I really noticed and felt the lack of light. The run up to the festive break whizzed by for me as I finished up projects in my day job for the year. I feel good and ready to start the new year with gusto with new foundations in place.

I’m sitting here late December, finishing writing this not at a desk but on my bed with non-Christmas music playing (it’s Snow Patrol’s A Hundred Million Suns album, an oldie but oh so good). The music is giving me a boost and helping me put my thoughts down about the autumnal season. The truth is I started to write this post on the winter solstice, hoping that the day when the seasons turned would magically deliver insightful reflections of the autumnal months. It didn’t. My head was full of cold, my body was tired and aching for rest after a few months of continual colds, coughs and feeling run down. Instead of finishing writing this that day I took some precious time and spent two days relaxing, reading a few magazines with Juno snuggled next to my hip, a blanket over my legs, drinking tea and enjoying a moment of pause after many months of hard work in my day job. A few more days of rest, Christmas festivities enjoyed and a change of scene has enabled me to get back into my creative rhythm, one that I deeply miss. I know that I successfully connect to that creative part of me with adequate headspace and a clear mindset. With this festive break I am at last having that space to really think and connect to my passions.

My word of the year has been Thrive, and we are nearing the end of the time with this word. Thrive has certainly manifested itself in a different way than what I had expected (more on that in another post). Each season I’ve been looking to my word and setting seasonal intentions for the season ahead to see what I can invite in. My Autumn Manifesto seemed a little more abstract and brief than other seasons this year. I wasn’t quite sure what it would bring, but as always it has brought with it some interesting noticings. Here’s what my autumn manifesto created this year:

My Autumn Manifesto 2017

Absorb and nurture

Utilise my resources to be creative

Discover and shape my style


Absorb and nurture

On writing this part of my manifesto a few months ago I had a desire to connect on some level to nature, and echo nature’s activity during autumn. Absorb and nurture felt like it could be a solid connection to what goes on in trees during this autumnal season. For me, I needed an intentional prompt to start taking in all the goodness that I had grown this year.

With the pace of life ramping up later in the year, I started to disregard all that I had done. I brushed off big shifts and things I’ve done as feelings that I had internally cataloged as ‘this is who I am, I just do this’. I have been unforgiving of myself, unkind and hard on myself at times, and in some way perhaps I feel that I’ve been in competition and comparison mode with how I generally respond and deliver in my life. Taking these understandings onboard I’ve discovered more about who I am and how I react in situations. For me I aim for brilliance and that can be so very hard when the foundations that help you get there are not quite in place.

So I set out in some way to nurture those foundations. Through the connections, new environments, and new ways of being and feeling day to day, I have started to take these learnings on board. I’m working through how to do that fully at the moment and will take them into my hibernation and planning phase that winter always brings for me.

Blueberry autumn leaves

Utilise my resources to be creative

Creativity is something that I try and include in my everyday. I noticed that those creative moments began to erode during the year. With the intention set to ‘utilise my resources to be creative’ I reminded myself skills I have and things I do that are part of who I am. I knew in my heart what I needed to do to reconnect, I needed to activate something different and create something handmade. On Sunday afternoon I set about sourcing a few sheets of beautiful plant dyed organic felt to make a simple autumn garland of felt leaves. It took a few weekends of working, and step by step I finished it just before the start of advent.

Until I started working on this project I felt frustrated that I hadn’t completed anything creative for myself for a long time. For months it has been about work. I set out to complete something from start to finish, managing to work through the middle lull of a project that I typically struggle through. Having a project was a reminder that I can finish things that I start if I put my mind to it. It reminded me of the way that I work best. In that moment spent finishing off the garland and hanging it over our rustic mirror in our home, I could feel that at last I was thriving once more. I had re-activated and re-discovered what felt like a long lost ability and inner resources to focus on one thing.

Felt autumn leaf garland

Discover and shape my style

The intention to discover and shape my style was written as a prompt for myself to put more thought into the style of our home and how I wanted it to feel. For me this took me to me thinking about more about what I enjoy wearing, through to understanding my style of coaching and how I like to work. I thought that by discovering and shaping my style it would enable me to connect more to who I am and enable me to authentically Thrive. It has and I appreciate that it will always be a moving set of thoughts that can be refined and changed, but for now I know a little more about my preferences and can spot what fits and what doesn’t.

Bristol houses and autumn leaves

My practice of connecting to a manifesto each season draws to a close for 2017. I’ve been connecting and writing seasonal manifestos now for a few years and Autumn normally sees a pivotal shift and deep change in my life, this year it hasn’t. Instead it’s been a time of a more considered pause for thought and a focus on a few things. I put this feeling down to a long awaited synergy between my day job, what I connect to outside of work and my personal values.

It has been a really wonderful, simple year of reflection and manifestos. For me connecting to the seasons through a manifesto feels purposeful and intentional and will be a practice that I will continue to connect with, share, shape and use to reflect again next year. I hope that you will join me in noticing more about life, how we can connect to the seasons, and ultimately how it can inspire you to cultivate and live a more creative and wholesome life living with the seasons.

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