Mapping Your Course & Walking In Season – September 2011Posted: 09/14/2011
September arrives on a cool breeze under a brilliant blue sky. This month is a breath of fresh autumn air. Summer is winding down, and with the new season comes, for me — and for many of you, too? — a wonderful sense of a fresh start. A clean page. A new opportunity. September is a much finer month to declare the beginning of a New Year than is January, methinks.
This week, treat yourself to a few quiet moments to center yourself and make The List. You know, The List of New Year’s Hopes and Dreams and Plans that — to be quite honest — is far more challenging to face in the worn, gray, early days of January than in these fresh, clear, golden days of September.
One approach to The List that I love isn’t a list at all: it’s a map. I adore it because it is such a simple and lovely way to identify, clarify, and set your intentions for the upcoming year.
To make your map, take a large square of paper and divide it into nine smaller squares (three rows of three squares). Label the rows of squares, from left to right:
- Abundance & Prosperity | Fame & Reputation | Relationships & Love
- Family & Elders | Health & Center of Self | Creativity & Children
- Skills, Knowledge, & Self-Cultivation | Career | Helpful People, Travel, & Guides
When inspiration strikes, take your paper and pen (or pens — colored ones — if you’d like to stay true to the map’s roots and traditional colors) and step outside into the burgeoning autumn. Sit. Ponder.
Reflect on each square and on the goals you have within it. Dream. Listen to your heart. Be specific. Be honest. The only dreams that belong on your map are the ones that are truly yours — not the ones you feel obligated to have, or the ones others expect you to have, or the ones you wish other people would undertake.
Fill your squares with these dreams. Take a long, last, loving look at your map. Then file it away until next September.
When I have made a map this way, I have been floored by the outcome. When the year has passed and I’ve revisited my map, I’ve been so surprised by how many of my mapped intentions were met — even ones I’d forgotten I’d set for myself, until my map reminded me.
It is as though the map’s grid is a fertile garden plot into which we plant the mental seeds of achievement. As the year unfolds, the mind – often unconsciously — searches for every opportunity to water those seeds, to feed them, and help them grow. We follow those nurturing impulses, and throughout the year, we revel in the bounty that comes forth.
So, take a moment, take a chance. Chart your course for the next year. In the glory of autumn, progress is achievable, and anything is possible.
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Without further ado, here are September’s Walking in Season photos, taken by Matt in the late evening of September 13th (a bit late this month due to Little Miss Irene). And, also as always, you can view the entire 1.5-year collection here or watch a slideshow here.
Stop 1. Phragmites everywhere. And, Stop 1.5 has become too overgrown to easily reach, so we have decided to let it go unphotographed from this point forward.
Stop 2. The water is filmy and black.
Stop 3. Trees were downed in the forest, though not as many as one might think. Perhaps trees in the wood experience lower-force winds during hurricanes than trees out in the open, and therefore fall less often?
Stop 3.5. Invasive plants. Lots and lots of invasive plants. And mosquitoes. Lots and lots of mosquitoes.
Stop 4. The water is high.