It’s back-to-school time again!
There are so many things I love about this time of year, but one of my favorites is seeing all the pictures of kids going back to school. I love their carefully selected first-day-of-school outfits and the new backpacks slung over their shoulders. Most of all, I love the big, excited grins on each of those little faces– because, hey, you’re never fully dressed without a smile!
There’s something about the seasonal shift from summer to fall that naturally inspires excitement for learning and getting organized. It is, after all, the season of Virgo– the earthy sign that loves information and organization! This energy is all around us, whether we are going back to school or just getting back to a more structured work and life schedule, so it’s a natural time to reset our goals and feel fired up about laying out a path to success.
But so often, before we know it, busy-ness and well-crafted intentions have turned into burnout and disappointment, and we find ourselves hurtling toward the holidays feeling stressed out and wondering what happened. We get so caught up in what we want the finish line to look like, that we forget to leave room for mistakes, spontaneity, or self-care. We don’t realize that we have unwittingly built expectations into all of those good intentions, and into just about every aspect of our life.
The problem with expectations is that they don’t leave us open to possibility or potential– or, least of all, to magic. Expectations mostly leave us open to two painful things: perfectionism and disappointment.
So, how can we avoid the trap?
We can start by being more mindful in any given moment. By not overlooking our own needs– like food, rest, movement, and time with friends and family. But not ignoring our emotional and energetic landscapes, like when we’re feeling anxious, sad, critical or insecure. By leaving some space in our planners for the times we may need to fail in order to gain wisdom and traction, and some space for those times when we realize the goal we’ve been pursuing mentally is not in alignment with our heart’s deepest longing.
Being more mindful of how we think of our goals and of the expectations we set for ourselves, allows us to move into this time with a fuller arsenal of tools for success. And even better? We show our families, loved ones, and coworkers that we care about their success and their wellness, too.
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo