by Richard Staudner
You were just sitting with friends on the Danube Canal and letting the sun warm you up? Have you perhaps enjoyed nature on a mountain tour and treated yourself to some rest?
Or did you fill up on a healthy dose of vitamin D on a Greek beach ?
Our summer was certainly not suspicious of a heat record this year and there were years with far more sunny days. But it has given us what we crave every year: natural warmth, long sunny days and plenty of time outdoors.
The summer months provide us with the opportunity to recharge our batteries. In preparation for the time when the days are getting shorter again.
Many people look forward to the colder months of the year . The quiet and contemplative time is getting closer. When the leaves fall from the trees and lay a colorful carpet across our streets, at least for a few hours.
For many, however, the end of summer is associated with significantly less anticipation . At home we have to heat up again and make room for warmer clothing in our closets at the expense of swimwear.
Jumpers, jackets and thick socks are back in fashion. Sitting lightly clothed on the terrace is a thing of the past. At least until next summer.
And this wheel keeps turning, year after year.
In the dark months of the year, it is often harder to motivate yourself and stay active. That doesn't always have to be the case. We don't always have to demand top performance from ourselves.
I now see it as a personal success, at least for myself, to enjoy a cold winter Sunday with a cup of tea and classical music. Stress-free. With your nose in a good photo book or in a family album and your thoughts in good memories.
Serenity is a virtue
The changing of the seasons is an unchanging, recurring constant in nature. Long before we humans set foot on this planet, the earth was subject to the cycle of the seasons. Just as one minute has passed after 60 seconds, and day and night alternate, autumn comes to us every year.
Many miss summer and face autumn with negative feelings. However, these negative emotions do not help us to master the cold season unscathed.
Getting through this time unscathed? Is that a good strategy, a fitting resolution?
Can we change our mindset and embrace the multiple positive aspects of the different seasons? Put autumn in a positive light for us personally?
The time for serenity is coming. And here might be the key.
Do you know the serenity prayer of the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr? In this case, it hits the so-called nail on the head.
"Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
There is nothing we can do about the course of the seasons, so there is little point in worrying or even getting angry about it. It is a natural principle that day is followed by night. Even if many children and adults would rather have more of the day. It's the same with the end of summer.
What we can change is how we deal with this change. This also applies to other life situations. Our reaction to the loss of loved ones and the acceptance of unwelcome changes. Of course, this does not only apply to a change of season.
We can direct our thoughts and mind to the things that we actually have control over. As Niebuhr advises in his Serenity Prayer.
Serenity or a calm acceptance is a virtue. According to the Greek philosopher Plato, it is one of the four cardinal virtues.
In ancient times, serenity was also described as peace of mind. Plato and his students believed that serenity was one of the foundations of a fulfilling life. According to Plato, the other cardinal virtues were: wisdom, bravery and justice.
I like to paraphrase serenity with inner peace or “keeping your own center”. In everyday life, in stressful situations or even with unchanging events, such as the beginning of the cold season.
Calmly we now step away from the immutable fact of the changing of the seasons and shift our attention to the things in our hands.
Resonate with nature
We as humans have undergone a dramatic change in the last 100 years. From an evolutionary point of view, more has happened in the last 5 generations than in many centuries before. Not that the Middle Ages weren't impressive, but we've managed to get electric lights in every household and a smartphone in our trouser pockets that rivals every library in the world.
Impressive, right? But what we have partly forgotten is that we are still part of this cosmos. Many of us have forgotten how to swing with nature. We turned night into day and let series streaming and online games keep us awake until midnight.
There is something wonderful about following the rhythm of nature.
Rise with the sun and settle down with the moon. Energetically, this often means an incredibly positive change. Our body is programmed for the sun. The sun and its light are pure life not only for plants, but also for us. In autumn, spending time outdoors and in nature is therefore particularly important. Use every ray of light to maintain a healthy day-night rhythm and make good sleep possible.
While we think we can unwind with a good TV series, time and exercise in nature are unbeatable here.
You can even hear the beauty and power of the seasons. Maybe Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" will inspire you. My absolute favorite from the world of classical music for years. In 12 parts, the Italian composer reveals the splendor of each month and the unique appeal of the seasons, which are so different. TV off, speakers on.
Do you have big plans? Do it in the fall!
In the next blog post I will explain why.
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