We go through seasons in our lives, and the beginning of each month is a time for refreshing reevaluation and an increasing motivation for positive change. These monthly short stories are designed to help you move through the year with purpose and a greater sense of your true nature.

Gather

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” - William Blake

October is the time for harvest. Typically, when we hear the word harvest, we think of produce like lettuce, tomatoes, squash, and other delicious garden goods. But October is a time to harvest other things, too. Anything that you have invested your time and energy in will, eventually, yield a crop. You can harvest the rewards of building up friends during hard times. You can partake in the rewards that come from working hard in school or at your job. You can harvest beauty by enjoying the view at the end of a long, strenuous climb. It is too easy to forget to enjoy the things we work hard at, but this October take the time to reap the rewards of your valuable effort. It matters!

Stick up for yourself

Be like a Chipmunk and be bright-eyed and bushy tailed!

It’s OK to be a little cheeky! There’s nothing wrong with a healthy measure of sass. In fact, a stronger will and a clever sense of humor can actually be good for you, according to Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who Have Lived the Longest. Cheekiness is one of the commonalities found in each of the areas that he and a team from The National Geographic discovered had the highest amount of healthy people over 100 years old! In Sardinia, Italy, in particular, the extraordinarily healthy population of elders is known for their sardonic sense of humor. The term sardonic even comes from this area! While being sassy will not give you any extra time, it may help release stress in a safe way and thereby allow your body to recover from the damaging effects of stress. Who wouldn’t want to harvest the abundance and satisfaction of a lifetime of healthy eating, gentle exercise, and a healthy dose of cheekiness? So go ahead, let the chips fall where they may!

Bask

Take some advice from an Aspen and enjoy the golden sun!

A tree is beautiful in any season, but in October the leaves of the aspen have an especially brilliant vibrancy. The quaking leaves of the mountain aspen turn a bright yellow, and shake precariously in unison creating a glimmering and glowing effect on whole mountainsides. All summer long nature was hard at work creating the lovely leaves of the aspen and bringing up new plants to maturity. You can partake in harvesting the beauty of nature with your eyes and your heart. Apart from the leaves, one of the most beautiful things about the aspen lies under the ground. Did you know that an entire aspen grove is one organism? Each aspen is connected to the others through an intricate and interlaced root system. Aspen groves are able to be so successful in difficult climates because of their interconnectedness. The aspen brings new meaning to the old adage: stick together! 

Be a Pack Animal

Follow in the Coyote’s paw prints and howl with your friends!

Relationships take effort. We all know this, even though we often act like we expect relationships to be effortless. Be like the coyote and take some purposeful time to bond with your pack each night. Nobody knows exactly why most canines howl, but the closest guess seems to be that it is a bonding activity for the pack. As a form of communication, howling is as complex as it is primal. All we know for sure is that canines need to howl. Similarly, we need an intentional way to build bonds with our pack! We all have the ability to harvest the bounty of a friendship that has been intentionally and consistently nurtured. This October, think about who is in your pack and invite them over for a raucously good time!

 

Fall Falling

Red orange yellow
Remembering green

Once securely attached
Friviously free

Floating twirling
Dancing to the earth

Stored and storied sunlight
Resting in sweet celebration.

- Ilan Shamir