With the arrival of autumn comes the impulse to get organized and be productive. At this time of year, our ancestors were gathering the harvest, working to store it for the winter, and readying themselves for the start of the cold winter months. In modern culture, many families are affected by the start of the school year and getting their fall schedule in order. As Pagans, we feel the quickening energies of harvest-tide, as well as the simultaneous slowing-down as the trees and animals prepare to slumber. Bringing these energies into balance can be aided by making some flexible plans.
Planning and organizing might bring to mind calendars and sharp new pencils, and may fill you with excitement…or perhaps with dread. If you prefer to “go with the flow,” you might resist the process of making plans. Yet the suggestions I’m offering are not at all rigid or absolute. How about putting in place a system of organization that easily adapts to each day’s changing needs and moods? One that suits you and your own biorhythms? How would you create such a thing?
First, give some thought to your organizational needs and preferences. Are you a night owl or a morning songbird? Are you keeping track of just your own schedule, or that of your entire family? What types of things are you looking to organize: events, projects, daily tasks, your home, or all of those? Don’t get overwhelmed, just brainstorm freely about what you’d like to accomplish. Make some notes on a pad of paper, so you don’t have to hold all of it in your mind. If you already work with goals, affirmations, or intentions, consult those so that you stick to your chosen priorities.
Next, make sure you have your basic tool for organizing: a calendar. Choose one that suits your own needs. Make sure it has room for lists, for jotting down inspired ideas, for doodling, or whatever you like. Choose a datebook with pictures and colors that inspire you and nourish your creative side. If you’d rather use technology, choose a free online system – I like Google’s calendar, as it’s easily customized and updated. If you’re sharing a schedule with your partner and perhaps your kids, you can create a shared online calendar quite easily.
If you’re dealing with many projects, the best way to handle them is to break them down into smaller tasks. A great way to do this is to make lists. I created a simple Word document with headings under which I could list my various projects and daily tasks. My own headings are: Creating, Feline Dreaming (because the name of my online business is Feline Dreamers), Homeschooling, Priestessing, Drumming/Performing, Daily Practicing, and Householding. Under your chosen categories, create lists of projects and regular tasks. Break larger items down into smaller tasks, ones which you can accomplish in chunks of five to fifteen minutes throughout your day.
Each day when you wake up, perhaps after your shower or with your coffee or tea, take ten minutes to roughly plan out your day. Start by getting quiet and taking some deep breaths. Ground and center yourself. Do something that signals sacred space for you: burn some incense, put on some relaxing music, or go outside and feel the elements on your skin. Let yourself experience the state of your body, mind, emotions, and spiritual connection in this moment. Then consult your list and your calendar. From them, create a shorter list for the day. Keep it very simple and realistic. Before you go on with your day, bless your list and your intentions for today.
On the weekend or your day off, take time to look at how your week is going. How can you readjust your schedule to your current circumstances? What has come up that might need to be added to your project list? Equally as important, what can you let go? What might need to be saved for a future time?
Remember to allow plenty of time for relaxation, self-care, and exercise. These are things that will keep you strong and healthy. In our culture, we are encouraged to be constantly going, doing, and performing. Acknowledge your desires to just be yourself, and experience the beauty of living on this lovely planet. Planning and organizing don’t have to be scary or boring. They are useful tools for balancing your life, at the Autumnal Equinox or anytime. Blessed Be!