Readers’ Note: I took six months off from writing my blog while working on adding coaching to my private practice. I found that my schedule already was full, which meant I would have to give up something while I pursued this credential. I had a difficult time choosing what to give up. I am happy to be back.

This is my second-favorite time of year. (Summer is my first love) In September, I get a kick out of the excitement around heading back to school: school clothes, school supplies, seeing friends, making friends, meeting teachers - if I could get paid to go to school, it would be my life’s work. And, October, well Halloween is my favorite holiday. From the freaks and frights we head into the gratefulness that is Thanksgiving and the magic of Christmas.

The part I like best is the learning. I relish diving into something new and soaking it all in - like I do with the sun and surf in the summer. The difficult part about learning for me is the integrating. I first have to decide if I want to integrate into my daily life the new skill or thought process I have learned - do I want to practice through to the mastering. If the answer is “yes,” then the questions become how? and when? Clearly, all of this is an effort that does not happen overnight.

The process of integrating is organic in nature. It’s natural to have times of activity and growth followed by intervals of quiet and contemplation. Not only does it take action to integrate into a new version of ourselves or a new vision for our life, it takes rest days, too. During these down times, it appears as though nothing is happening - a plateau even. This resting place offers a perfect view of where you’ve been and where you’re heading. A place to recharge, take inventory and get your bearings.

The view from there might be beautiful - the air crisp and clear, but don’t get too comfortable. We have to emerge rejuvenated with resolve for practicing and integrating.

Some have difficulty leaving this place. Instead, they choose numbing out, escaping or being unconscious (as in aware). If you’re stuck at this mile marker, could it be fear? Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of the unknown - even if the known isn’t healthy for you. Have compassion for yourself. Move - crawl, walk, run, skip, dance - move. Some of those obstacles are rocks and some are boulders - ask for help. Practice. Practice small. Practice big. Practice daily. Practice the thing you most want to do. Practice being the person you most want to be until this new learning is integrated into your being - your human-ness.

There is a Zen saying, “Practice as if your hair were on fire.” It’s about showing up in your life, challenging yourself to always be awake (metaphorically of course).

Keep showing up in the moment.