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Bite of Childhood

It’s still November and that means we’ve still got one more month to celebrate all things Fall!

So please hold off on the Christmas music for now!

snoopy christmas

Where do I start?  How do I express all the gratefulness I feel for this beautiful season of autumn, and how the autumn connects me to my past?

Fall into November, Gratitude and Art Journaling!

That brings me to this week’s Fall Into Art Journaling Challenge! 

End of Summer fall ito art journaling amy

Art and Journaling are both awesome ways to process, express, relax, tune in and zoom out. If you’ve never even heard of art journaling, it does exist! Jump in – or Fall Into Art Journaling to have a totally legitimate excuse to doodle. It’s free therapy.  Check out some past challenges and some guidelines, and then just join in on the Creative Wildcats Facebook group – even just to pop in and see some great artists journal away!

Your Challenge:

This week, draw what gratitude means to you.  What are you thankful for?

Here’s an idea – start a grateful list from A to Z – like I did in the hospital and draw each letter.  Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Fall, senses, and being alive

Fall is such a sensory season…note the fall flavors of Peeps and coffee!  Or try some of home-roasted espresso beans from Bye Comparison, the great blog of Brooke Knipp.

hazelnut coffee

I’m quite grateful I got to meet Brooke when I was doing my show in Denver last week!

brooke

Brooke of the great blog Bye Comparison

Gratitude Grounds You In Change

Grateful List

Well…besides making a gratitude list, I love getting grounded in change by using my five superhero senses!

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  If you sign up for my Detourist newsletter, you’ll get some great tips for finding your center in the most centering season of all.  Here are a few tips:

Don’t get stressed – get grounded.

So Long

Ground yourself. When life gets stressful, it’s hard to be present.  Instantly, I go right into my head – I’m worrying, self-consious, and slipping slowly into pity-party mode.  Help!  I’m sucked into my mind!  Learn how to stay present.  Here are some tips:

  1. Say an affirmation. Tell yourself “I choose to live in the present” or use some of the affirmations you got on your amyoes.com opt in!
  2. It sounds easy, I know.  But, you’d be surprised how often you stop breathing, when you start overthinking.  Breathe deeply – it’s calming and healthy!  You can read more about the amazing benefits of deep breathing here.  Need some practice?  Breathe along (sounds crazy, I know) with this Youtube guided meditation by Eckhart Tolle TV, and when you’re ready to lie down, learn how opening up your back can open the pathway to breathing…and presence!
  3. Awareness Without Judgment. Notice every physical sensation in your body.  Have a chat with what I like to call my Five Superheros Taste, Touch, Sight, Sound, Smell.  Think I’m crazy?  I call them my superheros because they save me in the nick of time when I’m about to get lost in anxious thoughts.  When I start worrying or pitying myself, I call on these rockstars before I can think one more thought.

Quick! At this very second, name the first thing you…

  • Smell
  • See
  • Touch
  • Taste (it can be air!)
  • Hear

There’s something about autumn – it’s such a magically sensory season – that brings us back to those senses we remember experiencing as a child.  The smell of Thanksgiving turkey in the oven, jumping in a pile of earthy leaves crisp as paper – Autumn brings out the home in us that we’ve always known.

This fall is turning out beautiful so far, adorned with orange and red leaves falling one by one onto the pavement, with copious cornucopias, pumpkins, and turkeys, and lots of lamp-posts under trees in the crisp fall night.

Autumn is the home I run to inside myself when times are uncertain and I don’t know what to rely on.

Autumn – though a season that changes – is still a constant in my heart.

Anxiety creeps into my mind and suddenly I don’t feel safe inside myself or my body.  Suddenly my mind shouts, I want to go home!  So I turn my gaze inward: I walk into a room of my own, totally grounded, coming home to myself, in Autumn.

On days where I am especially anxious, I visualize a room inside of my heart with four walls.  The four walls of my heart are each a different autumn tree.  Oak, maple, cedar, pine…

The wind grows stronger, and the sunset shines more beautiful and spills into even more brightly colored hues.  What can I do to celebrate this room?

I saw a leaf falling from a tree just now and Fall is upon us.  The leaves are changing and it is so beautiful.

 Today, think about what Fall means to you.  What does it remind you of?  

What is your first Autumn memory?

Today, think about what this season means to you.  And make it your home.  Make it your heart.  It’s still November. You’ve got time. You can even Fall into an Autumn Art Journaling Challenge 🙂

#GivingBackTuesday…Every Day!

Singing-Globe-Amy-Oestreicher-2015

And in honor of Gratitude, Autumn and Giving Back, I invite you to join in on a great campaign launched by Giving Tuesday. Write about a non-profit organization that you gave back to, and that non-profit could win $200!  I wrote in honor of the Great Comebacks Ceremony, supporting resilient individuals with ostomies.  This event was made possible by two great non-profits, United Ostomy Associations of America and the Crohns & Colitis Foundation.  You can vote for my Giving Tuesday essay here to support a great cause.

In Order To Give Back, You Need to Take Care of Yourself First
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Who has learned this first hand?
Awesome Mental Health Resources
If there’s one thought I’d like to leave you with, it’s to put on your own oxygen mask first.  I’ve just created a great list of mental health resources here that you can check out, in honor of launching my mental health advocacy college tour.
What self care resources can you not live without?
Send me them, or tweet me.
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“The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.”

AmyOes.com (1)

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