Reaching into Stillness

A few weeks ago I turned 43. I was excited about my birthday this year as it brought my Sticky Note Challenge, 7-Day Love Your Body, Nourish Your Temple challenge, a surprise party with my friends, and fun times with my loved ones. Yet, it’s also brought its challenges. Since my birthday week, I have injured myself every single week. First a sprained ankle, then a pulled back muscle, then a random swelling of my uninjured foot, followed by my not so graceful fall this morning that caused some hip and shoulder strain. To say I’ve been frustrated with my series of injuries would be an understatement. Last night, I even made the difficult decision to give up belly dancing for a while to allow myself time to rest and heal (and that was before my fall this morning). Yet, I know that once I’ve learned my lesson, this too shall pass.

So what is my body trying to tell me? What’s the lesson here?

For the past two decades, I have been paying attention to the wheel of the year, and I have found Mother Earth to be a great teacher. As the seasons change, so do we. Everything has its cycle and season to bloom as well as its season to rest. To me, Fall is a time of harvest – a time to reap what we sowed earlier in the year, to learn the lessons we need to learn before moving into the contemplative season of Winter. It’s also a time to be grateful for all of our many blessings. Yet, it is also a time of stillness. If Fall were a time of day, I think it would be twilight – the time of day when the sun is just below the horizon, but it’s not quite dark yet. It’s a time that can feel both peaceful (because you know your day is coming to an end) and unsettling (because you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen when night/full dark comes).  

This makes Fall the perfect time to slow down and re-evaluate things (as both of my feet now hurt, Universe has apparently decided I needed help remembering to slow down!). We have two and half months left in the year. Now is the perfect time to reassess your priorities, examine what you’ve harvested and what lessons you’ve learned (or perhaps still need to learn) before the New Year begins. To help you (and me) do this, I’m offering you a few reflection questions to consider:

  • What’s going on for you right now?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What is working well?
  • What is frustrating or challenging you?
  • What’s the lesson to be learned by all of these things (both the good and the challenging)?
  • What seeds did you plant earlier in the year? (Another way to think about this: What goals did you set for yourself this year?)
  • What are you harvesting right now? Have you achieved your goals – why or why not? If things didn’t go as planned, why? What’s the message here?
  • What still feels incomplete? What needs to be finished before the end of the year?
  • What do you need release or let go of?
  • What are you being called to surrender (to)?
  • What can you learn from this period of twilight/stillness? What are you being asked to reconsider?

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.


  • Diane Piotrowski says:

    I woke in the middle of the night to find this blog. These reflective questions have left me both in tears and amazed. In tears because it has been a year of great pain as I feel I have had to let go of my best friend and love of my life. It has left me amazed by the fact I have met every goal I have set and yet still on this journey of self love, becoming my own best friend and love of my life. Going deep into myself and finding all the gold within is a deep and wonderful journey. Mining that gold and exposing all that I am is hard work. I feel resistance to letting go of my husband. I guess even that statement is relling in that we are not married as of Sept 28th. I need to let go of him and both he and I don’t seem to want to do that. I do love the idea of becoming my own best friend and love of my life. That truly brings a peace to my soul. Thank you for these questions Mary.
    Diane Piotrowski (you may know me as Shepard), my ex husbands name

    • Dr Mary Pritchard says:

      Oh Diane! I know you’ve had a rough year. I’m glad these questions helped you gain some clarity and insight.

  • Kate Vanner says:

    Just what I needed, Dr Mary. Thank you!

  • Susan Mason says:

    The only item left on my vision board is taking a pottery class where you use a wheel and use your hands. I am amazed at how much I have accomplished in one of the most painful years of my life.

    • Dr Mary Pritchard says:

      That’s on my bucket list too!!! And, I am so proud of you. You’ve had a very rough year, but look what’s come from all of that heartache and grief. You’ve emerged Queen of your own life! Look at you go!!!!

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