November 2012:
On Grace & Gratitude

Fall is a time to harvest the fruits of our past experience, and take stock of what we’ve received. It’s a time of grace and gratitude, a necessary pause — metaphorically, at least — between the hyper-productive seasons of our lives, and the dormant, action-less times from which new possibilities are born.

Ex nihilo. Out of nothing. This is the true rhythm of things. Back in the olden days — when we lived off the land, and rose and set with the sun — the cycles of nature, and the sway they held over our lives was so evident that it required no contemplation. The frenzied days of the summer growing season gave way to the quieter, more contemplative days of fall, when we harvested the crops, putting them away for the fallow days of winter, when we were literally carried by our past efforts into the new birth of spring. In those long-ago days, we would have embraced the newfound leisure that fall introduced to our lives. We would have sat at the harvest table and received the bounty of the growing season with the deep sense of gratitude and awe that the moment deserved. We would have rejoiced in each others company and abandoned ourselves to the pleasures of a hearty meal. We would have taking the moment to breathe, and to feel our own origins and continuity within the rhythm of natural things.

These days, in the 24-7 Facebook-Twitter-Email reality we’re living in, slowing down can be harder to do. It’s a whole project of it’s own, with the diligent among us scheduling time so we can relax — and we need a Master Class worth of help to pull it off. There’s just so much to do, so many people to talk to, so many aspects to manage for the brand that is us that we forget: there is a season for everything and this season, fall, is the season for slowing down. .

Of course, technology and life’s demands being what they are, we certainly don’t have to slow down. And the “go, go, go” pace of everything tells us it’s at our peril if we do. We are hard-wired to listen to that fear-mongering voice. Because we are afraid, that voice sounds to us like the truth.

What are we afraid of? We’re afraid that we won’t get ahead, or get where we’re going, or even stay afloat. We’re not entirely wrong…, but neither are we entirely right.

Things certainly are moving at a faster pace these days. If we’re ambitious — for ourselves, for our families — we have a lot to do, from launching and managing our businesses or busy careers, to making sure our kids walk through their childhoods and into their adult lives with the skills and confidence and sense of themselves that they need. And yet, if we will slow down a bit, to the pace of life, rather than living in the frenzied pace that we’ve all grown so accustomed to, we will discover that, when we take it a little easier, we are rewarded with greater efficiency as well as with greater peace. If you’ve ever pounded away on a work project getting nothing done, you already know that worker harder and longer isn’t what gets the job done. It’s working in an intense, focused, in-the-zone way for a period of time, and then taking a rest. That period of rest is when we regain our connection to our center, and gather the energy we need for the next cycle of go-go-go productivity.

This month at Revel In It Magazine, we accept the grace of the season, and mark it with the deep sense of gratitude it deserves. We begin the month with our reflections on the meaning of this election. It may be the most important election of our lifetimes. With our vote today, we are making a powerful statement about what we believe, and the world we wish to make.

Later in the month, in our article “Business Unusual,” we will speak, with reverence and deep gratitude, about the new-model and traditional businesses that are re-shaping the business and cultural landscape by making including the societal and environmental impacts of the enterprise in the essential calculus of a business’s success. In “Tata Harper On The Farm,” “You Should Know About: Kinfolk,” a post on winter squash and our Thanksgiving post, we will honor the harvest, and the breaking of bread. Speaking of the harvest, we’ll be talking about Mary Kate and Ashley Olson’s The Row. In six years, the 2012 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Womenswear Designers of the Year have built their brand from seed idea (making a great t-shirt) to permanent place in the fashion firmament. And we’ll be talking about this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees — and celebrating the 2012 Fashion Fund winner, being crowned later this month. Finally, we’ll spend a little quiet time in November contemplating the question of “Authenticity” and what it can teach us about the story of our lives. It’s the pre-curser to a series of articles we’ll be doing in the months to come called “The Story Of Your Life.”

We hope you will take time out this month to celebrate your own harvest — and sink down deep into the story of your own life. It will pay dividends as you step toward whatever comes next.

PHOTOGRAPHY via This Is Not New

PAULA PURYEAR is a Lawyer, Film & Television writer, HuffPoster and Founder of Revel In It Mag.

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