John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD


Pointing out the beauty of autumn –- could I be any more cliche?

And yet how can we fail to notice the transformation that will be happening over the next few weeks? It’s as if the season was made to remind us to use our senses. The red and yellow leaves, the slanted light. The sound of leaves crunching under foot. The scent of burning leaves in the distance.

Autumn is a season to be savored.

When we are depressed or anxious, we ruminate, brood, or worry. We are way up in our heads. But when we are mindful, we are right here, right now. We are present to the moment. We are open to the information our senses are giving us.

Think about the last time you felt fully alive or energized. I’ll bet you weren’t caught up in your head then. If were fully engaged in something –– fully alive –– you were completely in the now. Full engagement leaves little room for brooding about the past or worrying about the future. Full engagement keeps us right where we happen to be.

Do you know what mindfulness is? Here's a simple definition: "Awareness of the present moment –- with acceptance." Sometimes we need to be aware of our internal environment, our thoughts and feelings and dreams. But other times we need to be aware of the world around us. Autumn is a built-in opportunity to be more mindful, is it not?

So take that color tour. Or that long drive on a weekend afternoon. Or take a walk outdoors.

Think less, sense more. That maybe just the vacation your over-worked mind needs.