All of us have our own reactions to experiences of the season. What do I enjoy about Autumn? I love to hear the leaves crunch under my feet, I like to rake the leaves (yes I actually enjoy raking…..it provides such a feeling of accomplishment, but in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t hire out), I love the clear blue skies and, of course, looking at the leaves as they turn. I enjoy cider and hot doughnuts at our favorite cider mill. I don’t like the rain (even though I’m from Seattle) or when it gets too windy and cold. I don’t like the anticipation of the cold Midwestern Winter that is about to come when I find it becomes more difficult to get from here to there. So what does all of this have to do with self-determination? This type of reflection is one way we can learn about what we like, what we need and what our strengths and weaknesses are. My lesson is that I’m happier when I’m mindful (when I notice the leaves crunch, or I look up to see the blue sky or the changing leaves); I need to feel a sense of accomplishment (the big piles of leaves I rake up are exquisite!); creature comforts are important to me (hot cider and warmth); and sometimes I worry a little too much (snowy roads are hopefully a long ways off).
A simple reflection like this is easy to do and can do so much for us. If you’re working with others to promote their self-determination, or if you just want to try this out for yourself, you might try posing a few questions about the season. You can also support development of writing or speaking skills depending on how you ask people you’re working with to respond.
What are your favorite things to do in the Fall?
What do you like most about Fall?
What do you least like about the Fall season?
What do all of these things say about you, your likes and dislikes, your needs, your strengths and preferences?