As the year moves from long, warm days to cooler mornings and changing colours, it can feel as though we need to speed up. When the season starts to visibly turn, we often get a false sense of the year moving ‘too quickly’ for all the things we had hoped to achieve.
Recently I’ve started Uni studying my Masters, and have been getting my teeth into therapy ethics and meeting a large cohort of 70+ students. So many new faces to process, names to learn and things to be involved in. Being at the beginning again is a humbling experience, and it helps to slow things down and put them into perspective. I’m once again seeking out the comfortable spaces, learning where to go, who to ask questions of, or when to say no when I’m feeling overloaded.
With a full life with family, my practice, study and other things I love to do (like spend time in my garden), I’ve been focusing on embracing JOMO. If you’ve never heard of the concept, JOMO means the ‘joy of missing out’. It’s a philosophy that embraces the intention to be present in all things and to make conscious choices about where and why you spend your time. This philosophy is especially helpful as we feel the pressure of the year ticking on.
As Winter approaches, we see the natural world begin to rest and recuperate. In the human world, however, we often remain ever-fixated on being busier and busier. Taking downtime and embracing restoration, however, is a beautiful thing. Take the Japanese Maple for example, a lovely tree that grows lots of new growth over Spring and Summer, turns that growth into amazing colours during Autumn and rests during Winter with bare branches. We don’t chastise a tree for embracing seasons of growth, change and rest – so why do we do it to ourselves?
Rather than freaking out if the cooler months of the year look like months with less, embrace them as months of more, more space! Make conscious choices to disconnect and experience life, knowing that by making space for human connection we are making space for more joy.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Anne Lamott
If you’re interested in reading more about the philosophy of JOMO, check out Christina Crook’s work. If this resonated with you and you’re eager to try slowing down and embracing intentionality and JOMO, perhaps the Easter weekend is the perfect time! When we practice JOMO we enable ourselves to shed expectations that put pressure on these holidays and simply enjoy our friends, family, and our own company.