Autumn: A Time for Harvesting and a Time for Reflection
Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT
Certified Life Strategies & Stress Management Coach
Career Development & Transition Coach, CareerHMO
Lake and Trees in Autumn
Everyone has a favorite season, and mine happens to be autumn. I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I have an October birthday, but then again, it may. I have always looked forward to October of each year as a new year as a new age filled with a new sense of possibility for the upcoming year. For me, my birthday is even more significant than New Year’s Day given that New Year’s Day falls inside of the dead of winter. And it's so cold on New Year's Day; autumn still contains a few warm days even though they may start out and wind up chilly...they can still offer warm afternoons.
I also love fall because of its bright colors, pumpkins, the trees ablaze, leaves falling, football, sweaters and cardigans. It is just my favorite time of year. Period.
Every birthday is (or should be) significant, I think, but this year, my birthday has represented yet another major milestone. I am now 62. I am now officially “old enough” to file for early Social Security…and I have done so filled with a certain amount of trepidation and more than a fair amount of hope based on careful planning that this coming year I will be financially successfully enough that I can give back what I will be given and delay my “real” retirement for a few more years.
Whatever happens, this season reminds me that autumn is a time for harvesting that which I have sown and tended over the spring and summer months. In my business, I have been sowing proverbial seeds, planting ideas and concepts, and tending to business networks and relationships in the hope of building a strong and viable coaching and speaking business. And I am beginning to see the harvest in the form of new clients, new contracts, and new possibilities that didn’t exist even two months ago.
Because of my affiliation with CareerHMO, a company with which I am so proud to be associated, I now have clients who are as far away as Beijing and Madrid. I have a client in Canada, a couple more of California, and one in Colorado. I also have clients in Illinois and Texas along with the several I have right here in Virginia.
I meet with four of my local clients face-to-face over coffee every few weeks…the rest I either email when needed or speak on the phone when necessary. Technology has allowed me to offer additional support in the form of two webinars that I have offered along with the course that I am currently teaching on visioning and goal setting.
I am particularly enjoying teaching the course online because it gives me a chance to reflect on the visioning and goal setting that I do in my own life whether it be for business purposes or personal purposes.
Additionally, I am teaching a Science of Mind course using the text written by Dr. Ernest Holmes, one of the groundbreaking teachers of the Science of Mind philosophy. That teaching reminds me that we are all energy, we are all connected, and our thoughts DO become the things we manifest in our lives whether those things be good or not so great. By controlling our thoughts and training ourselves to be more mindful and self-aware, we can actually, physically change our lives in fundamental ways.
In the spring, I will be teaching a course at the University of Richmond, finally, after waiting for two years for this wonderful opportunity. And also, in the spring, I hope to be mentoring, coaching, and advising candidates for National Board Certification so that they can achieve the highest distinction available to date to a classroom teacher.
I share all of this by way of sharing my personal reflection on the last two years. Two years ago this October, I had just left the Virginia Education Association, and I was still recovering from the exhaustion and sense of depletion that I had experienced after my four years as President. I had loved the job, but I won’t kid you that it had taken a toll in every respect…physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I was suddenly intimately aware of the sensation of being burnt out. I needed time to relax, rejuvenate and recharge before feeling ready to tackle a new endeavor whether it was in the form of a job or some other professional pursuit.
Here I am, two years later, the owner of my own business, an Independent Coach Consultant with a company for whom I have the highest respect and regard, a speaker offering workshops and presentations on stress management (something about which I have become an expert in more ways than one) and a consultant to school divisions looking for help with national board certification support or other means of support.
I am seeing and feeling the benefits of the seeds of thoughts I have planted since January of 2013 when I decided that I wanted to become a coach. I now have “real” clients. I am offering “real” presentations. And I am gaining “real” financial traction after many months of building my business, teaching myself new skills and new technologies, and learning what it means to have an “entrepreneurial spirit.”
As I head into my 63rd year, I am holding for myself that things are just continuing to get better. My bank accounts will begin to overflow, and my client base will grow from dozens to hundreds.
Personally, I will continue to flourish with friendships that support and nourish my soul and my life. And I am committed to continued growth on my very personal spiritual path as well.
October is my favorite month, and autumn is my favorite time of year. What is your favorite month? What is your favorite season Why? Have you thought about it recently? If not, I invite you to reflect on it now. It is that time of year, after all.
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If you or a friend or family member is looking for a job because they are out of work, between jobs, or underemployed, contact me for information about the “disruptive job search” methodology that is taught atCareerHMO, the “cure for chronic career pain.” I am now working as a career coach with CareerHMO and am looking for people who could benefit from the program and the fantastic resources that are available through CareerHMO and its sister site, Careerealism.