Discover more from The Millennial PhD
Welcoming Seasons of Change: Fall Reset & Resources for Creatives
It's that time of year. On shedding what no longer serves us to make room for new growth and transformation.
The fall season has arrived, and although it might not feel like it this week in New York, brisk air is on its way along with the shedding of leaves and, well, the season of death and dying (looking at you, Halloween and Día de Muertos).
As creatives, we often embrace forward momentum. Pushing ourselves for our art or entrepreneurship, sharing our voice with others, reaching out to a broader audience, or aiming to bring our craft to the next level. Just like the seasons though, there’s something to be said for pausing to shed what no longer serves us to make room for new growth, reorienting and reclaiming this season as a time of transformation.
Personally, I’ve been going through a season of creative ups-and-downs; wild swings as opportunities and disappointments seem to come my way in quick succession. So I took some time to write down my end-of-season lessons learned. There have been a LOT; but these four stood out:
Breathe. Stretch. Shake. Let it go. You can’t control everything.
Our relationships form the fabric of our lives. Nourish them.
Joy is the revolution. Be loud in your reveries.
Be yourself, seriously, and the rest will come. Embrace your weird, so others can too.
Sometimes I’m not sure how that first one has panned out for me. After all, this has been a year of planning, launching, scrapping, editing, re-planning, re-launching, rinse-and-repeat.
Has it been worth it? Have I dropped the ball when I should have pushed harder?
The truth is, every time I trim something that’s not working, new, satisfying experiences do arise. My confidence has grown in the face of recent decisions to say “no” to opportunities that didn’t feel right, even if I still struggle with indecision in those moments. Overall, I’m reminded of my own creative growth. And I’m reminded too of the inspiration I’ve found in exchange with others (hello, relationships!), and that this whole creative thing is supposed to be about building new ways of engaging in the world around us (Joy! Rest! Revolution!). And what is that, if not an invitation to be the most authentic version of myself (weird).
So, as we head into the autumn season, I’m turning my gaze toward what’s on the other side of pruning: renewal.
I’m carving out time for reflection, generosity, and strengthening. And, I’m including a bunch of (mostly free) resources below to support you if you’re interested in doing the same.
Reflection Prompts for the Fall Season
Simple, daily journaling for busy creatives on the move:
Gratitude: what am I grateful for right now?
Daily thoughts & priorities: what comes to mind if I keep my pen moving for 3-5 minutes of continuous writing?
Affirmations for my current & future self: what encouragement do I want to say to myself
Special seasonal reflection prompt:
Heading into the fall season of transitions, what am I looking to leave in the past of my creative journey? What am I making room for?
[Are you a dancer looking to document your creative journey? Check these out.]
Creative Resources drawing my eye this season:
PANO network (organization for women filmmakers) has opened applications for a mentorship program.
Bronx Dance Fund grant applications open on 10/7. Run by the Bronx Council on the Arts, who also have other grants throughout the year for Bronx-based artists of all types.
@pickuptheflownyc IG account, which posts grant and fellowship opportunities for creatives of all disciplines.
One more thing…
In case you’re wondering what’s going on here, I transferred both my newsletter and blog to the host Substack, which is proving 1000% more user-friendly than my previous set-up. The big change is that now, if you like what’s in this email, you can share it. If you want to support my work, you can also now do so with a paid subscription. But, for the foreseeable future, all my posts will remain free. You can expect short posts regularly, and a longer post like this one once per season (winter, spring, summer, & fall).
The Millennial PhD is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.