“Don’t you love New York in the fall?”
Tom Hanks’ character Joe Fox says this to Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail, a movie I watch year after year without fail as the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to change color.
“It makes me wanna buy school supplies,” He continues. “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address….”
I feel you, Joe Fox. And even though we can’t all enjoy autumn in New York, nor are we all in school, there seems to be a general consensus that fall is the perfect time to learn something new. It’s just in the air, isn’t it?
Unfortunately as adults it’s easy to undervalue or even forget our desire to learn something new when there are daily tasks to tend to. And yet, if we pursue it with authenticity and intention, the process of learning something new can be akin to a spiritual practice by encouraging curiosity, cultivating creativity, and making room for delight.
Even when our school days are behind us, the back-to-school rhythm each year can serve as a reminder to continue to pursue life-long learning and personal growth in our everyday journeys, inviting us to ponder how we’d like to expand and to take action.
Ready to learn something new? Here are 11 ideas to enrich your journey—body, mind, and soul:
1. learn a new language (make it a game with Duolingo)
2. learn about a different religion or denomination by reading about another faith tradition and visiting their place of worship (here’s a great primer, and mark your calendar’s for OWN’s Belief premiere, October 18)
4. learn a new craft or skill (Skillshare offers classes on design, business, photography, and more)
5. learn what’s in season where you live and cook using those ingredients (the farmers’ market is a great place to start—I’m a big fan!)
8. become educated about current events (Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple has rounded up a great list of links on the Syrian refugee crisis and what you can do to help)
9. learn a new spiritual practice (spirituality and practice has amazing tutorials)
10. learn the basics of yoga or work toward a particularly challenging pose (crow pose, I’m talking about you!)
11. learn about a place you’re longing to visit and what the journey will require so you can start planning and saving (find inspiration from A Sacred Journey contributors’ own travels here)
What will you choose to learn this fall?