The fall can be a very poignant time with the closing of the warmth and freedoms of summer. It can also bring on remembrance of the innocence, hope and energy that accompanies the opening of another new year of learning.

For those of us long past matriculation, autumn often presents a natural time for a look-back at life and – for those of us more sensitive individuals – it can also touch the place of regret, sadness over perceived losses. We can easily lose sight of the fact that we are living in the ‘university of life’ doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing in a way that is designed to help us learn the lessons we came here to learn.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.”

So – our autumn education can still occur if we focus on our direction and realize that – if we want to live a fulfilling life with no regrets – we must live each day to its fullest. So, how can we be sure we are doing this?

We can ask – how are we strengthening our minds? What are we reading? Studying? Contemplating? Can we focus on fearing less – daring more? (Trying to do just one thing every day that scares us helps us conquer fear and have new, enriching experiences each day.) Overall, how can we renew our determination to live with love, passion and forgiveness?

It is never too early to start thinking about what we’d like our personal legacy to be – how it will serve others and leave the world a better place. Most of all, we must concentrate on being fully present in today – savoring every moment as special and appreciating the beauty of life – as it is only way to avoid preoccupation with either the past or future.

Equally important is to let go of the small stuff. Trying not to overreact to the events of life or blow things out of proportion, hold on too tightly or focus on the negative aspects of life. Because it is those annoying little things in life that can immobilize us, drive us crazy or weigh us down.

Rather than looking at autumn as a time of loss or regret, we can live it as the perfect time to lighten up and live with the understanding that what ever we shed in this season will leave room for a more healthy, happy, beautiful spring.

So – no regrets.

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