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The days are growing cooler. I slipped on a sweater this morning before I walked out to feed the birds. The smell of woodsmoke lingered over the open field. Dry leaves scuttled and tumbled down the driveway, catching my attention. I watched them somersault onto the lawn, then come to rest, collecting at the base of a tall oak.

I threw out handfuls of cracked corn and seeds, then made my way back to the house. The morning felt electric, as if something extraordinary could happen at any moment. I slowed my steps and breathed in the crisp air. “Thank you,” I whispered to the birds, now singing. I waited a few seconds at the door before I went in, savoring the moment. “Summer is over,” I thought to myself. “Fall is here.”

Fall is the season to gather together, give thanks, and settle down into the coming quiet of winter. We slow down; the hurry and excitement of summer are over. Fall is an excellent time to be aware of the need to let our minds slow down and rest, too. We need ways to cope with information overload: the Internet, news, social media, etc. They take a toll on us, causing mental clutter, and it’s not healthy. Our minds race from one thought to the next; too many things to juggle on our endless to-do list. Mental clutter causes our minds to turn on us with negative judgments—a mindset of scarcity sets in. We don’t have enough. Enough time. Enough good looks. Enough money, Enough talent. Enough, whatever. A cluttered mind causes stress and anxiety. We can’t focus on this precious moment and the gift of safety that it gives us. Safety is the secret to calming our nervous system, says Dr. Stephen Porges. His discovery about how the hierarchy of the states of our autonomic nervous system, polyvagal theory, gave us incredible new ways in which to overcome stress and anxiety. His work is an important part of the Four Cornerstones of Well-Being.

I’m looking forward to sharing the Four Cornerstones with you. I hope you’ll join me here each week to learn how to eat right, move enough, stress less, and love well so that you rewire your brain and nervous system for a state of safety, a state of calm. There, you’ll be at your best: creative, compassionate, caring, curious, capable. There you’ll be happier and healthier. There, you will thrive!