This week in our graduate meditation course, our teacher Daryl explored the theme of impermanence. She reminded us that, even though we know intellectually that everything changes all the time, it’s still difficult for us to bring that understanding to bear in our moment-to-moment reality.

With the school year now well underway and the pace of life picking up, children and teens may be finding themselves incredibly busy with school, extra-curricular activities, and friends. With so many activities and obligations, it can be pretty tough to stay on top of everything and to still find time to relax and chill out. Your kids may find themselves feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted as a result.

There’s no denying that it’s fall. It’s crisp in the mornings, orange and yellow leaves are appearing, and kids have already been back to school for four weeks. It’s a season of change: we’re putting our summer clothes into storage and getting out our boots; the slow season at work is over and our schedules are packed with new activities; and the local strawberries and peaches at the grocery store have been replaced with local apples, beets, and carrots.

One of the best lessons from mindfulness training is that our minds have a mind of their own. We can’t necessarily control the automatic thoughts that pop into our minds, any more that we can control the automatic emotions that arise in response. So what, then, should we do when our mind gets stuck in a cycle of rumination?