September marks a period of transition for most of us; we can sense a shift as the days get shorter and summer gradually makes way for the fall season. This time of year involves returning to a more structured routine, getting the kids ready for back-to-school and daily activities. It also usually involves getting busier and feeling more stressed. As our life speeds up, many of us find a renewed interest in making time to resume our mindfulness meditation practice, something that we know is deeply restorative but that somehow has managed to fade with our summer plans.

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.

It’s no secret that good communication is the secret to happy relationships–at work and at home. In her book “Real Happiness at Work,” mindfulness teacher Sharon Salzberg devotes an entire chapter to mindful communication. Her three-pointed strategy is simple and effective: before you speak, consider whether or not your comment is true, useful, and kind.

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.