Even though it’s been eons since I sat in a classroom, I still wake up sweating, breathless and with a racing heart because I dreamed I missed my first day of school. It’s a common nightmare often lumped together with the one where I fail a test, flunk a grade, or can’t seem to remember what room my class is in. It’s amazing how current worries can mask themselves as past episodes of school anxiety. My subconscious doesn’t seem to want to let that go. Like a broken record, it’s a continuous episode that needs to be played out. Maybe it’s a reminder of what needs to be healed (insecurity, lack of self-confidence, rejection) or an indicator of what requires attention (preparing for an interview, gearing up the kids for their first day of school, etc.) .

As we head toward summer’s end, there are real school anxieties and there are the ones that represent our fears of being tested. Just the other week, I was taking a written test for my driver’s license and felt all the same fears I did when I was a kid: “Did I study enough? What if I fail?” I realized that this was bigger than a driving test. These were the questions we all ask at various stages in our lives.

The Book of Awakening author Mark Nepo says the following about learning life’s greatest lessons:

“…though we work our way through predesigned courses of study to receive credentials and degrees, our attempts at real living don’t happen this way.”

In fact, we learn organically through hits and misses, through unexpected blocks that temporarily impede our path. Sometimes what seems like our worst nightmares are learning lessons that can propel us forward toward the life we were meant to live.

This week you’ll get your own set of lessons through posts on ways to help your kids get ready for the new school year, rediscover your creativity, and regulate your emotions. It’s all in an effort to help you make a smooth transition from summer to fall and to confront your anxieties (school, creativity or otherwise). Have a great week!

Embrace Your Creativity
(Sorting Out Your Life) – If you thought you weren’t creative, read this. While reconnecting with your creative side, you’ll also learn why creativity is an important factor in everything from mental illness to problem solving.

Internet Addiction And Loneliness
(The Gentle Self) – We can all agree that the internet has changed the way we interact with the world. In this post, find out how it’s also contributing to addiction, depression and disconnection.

The First Steps in Regulating Your Emotions
(The Emotionally Sensitive Person) – Of anything you’d want control over, wouldn’t emotions be at the top of your list? Get important tips to regulate them here.

RIP Milton Hill: Police Shoot 46 Times, Killing Mentally Ill Man
(Mental Health Humor) – In his post this week, Chato B. covers a difficult and disturbing issue that’s no laughing matter.

Top 10 Tips for Back to School
(Parenting Tips) – Unsure of how you’ll help your kids adjust to a new season? Read this. It’s chock-full of hint, tips and information on preparing them for the upcoming school year.