As we feel the air get cooler and watch the leaves change colors and eventually fall to the earth, we are also moving and cycling through seasons in our own lives. The seasons of our lives don’t necessarily align in real time with the seasons in nature. At the time of this writing, it is autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing spring. But what season are you experiencing in your life?
Spring: Learning and Opportunity
The personal season of spring is a time of learning and opportunity. You may be experiencing spring if you are in a new job or business venture, a new relationship, or approaching an existing relationship in a new way. Are you having “aha moments,” or feeling a spark of motivation? Mindset shifts and feeling motivated are indicative of spring. This is a time to lean into the emotions of love, trust, joy, gratitude, and appreciation. You may feel increased physical energy as you are birthing new projects or ideas.
Summer: Celebration and Inspiration
In your personal summer, you may find yourself achieving goals and enjoying life to the fullest. It is a season of fun, connection, and fulfillment. Networking, traveling, and risk-taking are all summer activities. This is a time for cultivation, and experiencing courage, excitement, passion, and joy.
Autumn: Survival and Doubt
We may feel reluctance when we are heading into autumn, a season of survival, mistakes, and problems. Autumn brings the harvest – the results of our efforts, for better or for worse. During this time we may be prone to feelings of disappointment, frustration, and anxiety. In contrast to the expansive feeling of spring or summer, we may feel hesitant or stuck, and find ourselves edging back into our comfort zone. Take this time to celebrate your successes, and accept your disappointments. Problems are an opportunity for problem solving. Learning from your mistakes also presents an opportunity for you to teach and mentor others.
Winter: Reflection and Intention
Winter is the season for self-reflection, turning inward, and listening to our own inner wisdom. We may spend more time alone, meditating, journaling, assessing, or bonding with close family. Winter is our time to pause and rest, hope and plan, to discover and connect with our values. You may need to physically reserve your energy during this time.
Lessons from Nature
As we go through life, we naturally cycle through these personal seasons. Unlike the seasons of nature, there is no set order or length of time for each season of our life. We may move from summer to spring and back to summer. Acceptance of these natural cycles and going with the flow allows us to make the best of each situation and season.
When we are faced with uncertainty or discomfort, we may resist the natural flow of our personal seasons. We might be afraid of uncomfortable feelings such as disappointment or anger. We may even be afraid to express joy and live life to the fullest, to be vulnerable. But it is vulnerability that makes room for our hopes and dreams to come to fruition. When we resist these natural rhythms, we experience psychological struggle, angst, and stress. We can take a lesson from nature here: Trees do not resist changing color or losing their leaves. Rivers do not try to hold onto the water they are made of; they let it flow. Nature accepts what is.
A mindful approach will bring us peace as we move through our seasons. Whether we are in spring, summer, autumn, or winter, whether we are experiencing joy or sorrow, expanding or withdrawing, we know that all feelings and circumstances are transient. This too shall pass. Whatever personal season we are going through, we can learn from it and become more resilient as we move through it.