The smell of pumpkin spice latte, the days getting darker, and Saturday College football…
Yep, all signs point to Fall. It’s time for a new harvest to give us a fresh start – to begin a new chapter preparing for colder and darker days ahead. While the leaves changing outside indicate a new season in nature, what about the season of life we’re living inside? Do we have alignment?
I’ve started asking myself this question because I believe I’ve been in winter for years!
Recognize when you’re out of balance
How many of you woke up fatigued, exhausted, and sluggish this morning? (I know I did, sigh…) 1 out of 7 Americans says they DO NOT start their day feeling refreshed. You’re probably thinking, “That’s me, yep!”
But sleep itself won’t restore and provide the essential rest our body craves – eventually, we need to make a change. We need to pause, unwind and recharge our batteries. But most importantly, we need to recognize what’s draining us in the first place?
In The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life, John F. Demartini shares, “Anytime you don’t fill your day with high-priority activities, lower-priority activities will flood in to take up your time, energy, and focus.”
One of the biggest drains in our life comes from losing energy to things that don’t fulfill us or align with our values.
So ask yourself where you want to be – or where you want to be going.
A look at the internal seasons of life
As the outdoor season’s change, it reminds us that we need to take a look at our internal status and life season.
- Are you feeling energized with new inspiration?
- Are you lost and feeling stuck at the moment? Worried about the future?
- Are you reflecting and reviewing your next step? (But afraid to fail?)
- Are you burned out and need rest?
Understanding and recognizing our seasons from an internal perspective takes effort. We have to actually slow down and ask ourselves tough questions. (Like the ones above!)
What personal season are you in right now?
The natural outside season might look like fall – but perhaps your internal season is summer? (Note: they don’t have to correspond, but often do!) Wondering where all this hoopla is going? Ok, listen up!
Our internal four seasons
It goes without saying that life is lived in seasons. That’s why it’s important to understand where you are in the cycle – we must understand when and how to change seasons to keep the alignment and energy in this journey of life. No matter where you are today, the good news for all of us is we won’t be in one season forever!
If you’re anything like me, you love summer. It’s fun and laid back – we have extra energy, excitement, and new zest for life. Think: summer vacations, driving with the top down, and long sunny days.
The same is true for our internal season of ‘summer’ – this is the time in our lives when we are working hard, but everything seems to effortlessly flow. Any challenges seem to work themselves out – we’re focused on specific achievements and seem to be in GO MODE all the time.
For me this looks like training for a fall race – they say marathons are made in the summer and PR’d in the fall. (Or, something like that!) 🙂
It’s the time in life we feel like we can take on anything and always seem to have the energy and stamina to keep going – energizer bunny style!
But life can’t be summer forever… we can’t go at full speed all year long. (Even though we wish we could!) And I learned this lesson the hard way resulting in burnout & chronic illnesses.
So be aware, seasons of your life can change at any moment…
Let’s take a look at fall as a season of life – this is the time we can harvest the fruits of our labor. It’s often a very productive and reflective time in our lives.
This can look like releasing people, thoughts, or ideas that no longer serve us. (Let go and let God!) And doing the inner work to heal from emotional wounds and trauma that are holding us back. Learning and experimenting take center stage in the fall to produce transformation and change within us.
Think of the trees releasing their leaves in the autumn allowing space and energy to produce new buds in the spring.
Personally, I feel like I’m internally in fall right now – I’ve been doing deep work to heal, reflect and let go of thoughts and behaviors from a hard winter season. Life had me in winter when I felt lost, sick, and stuck in this chronic illness cycle. While I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I know every season has a purpose and is an opportunity for growth.
Learning to embrace transformation and let go can be tough – but until we do it’s almost impossible to move into a fresh, new spring!
Only you can decide….
When the cold approaches we externally and internally seek comfort, peace, and ease. We tend to hibernate and stay to ourselves not prioritizing events and activities as we did in summer. Some goals are put on hold and we often put all non-critical things on cruise control through these winter months. It’s a time of protecting and preserving.
This tends to be the longest season – in the real world around us and internally. We find ourselves in a winter season when we are tired, burned out, and seeking alone time.
The biggest mistake we make in winter is not preparing for it – and not accepting or embracing it. We want to recognize what season we’re in so we can prepare for it appropriately.
They say, “there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing”.
If we refuse to accept that it’s winter (which I tend to do!) we could miss the growth that God has for us during this season. We must put our hope and faith in trusting God’s timing.
If you find yourself here, remember winter will always pass…
Outside in the spring trees and flowers start to bud and blossom – we welcome the sunshine and birds chirping again after a long winter.
This is a time for adventure – and exploring new things. Think SPRING BREAK baby!
Internally, this is also a season of renewal and rejuvenation. We can wipe the slate clean and start fresh. It’s when we desire newness, fresh perspectives and increased knowledge.
Give yourself time and space during this season to take your old wisdom and apply it to new learnings and skills. Follow your curiosity – what do you want to learn more about? Where do you need to spend more time?
We think progress is only doing things externally or being productive in the eyes of the outside world. But forward movement comes from within first through learning and personal growth.
A look at my different seasons of life
When I look back, the best seasons of life include my college years and the honeymoon phase of marriage… But I also recall the toughest one of all; my chronic illness battle.
Think about it, you’re finally an adult, living away from home, and still have the safety net of your parents for cash. The biggest cares in the world are where the best frat party is and who is going to buy the Coors Light. It’s summer all the time, baby!
At first, it feels like you’re ‘playing house’ and living with your best friend. Nothing else in the world matters – (for a while!) It’s a key season of transformation and future-building.
In Sickness and in Health:
This is the season I didn’t see coming – chronic illness. And if I had a choice I would hit the fast forward button right now. It’s been a long cold winter if you know what I mean! But if I’m honest, I value this season – the life lessons have been more than I could ask for…
Looking back, you probably can identify specific seasons you loved (or hated) like me. But often while we’re living in the thick of it, it’s hard to tell where we are – and if there’s another milestone around the bend.
The band ‘The Byrds’ sings of how our days and seasons Turn! Turn! Turn! … This number-one Billboard hit from 1965 serves as a reminder that there is a time and place for everything in our lives.
Good or bad, remember, no season will last forever – promise!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: