Find Ease by Knowing Your Season

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

As a Canadian, I’ve enjoyed the predictability of the seasons, each offering distinctive gifts and inconveniences. When I lived in Mexico, India and Peru, my experience of seasons was different, usually noted as Christmas without snow. Yet each place also offered other seasonal shifts, marked with a change in temperature or more rain.

These differences within and between seasons, highlight just how normal and natural life and death cycles are. They remind us that rest and productivity is seasonal as well.

By tapping into seasons, we can access more ease. Given your experience of seasons, can you feel how different each one is, and how expectations shift? Can you also feel how you may have a preferred season? I know I do.

Seasons aren’t just around us in nature, they are also within us; our menstrual cycle, or the energy within a day and night. We may also see seasons at play in our work or relationships, and even in our larger community and cultural context.

In this article, we’ll look through the lens and perspective of seasons to access ease or even relief. All around us, we are bombarded with capitalist assumptions and messages that expect endless growth, require unrelenting energy, and dictate one definition of success. This approach measures our success by our energy level, a “booming and growing” business, by the thickness of our pocket books. It’s as if we’re to live and contribute in a season of endless summer and production… And so we strive for success according to this definition. How can ease be found when the requirement is to be endless producing? Let’s explore another way.

How and where can we find more ease by knowing the seasons?

First, invite curiosity.

A New Way, particularly one that is different than what is conveyed around us, is most easily received with a stance of curiosity and openness. Simply by being open, you’ll already start to see how the view will shift.

This might feel obvious or excessively simplistic. That’s not the intent here. When ease is what’s needed so much changes from the small and powerful act of being curious.

Your openness and curiosity is an affirmation of what we know to be true; nature is a good, safe and reliable teacher and source of wisdom.

Second, bring attention to the dis-ease.

Hone in on where there is dis-ease right now… a part of your life that feels tricky or challenging.

Where might dis-ease show up?

It might show up in your habits as you note how consistent / inconsistent you have been, or maybe you’re struggling to get started with a new habit. Maybe dis-ease is at play in your work, showing you a lack of progress, pace or drive. Maybe there is an aversion or discomfort to a familiar person in your life, and being near or close is feeling odd. Dis-ease has many expressions.

And notice your relationship to this dis-ease and what’s feeling different or new.

It’s often the contrast that we notice. What used to feel good now doesn’t. What once felt easy no longer does. Where we used to do something with ease, is now where we meet up with resistance. Energy used to be abundant and now we feel stuck. Fast is met with slow. Once focused, now always distracted.

How are you relating to the contrast between the two?

What adds to the dis-ease is the compounding effect of how we evaluate and feel about the difference; shame, frustration, self-judgment or confusion. It doesn’t make sense, because how we’ve known ourselves to be, or do, has changed.

Third, hold up the seasonal lens.

You know something has changed. Maybe it’s you, or the project, or the person. Change is normal and evolutionary, so muster up that curiosity and wonder what season may be at play here.

We’ll gander through each season, and I’ll offer some gentle, light prompts. They are words or small phrases, tainted by my own sense of what’s possible/ not possible in each season (and therefore not the fullest perspective either). Each season also includes some of what I’m discovering we, as a culture also believe to be true about each season.

If you and I were chatting about this together, in person, I’d be inviting you to layer in all your words, associations, feelings and thoughts about cycles of beginnings and endings. You’d feel your own perspectives as they met up with mine, you’d disagree, find resonance, would add or delete. This is just right.

The Season of Winter

Hibernation, incubation, dormancy
Rest, regeneration, stillness, pause, stopping, standstill, quiet
Reflection, presence, planning
Unseen, invisible, below the surface
Invisible productivity
Harsh, cold, crisp, bright sunshine, snow, ice
Escape, survival, death, finality, avoidance, unsafe

What else?

The Season of Spring

Anticipation, curiosity, excitement
Arrival, return, new beginning, seeds, sprouts
Energy, planting, preparing, organizing, busy, waiting, impatience, pace
Soil, dirt, rows
Messy, hard work, building, busy-ness, stop and start, growing, pruning, trimming, weeding, watering, composting
Insects, humming
Hope, relief

What else?

The Season of Summer

Ease, rest, relax, vacation, break
Heat, warmth, rain, thunderstorms. mosquitos
Hard work, maintenance, go, busy, full-on, intensity, drive, passion
Unrelenting, productivity, success, go, go, go
Green, flowers, growth, colors
Contribution, abundance, excess

What else?

The Season of Fall

Leaves falling, messy, mourning, releasing, decluttering
Colors, cold, rain, mourning, sadness
Crunching, hoarding (acorns)
Relief, harvest, sharing, gratitude
Closure, review, wrap up, completion
Fluctuation, variation, confusion
Rotting, layers, decomposing

What else?

What came into view?

I’m curious what you noticed as you scanned the seasons. What you associate with each, will also depend on your geography, preferences, and how you’re feeling today.

We all have our own beliefs that drive us and my hope is that walking through each season, will make it feel easier or more natural to set down beliefs that require you to be in your own endless summer or don’t allow you to take a much needed winter.

Stay open to ease

This lens, of being seasonal, may highlight that you are in one season, and your work is in another. And then maybe the season outside the house is another all together. Life is sweet and complex.

On behalf of ease, today I’ll invite you over the course of this week, to keep on bringing this view of seasons a little closer.

If we were more able to hold this lens close, my sense is that how we view success would also change. Our expectations of ourselves would be different, and hopefully those we hold of others as well. We’d measure our days differently and we might hold ourselves with greater reverence as we became accustomed to our own shifts and growth. I’ve seen this in myself, and my clients and so I feel full of hope!

I feel curious what’s lingering…. do you feel inclined to add to this lists above? Please do — layer in your own perspective!

And perhaps you know of a friend or colleague who is holding herself in a season, one that is ready to be released. Can you share this letter so she can access ease?

Because, the quote at the top of this email: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” This truth may be one of the things I love most about adopting this seasonal view of self and work. Nature in all her messiness and glory, gets her shit done, doesn’t she?

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Susan Doerksen Castro

Susan Doerksen Castro

Entrepreneur & Integral Master Coach™ helping accomplished women redefine success so they can realize a new, more fulfilling agenda for their lives.