A client once told me she was feeling grumpy for no obvious reason.
She’d recently launched her new program and signed on several clients right away. She was super excited and on fire. But then, out of nowhere, she felt grumpy.
As we explored her mood shift I understood her problem. I drew a picture that looked like this and before I even said anything, I heard an audible “ohhh” come from her.
Growing Anything Requires Moving through All Four Seasons
Just like an apple tree, you require four seasons for growing—spring, summer, autumn, winter—and if you try to skip a season, things can fall apart.
Right now, it’s May and that means those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are in a busy growing season. Whether you’re growing apples or projects, the growing period requires that you stay vigilant or things could get weedy.
But just because it’s literally May, doesn’t mean you have to wait until literal December to rest. Each day has a full seasonal cycle and it’s essential to remember this if you want to reap the benefits of the growing season.
What Happens When You Skip a Season?
After my client told me about the events surrounding her grumpiness, I realized she was trying to skip winter, which is the period of rest. She had so much to do she kept going, and going, and going.
In the spring of her project, she created a program she and her clients would love.
In the summer of her project, she put the finishing touches on her program and prepared to go live.
In the autumn of her project, she launched her program and signed on new clients.
When autumn was done, however, she didn’t move into the winter of her project and take time to integrate and regenerate. She kept going, and going, and going, and pretty soon her lack of rest caught up with her and grumpiness kicked in.
Assimilation and Integration are Essential
Once you reach a milestone in your life, you need to take time to integrate and regenerate, or things can suddenly fall apart. You need to spend some time in “winter,” consciously letting go, intentionally lying fallow, so you can renew yourself in mind, body, and soul.
But we live in a culture that encourages the “go, go, go” mode. We tend to think of downtime as unproductive, not like a rich, regenerative period that leads to a stronger container (body) for more growth. Yet studies show that resting improves productivity.
If you have a difficult time resting during the productive spring and summer parts of your life, here are some ideas to help you get started.
“Winter” Daily Releasing Ritual
At the end of the day, while in bed or with your journal, reflect on what went well. Give thanks for these things.
Then imagine God or Goddess or the Universe is standing in front of you. Give this being everything you collected throughout the day that you no longer need. I like to release arguments I had, anger I felt, frustrations, or anything I completed. I ask the Divine to take these released items from me so I don’t have to carry them into the next day. I always feel rejuvenated afterward. Then I fall peacefully to sleep.
“Winter” Releasing Ritual After a Finished Project or Goal
Once you hit a milestone, like after signing on a bunch of new clients, take time to regenerate. Relax for a day or a week. Sit in a hot tub. Go to a spa. Go for a hike. Do something to renew your energy and intentionally prepare for the next phase. Stop doing what you were doing and do something else. “Doing” includes rest and the process of “not” doing something.
Regeneration is a necessary part of the growth process. It also helps you become stronger so you can hold bigger energy and embody your highest purpose and potential.
So how will you honor the four seasons of your life?