This year has been a transformational one. I know I am in a new place and have transcended to the next platform of my life. Believe me, I have grown and I know that I will never be the same again.
I went into the woods and came back anew.
Well, I make it look all-glorious and rosy but we all know that growth is riddled with moments of tears, frustration, and chaos.
The biggest influence on my life this year was a twelve days leadership programme that I was part of in July. As part of the programme, on one of the days, we were required to take part in a personal six hours reflection session.Recognize which season the different aspects of your life fall into, and take the necessary actions. Click To Tweet
I am melancholic, so I naturally reflect a lot. One hour of reflection is enough for me to figure out things and have my ducks in a row, or so I thought. I must admit that I was not at all excited about the six hours reflection session.
To make matters worse, there was talk that the woods in which we would be doing our reflection had snakes. My plan was to walk the entire time so that I did not have to sit and encounter any snakes.
So the said day arrived and my fellow participants and I were ushered into the woods by our facilitators. There was a whole ceremony around it. The only things that we were allowed to carry were food, water, a notebook, and a pen.
We were also encouraged not to carry any watches to avoid shifting our focus to time rather than ourselves. My plan to walk for the entire six hours was quickly squashed when I walked the entire length of the woods in under twenty minutes.
The rest of the woods was restricted to us. So while others were perched on trees or rocks, I decided I would sit right next to the winding path where I had a full view of my surrounding environment, where I would see all the reptiles coming my way.
While psychologically preparing myself for this session, I had mentioned to one of my friends that I was not looking forward to being in the woods for six hours and much less to reflect for that long. Having done it himself on numerous occasions, he advised me to use the four seasons ways of life to reflect on my life.
That is precisely what I did while I was in the woods. And before I knew it, I heard the whistle go, signifying the end of the reflection session. While reflecting, I had not for a single moment thought about what time it could be or how many hours were left before I could leave the woods.
I left the woods with clarity about my life, where I was at, what I wanted to start doing, what I wanted to continue doing and what I needed to stop doing. Basically, I took stock of my life, the four seasons way.
According to Socrates, an unexamined life is not worth living. The Four Seasons Way of Life helps you to do exactly this, examine your life. The four seasons; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter when mapped to our lives, reveal so much truth.Weeds are the things that will stop you or act as an impediment from reaching your goals. You need to identify them and pull them out. Click To Tweet
I love Spring. It is such a beautiful season, despite the rain, with so much color and life. Things begin to bloom and flourish. Hope abounds.
Spring signifies what is new in your life or what is being birthed. It could be a new job, a new business venture, a new relationship or a renewed relationship.
Things that are growing and thriving in your life. These things bring you joy and hope. They challenge, motivate, and scare you at the same time. Essentially, they give you a reason to keep going.
What is blooming in your life?
As an African, I remain mesmerized by the long Summer days. I absolutely love them. There is something about sunshine and the energy that it brings. Lots happen during summer.
People take breaks from work, children are on break from school, people travel to places all over the world. As we would say in my country, “It really happens in summer”. Summer is about having fun, connecting with those who matter most, traveling and seeking inspiration.
Summer is the time between sowing and reaping. You sowed in the Spring of your life. You pluck out weeds and water your plants in the Summer of your life.
Weeds are the things that will stop you or act as an impediment from reaching your goals. You need to identify them and pull them out. There is nothing that will grow without being watered. Whatever you have planted in the Spring of your life, needs to be watered. Be it a job, a relationship or a project.
What needs to be watered in your life?
In Fall, you reap. The things that you started in Spring are coming to an end during. Some of those things could end successfully, while some may come to completion in a manner that was not expected.
In the Fall of your life, you need to think about the things that have ended. Rejoice in those that have ended well and learn from those that did not end so well.
Grow from the process.
Sometimes we try to bring back to life, through watering and weeding, things that have already died. We keep trying in bad jobs, toxic relationships, and fanning the fire even when the other party has poured water in it. Do yourself a favor, if something has ended, learn from it and move on.
What has come to an end in your life? Have you learned anything? What do you need to let go of and move on?Do yourself a favor, if something has ended, learn from it and move on. Click To Tweet
Winter is cold and dreary. We tend to spend most of our time indoors during Winter. This is the season of your life where you pause and consider how to move forward. Before you begin to birth in Spring, you need to conceive in Winter.
In this season, you bring in the lessons from earlier seasons and you use that to plan how to move forward.
What is being conceived in your life?
Life being what it is, as you read this, different aspects of your life fall in different seasons. You could have just started out a new project as an entrepreneur, after having left an old job.
You could have just finished university and you have decided to do some volunteer work in a different country. Or you could have worked for the past thirty years, and are considering retirement or moving to a new coastal town.
Recognize which season the different aspects of your life fall, and take the necessary actions. It could be birthing, cultivating, harvesting or conceiving.
“The more reflective you are, the more effective you are.” Hall and Simeral
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