Reflecting through the four seasons way of life

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

SPRING

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?

SUMMER

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?

FALL

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

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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10 easy ways to maximize Valentine’s Day sales

Valentine season can be a really busy for retail businesses, it is therefore important that business owners maximize the opportunity to increase sales at times like this.

If you have been in business for up to 2 years or more, you might want to refer to sales data from previous years. This sales data can be used to prepare and determine ways to increase sales volume.

Having the right products is good but promoting what your business is offering just in time for valentines to build up sales is even better.

To achieve this, use the right communication channels to reach your target audience. Get as much exposure as you can, reach out to past customers as well as potential ones.

Here are general tips you can apply to drive up sales this coming Valentine.

Curate gift combinations (gift baskets/boxes)

Put related products together. Be creative with your ideas, make the combinations simple and appealing.  Make sure you consider your target audience and whom they will be buying the gift for.

Create an experience with service combinations

Valentine’s Day is mostly about pampering loved ones. Depending on your target audience, put together indulgent packages. If your business is in beauty and hospitality, this is something to consider.

For instance, if you own a spa, you can combine various treatments and offer as one package for valentine.

Create a bundle comprising the range of products you offer.

Make sure the products are related and make them available as readymade options so buyers can simply grab and go. An example of such bundle is a Perfume gift set by Victoria’s secret containing a shower gel, body cream, and perfume.

When you can, offer to wrap gifts for free or include it as a service to provide convenience to your customers.

Partner up

Collaboration during peak seasons can be at an advantage for you and your business. You can team up with reputable local businesses to create joint packages.

For instance, if you’re a florist, team up with a baker to create a package for valentine.

Create a buzz

Hold a fun contest to engage your followers on social media and create a buzz around your business. Make sure you are well aware of rules/restrictions associated with putting up contests on various social media platforms.

Make sure you time your promotions to capture early and late shoppers. Get the word out and announce your last minute gift deals.

Make gift card options available

Most last-minute shoppers are usually open to this, usually because most times they do not have a clear idea of what to buy. Design a gift card that’s appealing and gives a good impression of your business, be sure to include terms and conditions when issuing these gift cards.

Think beyond valentine’s day

Take advantage of valentine’s day rush to build a database your business can use in the future. You can present visiting customers an option to sign up / subscribe to your business website, app or whatever platform your business operates.

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Most importantly, remember to have fun even as you help others express love this season.