Coming into awareness of our physical selves is a great first step in working with the energy levels, inspiration and whims we have, rather than forcing ourselves to act like a robot that feels the same every day and is capable of the same activity/ concentration/ energy every day.
Back in a galaxy far far away, a few years ago, I found the rhythm of working in a busy office in consulting mode, exhausting. And part of that was because of the lack of cycles that made sense to my body. A large report deadline would be followed the next day by a presentation to a client group, followed by a public lecture, followed by an… etc. I work better in a seasonal way – work hard to a deadline and then need a few days to file, do busy work, recalibrate, adjust, wind down, rest and recharge. Multiple projects and multiple teams instead meant my workload felt discordant – perhaps a wild ride of impenetrable improv jazz a bit beyond my comprehension.
As an introvert (are you surprised??? Yes I am – a chatty, writes-a-lot introvert) I need time to reach equilibrium in my body after a huge download of sensory input. The emotional dimensions of work are felt just as keenly as the ‘cognitive’ ones and I need time to process, sift and sort my responses.
So what does to mean to attend to the inner seasons?
Knowing that not every period needs to be a summer, bursting with fruit.
Knowing that winter may look drab and sad but is essential for growth.
Knowing that there are times to suck in the goodness from something you’ve made and let the remainder drop to the ground.
Knowing that new growth comes forth when it is ready.
For me now work is still a complex rhythm (I thrive on diversity), but a more balanced feeling affair. I have days of intense productivity, and days of lots of ‘people time’ and other days when I don’t speak to anyone at all in office hours, and get to go inward and think and rest and play.
I try to notice when I need some empty space, to let my soil rest fallow. I try to trust that Spring will come. I try to remember that Summer isn’t meant to be all year ’round.
And just like different parts of the world have a different expression of seasons, a different ratio of hot to cold, length of seasons, need for rest between productivity, so too maybe do people. Figuring out our own inner climate and appreciating it, working within it, feels like a helpful step towards self care and understanding.
If you would like to join my next Women’s Creative Wellbeing Group, starting July 2016, and explore the metaphor of seasons in your own life (along with other tools and processes for self knowledge and acceptance), you can register now on the special Early Bird price. I also have 2 ‘pay as you can’ spots for women on a low income. Register HERE.