If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not taste adversity then prosperity would not be so welcome. – Anne Bradstreet
At about this same time every year, we begin to notice the changing of seasons all around us. Since we live in Texas, it’s not quite like this scene from an October Vermont vacation that I took in 2017, but we still notice the falling leaves that need raking, cooler temperatures, changing colors- and pumpkin spice lattes. In fact, we know that we can count on it happening every year.
We observe our environment cycling through phases and stages of transition. We also quickly realize that nothing ever stands still, that nothing ever maintains its current state for very long. All of nature cycles through seasons of change and transformation, effortlessly and naturally — just like we transition through psychological and physical states of transformation throughout our lives; although, sometimes not quite as effortlessly and naturally.
The seasons of life are, sadly, not as predictable as the earth’s seasons! Sometimes they last a great deal longer than you want them to! Sometimes they last a short amount of time.
To grow through life’s inevitable ups and downs, we must move through each season in turn, as illustrated below by seasonsofchange.com
Fall – Sensing a Shift in Your Life and Preparing for What’s to Come
Early Winter – Retreating, Reflecting and Reconnecting with Your Deep Nature
Winter Solstice – Catching Sparks of Hope in the Darkness
Late Winter – Exploring and Experimenting to Firm Up Your Vision for the Future
Spring – Bursting into Bloom and Putting Your Plan into Action
Summer – Celebrating Your Harvest
We naturally create and transition between the four seasons of life as a result of our responses and reactions to everything around us-people, events, and circumstances. This essentially means that HOW WE RESPOND to our environment will directly influence what we get back from our environment — whether they are problems or opportunities.
You cannot control the seasons that come into your life (much as you may want to!), but you can control how you respond to each one. Don’t hate the season. CHANGE your mindset and perspective and experience each season as a learning experience, not a time to simply endure and get through. You will also learn new things about your strength and yourself, which in turn will help you grow.
What season are you in or transitioning through right now? Life is a journey with many phases. Let’s not allow the pain of one season to destroy the joy of others.
Tonya Hitschmann, Director of Community Programs