Aligned Progress is Cyclical
There is a cultural myth that if you are not actively and successfully creating a bigger and better life (whatever that means to you), it might be because of some moral weakness; maybe you are not dedicated, tenacious, gritty, insightful, hard-working, or even spiritual enough…
This kind of self-judgment is exhausting and demoralizing. Falling short of the constant “shoulds” leads to inner confusion that gets in the way of you trusting yourself and your desires.
Self-judgment is the most effective way I know to cut yourself off from sustained connection and progress towards what you desire. And it can be tricky. Like a whip used to get a horse moving, self-judgment can motivate you towards bursts of action and progress. But in order to create significant changes that are close to your heart, involve many unknowns, or require ongoing investment, your progress will be more satisfying and sustainable (and therefore successful) if you can let go of the expectation that progress is linear.
By embracing a cyclical concept of how growth and progress occur, you free up loads of energy and creativity, which can be applied to tending the journey that is unfolding within you.
I turn to nature for solace, insight, and inspiration about the upward spiraling cycle of growth and progress. Expecting yourself to continually have some impressive and insightful answer to the friendly question “what’s up for you these days?” is akin to judging Mother Nature for being in any season aside from summer! Mother Nature is the ultimate change-maker. Her wise way allows room for birth, growth, harvest, death, and rest.
Consider the valuable and necessary four seasonal phases (at least where I live!) of each year and ask yourself:
- What is the necessary function of each phase?
- How might Mother Nature’s wisdom be applied to my own desires to grow, change, and achieve?
Autumn is a reminder that transitions are normal and often messy. Change is visibly happening as the leaves change colors and drop to the ground. There are death and transformation, side-by-side and all around. This helps remind me that often something must die (or be forgiven) in order for there to be enough fertile ground to cultivate something new.
Winter is the quintessential time for nourishment, self-reflection, and celebration. I am inspired knowing that when the branches are bare, the tree is growing more than at any other time of year. We don’t think of winter as being a time of growth, but it is! Winter reminds me that even when I might not be producing mega-outward results in my life, there is growth happening inside of me; I am storing up strength and insight for when the time is right for action. This is the ideal time to let the self-judgment rest so that you can get in touch with what you really desire instead of what you think you “should” want or do.
Spring leaves are new and green and there are buds of possibility everywhere. This is the time to practice TRUST by spending time getting clear about your WHY before you dive into the specifics of WHAT you want or HOW to create it. Going deep into your “why” requires trust; trust that there is enough time, trust in that which you desire, and trust that you have what it takes to create change.
Summer is the season of action; a busy time for tending and harvesting. When my client enters her summer phase, I am supporting her to continually innovate to stay in aligned action. This can look like creating ways to generate steady forward momentum, baby-step by baby-step. Sometimes it means gathering energy and support for a big outward push of actions. This is the season that our culture recognizes as valuable and celebrates.
Despite cultural messaging, your maximum potential requires each phase for the creation of the meaningful stuff that makes life fulfilling and joyful: relationships, health, achievements, contribution of gifts, creativity, and spiritual connection.
Whatever “season” you are in as regards to re-inventing your sense of self and your life, I would love to support you. Contact me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation exploration conversation so that you can decide if working with me is the support you need and want to embrace and create what you desire!