Do you resist letting go of a season once you have settled into it?
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand as autumn rains are followed by a chilly wind that rattles the dry leaves on the pathways, I am thinking of change. In the northern hemisphere as winter shifts to spring, you too may be thinking of change.
In the middle of any season, you may find yourself settling into it, having adjusted to what it is. Around the edges, things may be different.
Transitions tend to be tricky to navigate as we bounce between the old and the new, one day in serene sunshine and the next huddled inside.
Adapting to seasonal change is an opportunity to practice resilience. Resilience means the capacity to flow with change, whether in life circumstances or in seasonal habits.
Ritual can help
Here is a simple ritual to help you release the season that is passing and welcome in the season that is arriving. (You may use these ideas no matter which hemisphere you are in.)
To prepare, read the suggestions below and gather symbols to place on a special cloth or another surface. Add a candle placed in a holder. Turn off your phone and protect the space in whatever way is needed (e.g. a ‘Do Not Interrupt’ notice on the door).
When you are ready to begin, light the candle to signify opening to the inner light and the stillness in your heart. Sing, hum, or chant to bring you into a more focused space.
If you are alone, you may like to write in a journal in response to the questions below. If you are with others you may like to take turns to speak to the questions.
Take time to appreciate the season that is passing. What were its gifts to you? What did you love about it? Find some symbols or make a drawing to represent the essence of that season.
Ask yourself if you are willing to say goodbye, knowing this season will come again as the wheel of the year turns. If the answer is ‘yes’, choose an action to signify that goodbye. It may, for example, be about wrapping up the symbols and putting them away for another year. Sometimes shredding a drawing is a way of letting go, or folding it up, or dissolving something in a bowl of water.
Now contemplate the season that is arriving. Place some symbols for that season in front of you. What do you imagine might be the gifts of the new season? Cast your mind back to the previous year. This might jog your memory.
Each season brings out different qualities in us: for example, as you go into the dark you may become more contemplative or quiet. As you go into increased light you may be drawn into outward activities and ways of being.
Ask yourself if you are willing to embrace what is arriving. Are you willing to shift into a new mode of being and flow with the season?
Find a gesture or action to express that willingness; for example, you may like to pick up the symbols and hold them close to you. You may wish to sing or hum as you imagine the new season arriving in your heart. Be creative and intuitive. There is no one right way to do this.
Enjoy the flow!
My new book The Pomegranate Journal will guide you through the seasons of later life. It has just been released and is receiving an enthusiastic welcome from readers. You will find links to the radio interviews on my Facebook page, julietbattenbooks.