Have Life Seasons Got You Stuck In A Funk? (Episode 179)
Feeling in a bit of a funk lately? Are you questioning if there is any end in sight? Well there are life seasons just as much as there are seasons in nature. Years ago I wrote a blog post on this topic, and we addressed how we can have seasons even within a single day! We break down how relevant seasons are to daily recovery, in your life, and even in your relationships.
Share your stories - what are your struggles, questions or stories around “the birds and the bees” in your home?
What is your word for the year?
The Seasons Of The Year
When my husband Nathan was in real estate, we clearly recognized the seasons that were busy and those that weren’t. I remember us just bracing for spring and fall, when we knew real estate got busier. During this time, Nathan seemed to be “on call” and constantly working, yet we had a higher patience threshold because we knew summer was around the corner.
Just like the literal seasons, we firmly believe in life seasons. Sometimes that’s like a heavy work period vs. a time of reflecting back and processing through past trauma. Sometimes it’s a full year of growth, discovery, or even recovery.
2020 has definitely been quite a season for many - but what life season has it been for you? Have you noticed that this year has been rich with growth as you have dug into some of those online courses you wanted to check out? Or has this has been a year of fostering relationships, working on your own health and wellness, or simply sitting with what is?
Seasons Are Necessary
No matter where you are in the world, we shift through seasons. Our beautiful Earth recognizes the need for a cycle. Humanity would be reduced to a very small population if the Earth stopped on its axis. The seasons protect us – they revitalize the soil, they kill off bacteria and bugs, they allow for hibernation and rest and bring forth new life. Even somewhere like Costa Rica has both the wet and dry season - all wet all the time, or all dry...that would make a huge impact. There is a natural ebb and flow of life in so many ways.
The only real constant is change. You’re always going to be flowing through seasons. The real tragedy is when we cling to something from the past - we may have no comprehension of what the next of the life seasons will bring.
Letting Go Makes Space For Something Better
Think of a tree and the beautiful blooms of the spring - while it may be wonderful, clinging to the blossoms on the apple tree in the spring means we don’t get the apple pies and applesauce in the fall. While you may be relishing a flower, you may completely miss out on the actual fruit that could sustain you.
I talk so often about the importance of a growth mindset. Well, if we’re growing in our own perspective, knowledge and understanding, then even the same experience will be faced differently as we grow. There is no way around it - as our own understanding shifts, life seasons will happen as we experience the world with new insights.
The Busy-Ness Of Life
What are you tolerating? There are times when we get that wake-up call that we’re tolerating something that is just not sustainable anymore. We live in a country that is not required to give you any rest. No paid vacations (Brazil has 41 days, for the record). Again, let me reiterate – America is the only advanced economy that does not require employers to give any paid vacation time. (I kept second-guessing this, but yes, it’s legit).
Even our children may be holding on to a 40-hour work-week through school. Add in extracurricular activities, and you may be in “go” mode all the time, right along with your children.
Do you view rest and recovery as something reserved for a two-week vacation and that’s it? Is it “frivolous” to take a nap or pull away from work, even, as the main focus of your life for a stretch?
As we share all about in our founding episode, one of the big experiences in our lives was a month-long stay in Costa Rica. We chose to get intentional about not having work be the number one main driver of our lives. We started to look at what seasons there were, and got intentional about what seasons we wanted to live in.
As we raise our own awareness and understanding, we rise up more like DNA strands, spiraling and weaving slowly upward vs. just jumping to another level.
The Life Seasons
There are a few different ways to view this. How are the seasons flowing through our day? Our lives? Our relationships?
What are you doing to foster springtime love?
- Daily - What is your “spring” time of day? When you wake up, do you greet the day with energy, hope, excitement? Do you journal, read, or exercise to bring growth into every day?
- Life Seasons - What adventures will you do this month, this year, to foster exploration, excitement, learning/discovering something new, awe and beauty?
- Your relationships - what are you growing and developing? What are you discovering about new people around you, and what new relationships do you want to birth?
It’s not like you can force the flower to grow faster - the seasons lasts as long as the development is needed. Be willing to take the rainy days with the sunny days, knowing this is all a part of a bigger picture.
How are you recharging and nurturing yourself and your relationships? Are you creating space in that summer heat to simply be?
Sit in the silence and stillness of a summer solstice.
- Daily - Do you have relaxation moments where you take a bath, do yoga, meditate, read a book, or take a walk outside? Do you allow yourself to “indulge” and reboot by doing something solely for yourself? (For the record, this is not an “indulgence” but a critical practice to prevent burnout on so many levels).
- Life Seasons - What are you nurturing in your life? Are you making space for that hobby you so enjoy, or getting to know the area you live in more? Have you really gone deep with where you are in life, bringing awareness to the town you live in, the people around you, and what is important in your local community and culture?
- Your Relationships - Summer can be a time of community – reaching out to family and friends you may have not worked in to your busy schedule. Taking vacations typically happens now – but what if you looked for adding “summer” into more of your months – where you invite that nice couple down the street for dinner, or invest some time to talk with the sulking teen who works at the coffee shop? Get to know your children’s friends. Play at the park. Explore creeks and take walks…and stop and visit with anyone you meet. You may discover new friendships and valuable relationships.
A time for clearing out and letting go. What has served it’s time in your life?
Can you do this in your life? Can you let go of toxic relationships and be intentional about the energy you are allowing around you? What about your home – have you cleared out the clutter lately? What about in your soul – have you explored how to be fully present and aware even when the wind is blowing all around you?
- Daily - Are you being super intentional about what you’re bringing in and whether it’s a worthwhile investment of your time, attention and energy?
- Life Seasons - Is this the season to get serious about taking back your home and the clutter that has engulfed you? Are you ready to get more intentional about family time and protecting a positive atmosphere in your home, and that may mean pulling back from some of the social functions and toxic relationships?
- Relationships - letting go of a relationship and moving on does not have to always be a negative. You can have a beautiful relationship that serves you (and them) well for a season, and then you move in two different directions. There are seasons where people are adding to and bringing in light, laughter and joy, and there are seasons where people may be looking more inward or processing through their own stories and you aren’t quite in alignment.
Sometimes you can get so accustomed to a certain style of life that you are unwilling to explore any alternatives.
My mantra used to be “you can sleep when you die.” However...by living strung out with little sleep, I was actually bringing that death notice sooner! When I started to see sleep as a positive necessity in my life, I found I lived even more and was rested well enough to be present and enjoy it.
A time of dormancy, rest, recovery.
- Daily - are you able to appreciate and respect the need for sleep, rest, and emotional recovery? Do you give yourself a little recovery every day?
- Life Seasons - Next year I hit a whole new decade of my life - I have definitely experienced a shift from my 20s to 30s, and I have already experienced the shift of what my 40s will bring for me, with a whole new perspective than I was ever capable of seeing or recognizing in my 20s. We go through the seasons of hustling and making money, raising small children, pulling away from our parents and figuring out our own perspectives.
Whenever you see a pattern, look at what you keep hitting up against,
and what you can learn from it.
We stay at the same level until we can learn and move on from it.
- Relationships - some relationships need a break. They need space to let people process alone before you come back together. You let things rest and settle - those intense emotions that may be clouding perspectives and allowing for the beautiful element of time to heal.
Some additional resources for you
- Here Come the Holidays...And Relationship Drama (Episode 27)
- Does Your Life Have Seasons?
- Toxic Relationships...And What To Do About Them (Episode 57)
- What Is Your Goal?
- If You Want Daddy To Be Involved, Get Out Of The Way!
- Understanding Emotional Labor Is Key To A Happy Marriage
- Tasks: They Are Taking Over My Life!
- Life Isn’t Compartmentalized…but if it were…
- The Burden of Overwhelm – Moving Forward While Always Feeling Behind
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- Opposites Attract…And How To Live With Them (Episode 86)
- My Marriage Sucks (Episode 66)
- How Do You Navigate Gender Roles In Marriage? (Episode 56)
- Welcome to the Fight Club – Choose Wisely (Episode 34)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
Your Weekly Challenge:
What season of life are you in? What are you focusing on for the new year? Next week’s podcast episode is all about our word of the year. What is yours? Let us know here.
Recognize and be willing to grow and have grace for all of us as we navigate this big ole’ world out there. It’s in working on ourselves and learning more about how we can better connect that we can truly see how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste.