In my group coaching call this week I noticed a common theme coming up for my clients: Thinking in terms of seasons is feeling much better than thinking in terms of making forever changes.
In Authentically You we’ve been focused on saying “in these 8-weeks” and labeling this time together as one season where we’re experimenting with doing more of what we want (versus, what we’ve always thought we “should” do).
What does thinking in seasons mean?
It literally means, saying to yourself “For this season, this is what I need, and this is okay. I don’t know how long this season will last, but my body will let me know when I need to make a shift again. I am safe to trust this.”
What does thinking in seasons do?
It removes pressure, fear, and allows all of us to feel more safe in making change.
I used my own story with exercise in the last year as an example. About 10 months ago, I was feeling VERY burnt out on the gym. That feeling of I just DON’T want to go. It’s not feeling fun, and I’d rather do a walk outside and just move around with normal, everyday activity.
Having thoughts of wouldn’t it be cool if I just didn’t have to go at all? Ah, that would be nice.
Basically, the gym was no longer feeling like self-care. It was feeling like dread, with little reward after I’d finish a workout. I just didn’t want to be there.
And hey, I had all of the normal fears…
But what if I never want to go back?
What if this messes me up forever?
What if I am a few months down the road, and look back and really regret taking a break?
I wanted to be with friends instead of at the gym. I wanted to enjoy an outside hike or walk, just because I wanted to, and not because I was trying to schedule in exercise. I really wanted this.
So I took the risk… and what did I finally give myself permission to do?
To write the gym off for a season. To give myself permission to not have it be something that I planned or aimed for.
How long was a season?
I didn’t know.
But I trusted that my body would let me know when it was time to get back into a normal routine with it (which, most of the time, I love & thrive off of).
I walked down this path of full permission, and ended up taking about three months off before I felt a nudge to go back.
And the nudge wasn’t mean. It didn’t sound like hey lazy, get back in there. You’ve been slacking.
No, it sounded more like wow, I really needed this break. And now I feel excited to get back. I am excited to plan it into my days, and have that routine again.
There was no regret. No you shouldn’t have taken that break.
The break was necessary, and thinking in terms of “for this season, I can take a break” helped me to feel safe in doing so.
And what did life look like throughout the break? Was I just sitting at home not moving, ever?
Sure, sometimes I just laid in bed at night and watched a movie (of course – this is good too!). But mostly what this freed me up to do was more of what I wanted. In that season, I wanted to spend a lot of time with friends. So we planned a lot together.
I spent more time getting dressed up, walking downtown to meet girl friends for dinner. I spent more time going on a walk or a hike on a Saturday, not because I felt like girl, you better get moving but because outdoor movement became something fun to look forward to with friends.
And again, outdoor movement doesn’t always sound fun to me. But, in this SEASON, it did.
You can use thinking in terms of seasons in many different areas. Surely not just with exercise. This is just ONE example.
Other things my clients and I have worked through are: slowing down at work; craving fun and wanting to plan vacations and go places; seasons of being around tons of people; seasons of having more rest and staying home; seasons of wanting to go out to eat; seasons of wanting to cook at home; seasons of wanting raw-foods; seasons of craving cooked/warm foods; seasons of wanting to dress fancy; seasons of wanting to be cozy… etc… You name it. You have fun with it.
It really just depends on what you need and what you want, for this season.
So, what do you think?
Do you ever think in “seasons” to give yourself permission to do what you need? Or, will you now? What is it that you’re craving in this season? I’ve found for many, it’s a season of needing to SLOW DOWN. How about for you? I’d love to hear in the comments.