Embrace Change: Identify the Season of Your Life
Goodbye, Perfect – The Book
A science-backed and soulful journey to embrace your authentic expression and build the confidence to live an empowered and purpose-driven life.
Our lives go through the seasons of life all the time. Some of the seasons are quite evident, determined by the stage of life we’re in. Having kids, kids leaving home, starting a new relationship, or entering the workforce. All embark us toward new goals and experiences.
Then there are our own idiosyncratic stages in life. Perhaps you had a surgery or are grieving the loss of a loved one. Or your relationship with your partner or an adult child is suffering and needs your attention at this time. Perhaps your industry is going through major layoffs and you’re being called to reinvent yourself in new ways.
I remember last summer as I was coming out of my book launch. The past couple of years had been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and promoting, all of which I’d loved. But I was tired. When I thought about what to do next, I was aware of a longing to do nothing for a while. Somewhere deep inside, a little voice said rest, paint, eat, laugh.
But then there were other louder voices.
You’re going to let go of all that momentum?
What will your followers think of you?
You’re lazy, you’re shying away from hard work.
I couldn’t bring myself to honor my longing for rest. After all, we live in cultures so steeped in the puritan ideals of hard work, discipline, and grit that we tie them not just to success but to virtue. Pushing and striving makes you a good person in some way, and undoing that connection can be a struggle.
What helped me was the concept of the season of life.
I began embracing the fact that I was entering a new season, and that the identity that had served me well in the previous season of birthing the book needed to be replaced by one who was present to the little joys and magic around me without an agenda.
This was the person I was being called to become.
It was someone I’d never been. I’ve always prided myself on my self-discipline. I generally don’t need anyone watching over me to make sure I do the things I set out to do. I was so good in fact, that my eating disorder refused to leave all through my adolescence because it had found such a compliant partner in me.
When I embarked on my new season of life…
…prioritizing rest and renewal, I thought of all the behaviors I needed to replace. No more setting alarms on my phone, filling planners and tracking to-do lists. And no more ‘miracle mornings’—they were great for the lifestyle I had. But not for the one I needed at this time.
I struggled. Initially, I would feel lazy about daydreaming in bed after waking up, useless for not having an agenda, and guilty for not having done much all day. But the more I reminded myself that this was the seed that needed to blossom at this time in my life, the funner it became.
The writer and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says: “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place”. What’s the inside that’s in season for you? What’s the seed that needs to blossom? We each have many potentials in us—all the areas of our life and seasons of our life that need to actualize for us to become the full extent of what we’re here to become.
My research on self-actualization has identified 7 such potentials from health to work to creativity and spirituality. We move back and forth from any one to the next all through life, unpeeling the layers and becoming more of who we are and the impact we’re here to make.
It took me around six months, and then I was itching to focus on my work with renewed energy and ideas. The season of life related to repairing had blossomed to its fullness. I was ready to move on.
Of course, not everyone can give themselves fully to a season of life the way I could. But we can all find ways to honor it in small ways. If you hear yourself say I don’t have the time for this right now, remember that potential is an expression of your soul. And the soul disconnects with notions of time.
When you find small ways to honor it, life works for you because you’re doing what the universe wants you to do at this time. As Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist: “When you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe…the whole universe conspires in order for you to achieve it.”
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