Human processes are like the seasons in a temperate climate. There are the bigger waves, aligned with the seasons where the general tendency in summer is to go on adventures, and in winter many of us like to snuggle under a blanket with a book. Then there are the individual waves of our personal climate, where we have our own patterns and rhythms of waves moving inwards and outwards (though an interesting question may be if humans in different climatological seasons may have different flows).
Our disposition on the introvert – extravert scale probably adds in, as well as tons of other factors. But most people recognize the four seasons in their journey of personal growth.
Spring, where we sow. We gather new knowledge. Maybe read new books, go to workshops, or get to know new and interesting persons in our lives. Over summer the new information grows and starts to make an impact. Shifts are happening, our surroundings start to respond to the changes in us, whether it’s an encouragement or being triggered. New people may be coming in, and old people may disappear. Over autumn we harvest. maybe we make more money, we mastered a new skill, or we realize we grew passed traumatic responses. And then winter comes. We rest. processes come to a pause.
But is that true?
I don’t think so. Look at trees. Right when their leaves fall, new buds appear. They won’t open until next spring. But they are there, ready, waiting. The animals, covered in their thick, woolen, winter fur, are growing their new generation of babies in their wombs. Birds are already fighting for their territory, singing loud and clear to their competitors to get the heck out.
The same goes for our processes. I’m all for taking it slow after times of intensity. But it doesn’t mean we need to sit still. Resting doesn’t mean we sit on a couch and stare into nothingness until we feel ready for a new spring. It doesn’t mean that when we meditate our brain is still.
We’re not freezing our processes. It means that beneath the appearance of stillness, a lot is happening.
We’re creating space for what wants to come next.
And as humans with a well-developed human brain, we want to fill that void from a place of ratio. but that’s not how winter works. A baby doesn’t grow in a womb because we believe now it’s time for limbs to happen. A baby grows because of some, still magical, drive within. A little acorn doesn’t grow into a magical oak tree because we pull on the seedling’s leaves. It grows because of a nourished soil, sunlight, and an unfolding from within. The same pattern is valid for ideas and inspiration.
These things don’t happen because we summon them. They happen because we get out of the way.
To me, that’s what winter means in my cycles of growth. After learning something new, gaining experience, mastering the new skill (and dealing with the consequences), I’m getting out of the way from where I think I need to go next, so that what wants to unfold next receives the space it needs.
I can still use my ratio to make sure I move through my days gracefully. Waiting for ideas to unfold while my kids are sitting on the couch with uncombed hair and me not taking them to school isn’t very functional, and neither if I wait for new workshop ideas while I’m not keeping up doing things that support me paying my bills.
Winter to me is a challenge in letting go of the belief I need to be functional all the time. Dropping the urge to be available for everyone. Surrendering to the consequences of autumn and just taking another breath into this vast landscape of not knowing. trusting that wherever I am, is exactly where I need to be – because this is where my integrity and love for myself and the beings around me brought me. The feeling of looking into snowy fields with grey clouds, where I cannot see where land starts and sky stops, or where on earth I actually am. Feeling the ide cold air prickling in my lungs, with that exciting crispiness to it.
I don’t know what’s coming next, but I know it excites me beyond anything else.