How to bring more balance, harmony and connection into your life with Seasonal Living.
In our modern-day world, many of us are fortunate enough to have the ability to do and eat what we want when we want regardless of what season it is.
We can control the temperature in our rooms with air-conditioning or central heating and have worldwide food dishes delivered to us at any time of the day. On top of this some people work long and often stressful hours.
So, is it any wonder that we lack the awareness of the impact of not living in sync with seasons has as we become so far removed from the seasonal shifts occurring around us? Even when we notice the darker mornings or nights it doesn’t stop us, we just keep on going, denying the need to realign ourselves to the path of nature.
However, when I speak to people about living in alignment with the seasons to cultivate a greater sense of wellbeing many people question why they would need to. What we don't realise is that all the elements of nature live inside of us and that we are deeply connected to the wisdom of the earth.
To be honest until I started practicing yoga in 2016 and began to really embody the systems of Ayurveda & Traditional Chinese Medicine, I to had never thought about the changes in seasons and how they affected us.
When we align ourselves to the natural rhythms of life we can flow through life easier helping us to reduce the feelings of burn out that come with running on overdrive day after day, week after week, month after month.
As humans we often seek guidance and support from those we perceive as more knowledgeable or who have more experience than us. But one of our greatest teachers is Mother Nature.
If we take the time to pay attention to her you will realise that all the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter provide us with energetic shifts that help us stay emotionally, mentally, and physically balanced in our body, mind, and spirit.
Every season has its own characteristics and are made up of the 4 elements of Air, Water, Fire and Earth. The seasons are also influenced by the energies of Yin and Yang, as is everything in the Universe. At the same time, we as human beings are also made up of the same characteristics.
These flowing rhythms don’t just happen with the seasons it’s also apparent in the solar system, our human lifecycle, our menstrual cycles, in the phases of the moon, the planting & harvesting of plants and indeed in every single day with the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.
Interestingly, did you know as women we also go through our own mini- seasons during our menstrual cycles?
Spring -Follicular - Waxing Moon-
energy of growth, expansion, re-birth, and optimism
Summer -Ovulation - Full Moon-
expression, creativity, fertility, and abundance
Autumn – Luteal – Waning Moon –
harvesting, wisdom, reflection, and slowing down
Winter – Menstruation – New Moon -
rest, introspection, intuition, and renewal.
However, we tend to ignore the hormonal transitions that occur in our wombs, and so become disconnected to the sacredness, wisdom, power, and creativity that lies within our feminine cycle. Choosing to prevent, and loath the natural flow of our feminine seasons instead of tapping into the magic that our great ancestors knew and embodied.
Each phase provides its own guidance on how we can feel more at ease in our bodies and when we understand this we become more confident not only in ourselves, but as women deeply rooted in our sovereignty.
This is when we lead from a place of true self-love choosing to nourish our bodies and treat them with care and respect they deserve.
Unfortunately, our modern-day living has distracted and disconnected many of us from the wisdom, healing, and guidance of these sacred cycles hold. However, our ancestors lived this way for centuries and it is something that we can intentionally begin to cultivate and relearn if we desire to.
This is what is known as seasonal living. The practice of honouring each season and cultivating the awareness that everything in life happens in cycles and each cycle complements the next and so on. From this place we gain the tools to live in harmony with life trusting that everything is unfolding as it should rather than resisting against change.
Sadly, you see this resistance these days with so many people trying to remain the same by trying to stop the natural aging process with products that are marketed to make them younger with no regards to the long-term impact of disrupting their rhythm of the life cycle.
It is also common in our society for us to be congratulated or recognised for doing more rather than less. In most cases we tend to see rest as a “reward” rather than the balance it provides to maintain harmony in our bodies. And so, we go about our days trying to hold on to the yang energy of Summer, constantly on the go, pushing ourselves to the limit no matter the season, with very little or no rest, ignoring the need to slow down and reconnect to ourselves. and when we do well what happens we feel guilty thinking we should be ‘doing’ instead of ‘being’.
If we did we would recognise that our bodies are more intelligent than us and that they are always trying to support us to heal and will send us signals if we are out of alignment.
But we continually choose to ignore the signs creating unnecessary stress and opportunities for dis-ease as we knock our internal body clocks out of sync with the cycles of life. This can lead to imbalances in all aspects of our being which manifest as feelings of sadness, anxiety, exhaustion, anger, or frustration amongst other things, physical and mental illness, addictions, and other issues that weren’t about or as prevalent less than 100 years ago.
However, all is not lost as we can learn to make more mindful and healthier choices to improve our wellbeing which support us to go from just surviving to thriving.
The turn of the seasons is marked by the Solstices in June (Summer) and December (Winter) and the Equinoxes in March (Spring) and September (Autumn). These are the perfect opportunity to return home to our centre, to realign with our paths and create balance and harmony in our mind, our body and our soul.
They are also a great check in point where we get to reflect on what's gone by, as well as celebrating how far we've come and what we have to look forward to in the coming months as we welcome in a new season. And this is an important part as we can begin to recognise the impact the change in seasons has in every aspect of our lives.
For example, think about summer & what’s the first things that comes to mind?
It might be dressing in light floaty dresses, bright colours, holidays in the sun, being outside socialising with friends and family, enjoying less heavy and more colourful foods and over all having a real zest for life.
Or perhaps you’re not a summer person, and the season leaves you feeling all hot, sweaty, flustered & exhausted. This may be a sign that you are out of balance.
We often have our favourite season… for some it may be the crisp feeling of Autumn, or the sleepy feeling of Winter or that revival feeling of Spring. I'm definitely a Summer kind of girl! But I remind myself that life isn’t and shouldn’t be an eternal summer. Even if it does sound like a dream come true, it’s important that we welcome all seasons, so we remain in balance.
When we begin to connect to the natural rhythm and cycles of the earth and importantly ourselves as we can recognise what is and isn't feeling right within us and the influence the season we are in may be having on us. From there we can make informed choices on how to bring ourselves back into balance. We can also start to live more intuitively by listening to what we need rather than doing what we think is expected of us.
We don’t expect flowers to bloom all year round, so why expect ourselves to?
Here are my 5 tips to Seasonal Living:
Tip #1 - Eat seasonally
Eat food that is in season as it is fresher, tastes better and is more nutritious with less preservatives to keep it fresh because it won’t be grown in an unnatural environment or imported.
Tip #2 - Get out in nature
Notice the change in seasons by becoming more aware of what is happening around you, what can you see, hear, smell, taste & feel.
How does this differ from season to season?
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order." —John Burroughs
Tip #3 - Align with energy of each season
Tune into the seasons and the different energy they bring to remain in balance.
Essentially, we should slow down and rest in the winter so we can go inwards and recharge our energy. This prepares us for Spring and the fresh new energy the season brings to plant seeds and make new plans.
After which we feel ready for the peak of summer and the motivational energy it gives us to be productive over the summer months to achieve our goals and get things done. As we approach Autumn our energy begins to fade again and if we learn to let go just like the leaves falling from the trees we begin to flow in sync with the seasons realising that they come and go in the everchanging nature of life.
Tip #4 - Adjust your Circadian rhythm
Start your day when the sun rises so during the Summer months this will be earlier, correspondingly in Winter it will be later. The same goes for sleeping, start to wind down and get ready to go to bed after the sun sets.
Tip #5 - Have a clear out every season
Align your altar, your wardrobe, your house and anything else you feel you want to with the new season. You don’t need to rush out every season and buy new things. Just clear out what you no longer need and perhaps purchase or start a few D.I.Y projects to refresh and create a more seasonal feel around you. For example, maybe buy some seasonal flowers, rearrange your furniture, give your old clothes away to the charity shop and treat yourself to something new.
When we live with the seasons and connect to the earth and her natural rhythm, we also come home to ourselves. And by connecting to our truest self, we become more authentic, more intentional and in alignment with our soul's path.
Do you live in alignment with the seasons? Let me know what your top tips are in the comments.
And if you feel you need some support to optimise your health and wellness then download my FREE Summer E-book below which is full of helpful tips and advice to support you over the summer months.