Autumn is settling into the mountains now. We are seeing the change of colour and feeling the cooler weather. It is the perfect time to reflect on our harvest and plant seeds for the next crop. Living with the seasons supports our goals by reminding us that there is time to harvest, reflect, let go of what we no longer need, and plan for the next project or crop.
This year I made a visual display of my goals, which is often called a vision board. The display includes new projects and priorities. I keep my vision board near my desk, so I see it everyday. This way I am constantly reminded of how my current crops are growing and which seeds I need to plant next. Timing of these plantings is akin to living with the seasons. Certain projects need a specific length of time and they need the right conditions to flourish.
Projects of mine that are bearing fruit this year include the sharing of my book with others. My first book tour finished just prior to Easter and I am currently planning the next one. I purposely left a gap between the tours, so I could reflect and improve upon the first one. A health priority for me this year was to spend dedicated time with my horse Chit Chat, and I am happy to say that this is underway.
A creative work project that is taking a little longer than planned is the Eating for You online program. But as we will explore below, sometimes projects take a little longer than we anticipated. Living with the seasons is not always predictable. This year we had an unusually hot start to spring, heavy rain during summer and cooler nights, which delayed the ripening of our tomatoes. The timing, or seasons, for our projects similarly have unexpected events that speed up or slow down our progress.
Planting Our Seeds
Our seeds are like goals for our projects. But just as we need the right seeds to grow the right crop, we also need to look after our seeds once they are planted.
#1 Do you have the right seeds?
When we are planting seeds to grow tomatoes, we choose tomato seeds. This might seem really obvious. But if our goal is to gain more energy from a healthier way of eating, then we might just think, ‘healthy food’ seeds are all we need. When we want to cultivate more energy from the way we eat, we may also need to consider why we eat. If we are driven to eat highly processed sugary and fatty foods because we are stressed, then planting ‘healthy foods’ seeds alone will not deliver us a crop of sustainable energy. We may need to consider ‘mindful eating’ seeds or ‘relaxation’ seeds or ‘more time’ seeds to harvest a crop of sustainable energy.
#2 Do you have the right season?
Living with the seasons when planting crops becomes a natural way of life. I know that our raspberries are dormant during winter, that the first buds will show mid spring and we will start to harvest fruit in early summer. Are your expectations for your harvest realistic and achievable? You may have planted the right seeds, but your expectations of a harvest are out of sync. This is the case for my online program. Preparing for book talks, launches and the tour took more time than I had anticipated, so the online program has been rescheduled for winter. If your find that you regularly run out of time, then you might like to refer to an earlier post, reclaim your time.
#3 Do you have the right resources?
Living with the seasons not only requires choosing the right seeds, but having the resources to support your crop. Just as cauliflower seeds need the right nutrients, water and sunlight and protection from moths, your seeds need to be supported by the right information, skills and support from other people. If you have a health and wellbeing goal, then you might benefit from support from your healthcare practitioners for example.
Successfully living with the seasons requires us to choose the right seeds for our crop and then support them so they can flourish. It also means being prepared to stop and reflect when unexpected events slow down or speed up our progress.