When we look to find our purpose, to dream and plan what we want out of life, to determine how to live out our future, we would do well to examine the season in which we find our mind, emotions, body and soul.
While we acknowledge that there are elements of nature that cycle through seasons, as women (and human beings, in general), our minds, bodies and emotions, tend to cycle through their own seasons as well.
Take our menstrual cycle, for example. We know what that means for our body physically, and for some of us, we may experience or have experienced some emotional changes (moodiness, for example) as well.
When seasonal changes occur in nature, we may gain or lose weight, heat up or cool off, be more or less active and so on.
But the changing seasons not only happen outwardly for us, they happen for us inwardly as well.
For example, you may find yourself in a winter state of being – thinking, planning, reflecting, waiting peacefully, resting, brooding, feeling isolated, feeling sorrowful, lacking vigor, feeling dragged down, plodding or still.
Or, you may be living out a period in spring – feeling peppy, eager, desiring of movement, hopeful, passionate, curious, happy, loving and so on.
These inwardly changing seasons may not correspond directly with nature’s seasons. We may transition in and out of them depending not on a fixed schedule but based instead on what life throws at us, what we create for ourselves, where we find ourselves and our ability to adjust to the forever changing fabric of our lives.
Another interesting example of inwardly changing seasons is the following:
John Gray, in his book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, talks about a woman as being like a wave.
He states that women rise and fall in their ability to love themselves and others as a result of numerous unexplained emotions and vague feelings.
Gray says that a woman may feel hopeless, thinking she is all alone and unsupported, thus sinking lower and lower until she hits bottom and then rising out of the depths, when her mood shifts and she feels good about herself until her next bout of feeling alone and unsupported, and the cycle begins again.
And then there’s this take on the seasons:
A Man for All Seasons, a play written by the schoolteacher, Thomas Bolt, is about Sir Thomas More, a lawyer, philosopher and statesman. More is also known for refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England.
The title of Bolt’s play is based on a remark by a contemporary of More’s, Robert Whittington, who in 1520 remarked:
“More is a man of angel’s wit and singular learning; I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes: and sometimes of as sad gravity: a man for all seasons.”
The line does not actually refer to the changing seasons of nature. According to one translation of the Latin phrase by Whittington, it means “suited to all hours, times, occasions.”
As women, we may choose to think of ourselves in this way: as women for all seasons, suited to all hours, times and occasions. It conjures up a wonderful image of women as ready for anything, strong, capable, competent, compassionate and adaptable.
But what about our moods, our female cycles, our up-and-down emotions (or waves) which may fluctuate according to the calendar or maintain a schedule of their own making?
Perhaps we’re not suited to all hours, times and occasions and maybe we don’t want to be. Or maybe we are and we do.
Some days we may want to stay in bed and pull the covers over our heads; other days, perhaps we want to take on the world, make our mark and share our gifts.
It’s a personal choice. Because every day we get to choose how we want to be, within the context of our sensitivity to our seasonal surroundings, both outwardly and inwardly.
These impermanent emotions and changeable patterns of mind/body/soul form only a part of our identity.
What’s important is to be aware of our dual nature. There’s the shifting, mutable part of our nature and then there’s our true nature, that deep knowing inside of us about our truth that is both firm and constant and forms the core of our being.
We may shrug off what’s happening internally. And dismissing our seasonal emotions or feelings may cause undue pressure, unhappiness or confusion in our lives. One reason for this is because our response to anything in life is deeply rooted within our internal center.
Therefore, we need to take into account the whole package we are as women when we seek to lead our authentic lives and determine who we were, who we are and who we’re becoming.
Continually assimilating the effects Mother Nature and our inwardly changing seasons have on our being (physically, emotionally, spiritually and thinking) along with our True Nature as women and human beings (our deeply personal voice, values and beliefs), supports us in being more informed about living our dreams, finding our purpose and making plans for our future.
Are you a woman for all seasons? Do you consider both how you feel inwardly in the moment as well as what you feel and know to be your authentic self when contemplating your purpose, your dreams and your future? What does “a woman for all seasons” mean to you? Please take a moment to let us know your thoughts. We love to hear from you.
Nice to be reminded of true nature—authentic self, something that we emphasize every day in the kind of yoga I practice—and maybe in most kinds of yoga? As to seasons—I was fine with winter as long as I was properly dressed for the cold, but in the last couple of days feeling that longing for spring.
Yes, our true nature is important to consider, and it’s good to hear that you work it into your daily yoga practice.
You mention a longing for spring. Do you mean outwardly longing for a change of seasons or inwardly are you longing for spring or both?
What would you have to do today to move yourself internally away from winter and toward a period of living in spring? And what do you find joyful about being in a state of winter inwardly? Do you enjoy moments of reflection, time for thinking or planning or do you have a greater need for moments of rest?
Personally, my internal season is matching up nicely with the external season of winter that we are experiencing on the East Coast. I’m enjoying some much needed time for reflection and thinking!
Thanks so much for your comments.