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RACHAEL

YAHNE

  • Writer's pictureRachael Yahne

Why You Should Name The Season Of Your Life

Are you in a carefree summer, indulging and celebrating your inner child? Or the dark of winter, hunkered down and giving yourself much-needed rest?


woman laying on bed name the season of your life

We live in a world of many things called by many titles. Through language, we divide and conquer what we need to understand. From the fanciful and whimsical: astrology, human design, and trend reports, to more serious matters: age, socioeconomic status, gender, and race. Even our natural world, as it ebbs and flows through the natural stages of birth-death-rebirth-death-rebirth-death, we name them ‘seasons’. We expect to understand them, for the most part, though each year they evolve and no winter was the same as the last. But it’s winter, right? We know what to expect, we tell ourselves. And for the most part, we do. But in equal measure, we limit our openness to each season’s evolution, expecting to feel, see, know, and do what we have done for so many winters past…

This winter, though, I wasn’t afforded that luxury. It was abound to be a difficult one: struggling with disordered eating and ongoing stomach health issues. And I would spend a substantial amount of it, as you’ve read before, surrounded by snow and mountains rather than the sunny weather and beaches I’ve grown used to. For his part, Beloved was beginning a new leadership job in a department that had lost its way. We were both entering winter, such a familiar phase of earth’s turns, completely blind to what would happen ahead and experiencing so many things (responsibilities, diets, moods upon first waking) from new mindsets.

So, in the age-old human habit of labeling, we named it ‘Groundwork Season’.


Why name the season of your life?


For us, the goal was to make the dark and foggy unknown we were stepping into more manageable. As many people with disordered eating know, control feels safer than chaos. Labeling this season as a time of planting the seeds (starting new habits, setting new rules in place for ourselves and others, trusting this work would, well, work) and beginning from the ground up made sense to use. Winter fits the theme, in that, it’s a time of long nights, more darkness as that of the seeds deep in soil when you can’t yet see the reward for the effort. He couldn’t see the fruits of his labor in enforcing new protocols and work. I couldn’t yet see the healing and benefits of eating different things in different ways. ‘Groundwork Season’ became the moniker when we lost track of the ‘why’ for our work, and the fuel for when things got tough:


“I’ve worked at least 60 hours this week alone,” he told me on the car ride home after work.

“Groundwork season. You’re putting in the work now so later, when we have a family, things will be easier.”


“I don’t believe anyone actually cares about what I’m writing,” I’d tell him.

“Groundwork season. It’s not about who reads it, it’s about practicing the art the faith of putting the truth out there.”


Naming the season gives clarity to your ‘why’
The name of your season will help you refocus, and find your determination again when things get confusing, convoluted, or difficult
Sharing this theme, this title will help others understand how to better support you.


How to name the season of your life


Seasons of life do not always follow the cadence of the earth’s season. We do not always grow as quickly or as slowly as the buds of spring. We do not always get to choose what order the seasons happen in: your dark and cold season, ‘winter’, may come after a season of great growth, your ‘spring’. While we can still learn from the cues of Mother Nature and rest more when the nights are longer, let go, and celebrate more when warmth and sun return, we must more profoundly honor the seasons that happen as they happen within and for us and our journeys. It’s absolutely ok to name the season of your life an autumn (a time of letting go, maturation, and accepting the quiet that falls around you, and the bittersweet end of innocences) if it feels that way, despite that it is April on the calendar.

Secondarily, the name for your current season is not a nickname for the struggle you are presently facing. The challenges of the season, or better: the current opportunities for growth and improvement, are not the overall theme. Here are a few questions to help you create a name that honors both the obstacles around you and the place you want to reach:


Where do you want to be, or be capable of, at the end of this season?
What does the season feel like?
What are you committed to being, doing, or practicing in this season?

Honoring your personal season


Growth and evolution happen differently for everyone. You may not be struggling with a binge-and-starve cycle when you’ve put off eating for so long for fear of pain that you become too ravenously hungry to be present when you finally eat. You might not be starting a new job or upleveling in your career at the same time your partner is. In too many ways we pit our own journey against that of another through comparison, and of course, we have labels for that, too: “I’m behind in life” and “I’ve wasted so much time”.

Whatever the temperature of your mind today, whatever the forecast of your thoughts from sunny to gloomy. Whatever the state of the garden of your goals and intentions, whether they are growing rampantly or hiding under the surface of the soil, still working to gain the courage to break through and bloom…Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, honor it as sacredly as you would the seasons of the landscape around you.

With as much acceptance and surrender to the bigger forces working in big and microscopic ways: (can you see the tiny organisms working diligently underground? Can you witness the growth of a single life with your naked eye when looking at it?) allow this season of your life to unfold in unexpected ways within and around you. We cannot rush nature, not even our own. And why would we? Labels, like titling such seasons, may give us the smallest but most reassuring illusion of control, but that is not their objective. They are here only to reassure us that when it seems too much snow has fallen for us to climb out of and the world has become too cold, spring will come.


Now as winter and our ‘Groundwork Season’ are dwindling away, the sun has begun to peek over the earth and light the way for us earlier in the day. We’re seeing with new clarity and the path forward is illuminated more clearly. But the blossoms are not yet here. Still, I’m proud of how we have endured and relied upon our loving name for this phase, this turning of our mind’s planet, and excited for whatever season reveals itself next.

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