I went to my monthly spiritual direction session the other day, and when I’d described the important themes running through my life, my director asked me to name the season of life I’m in now. At that time it was autumn, the season of gratitude, the holiday shopping season–but that’s not what he meant!
My spiritual director was asking me to look consciously at what life is bringing me now, where my challenges and joys lie, where I’m choosing to put my energies and focus, and, ultimately, how I’m unfolding at this time in my life. Why is this important? First, because I always want to remember that what I’m going through is not all of who I am. And second, because I get to choose how I respond to what life throws at me.
If I don’t want to feel like I’m heading through the rapids without a paddle, I need to be aware and attentive to the themes in my life, and make sustainable choices that bring me the most joy, inner peace, open heartedness, and good health, given the circumstances I’m in. I need to honor what lights me up, choose daily to balance my energy with healthy habits, and support myself through difficulties in healthy ways. If I
knows where I’ll end up?
It’s not enough to just notice what’s going on; I need to be responsive to my life, in a proactive way. If I’m not, feelings get buried, leading to mental and emotional stress and physical issues downstream. Naming the season I’m in helps me say, “Yes” to the important things, to bring the fresh energy of choice. At the same time, it makes it easier to let go of distractions, so it helps me see where I need to say, “No” as well.
Some seasons last three months, some three years. We can carry lessons and gifts forward from every season. And it’s my responsibility, to my self and my journey, to be attentive and responsive to what I’m learning, to where my life is going, to what my True Self needs.
When you look at your life today from 10,000 feet, what are the themes you notice? What is your life asking of you now? Are you responding proactively? What do you need to honor, ask for, notice, hold, or change in order to be consciously choosing to navigate this stretch of your life?