Everyone has moments of realization. Those ones where out of nowhere you are hit with knowing a painfully obvious truth that everyone around you instinctively knew all along while you fumbled around in the dark. My latest has been the realization that my soul has seasons just as Earth does. The optimism and blooming of Spring when I am full of new ideas and ready to take on the world. The industrious and steadiness of Summer when I feel like I’m cruising along hitting all of my goals. When I start to wind down and withdraw it’s like boarding up for the chill of Autumn, indulging in rich flavours and scents to prepare for the coming cold. Finally Winter when I’m withdrawn and full of quiet reflection and soul searching.

It’s so easy to see now that I’m in the midst of a change, and I can’t imagine how I missed it all these years. I’ve always been aware of my moods and phases this way, but never in relation to the larger cycle of the seasons that lead our lives. To my surprise, my natural rhythm seems to be opposite to that of the Northern Hemisphere I’ve called home every day of my life. With the heat of the summer I find myself retreating inside to wait out the burning heat, knowing that I will thrive again when the cool breeze makes the leaves dance in the street and the gardens are ready for harvest.

How do you weather the off-season? Where you crave alone time and find yourself digging deep to nourish the spirit of creativity and inspiration. Do you embrace it and carve a new path in your day to day routine? Or do you fight it and try to stay a steady course? I don’t think I have the energy to fight it this year, but more importantly I don’t think I want to. Last year I made the decision to let the ebb and flow of life take me where my body and mind needed to go, and the result has been nothing short of life-changing. I am happier than I have been in years, but that comes from a place of appreciation and love as well as ambition and a desire for change, not idle waiting. If I had the chance to give advice to the 2008 version of myself, I would tell me not to waste so many bitter and miserable years trying so hard to find myself and let it happen the way it’s meant to. What would you say?