I love following the seasons and tuning into nature. When I moved back to the UK after almost nine years in Australia, one of the things I was looking forward to was four proper defined seasons. Even the idea of woolly hats and getting cosy by a pub fire after a brisk walk braving the elements made winter something to appreciate. For the most part, I really do embrace and enjoy each season. However, I will confess, I don’t recall ever feeling more ready for the next season than I am at the moment - I am so over the grey gloomy days that the end of this English winter has delivered!
The good news is, as of 21st, it’s now officially spring. I tried to remind myself when I went out for a woodland walk today, as I squelched through the deep mud in my wellies, that signs of the seasons change are starting to show. The birds are in song, the trees have little green shoots, and the bluebells and daffodils have started to bloom. There were even fleeting moments of blue sky and the sun almost felt warm as it was trying to break through the dark clouds. Plus the days are getting longer and we can dare to imagine that the central heating won‘t be needed soon. I’m even tempted to re-jig my wardrobe to look for something other than oversized warm woollies to wear (but I expect I’ll regret rushing that looking at the weather forecast for the coming weeks!).
It’s really great to be in tune with nature and this week I’ve been reflecting on this. Whilst I thought I was being kind to myself and aligning to the seasons, reading Sacred Seasons (Kirsty Gallagher’s newly released book), has reminded me just how much I have been pushing myself through the winter months. I do tend to eat seasonally and I rarely overcommit socially or overdo it with intense work outs when it’s cold and dark. I just don’t have the same energy for these things as I do in the summer months. Yet when it comes to work and generally getting things done, I completely forget to factor in that I need to go at a different pace in winter. Whilst I have still achieved plenty, I haven‘t achieved all of the professional goals I had set myself and I realise I have been totally unrealistic about what’s possible. Yes, that‘s right, even us coaches can be a little too ambitious about the goals we set sometimes!
If I’m honest, the past few weeks have just felt really heavy going. Adulting is bloody hard work at times! I came down with a full on cold last weekend and knew I had to press pause and review my own self-care plan again and again, to ensure it‘s truly what I need in place for me to feel at my best. I constantly have to remind myself about being kind and compassionate to me. Connecting back to the season and recognising where nature is at, as well as where me and my energy are has been really valuable.
Coming out the other side of feeling poorly, I feel so grateful that I created the time and opportunity to fully rest and recharge. I have given myself permission to look after me because so many of us working mums, that doesn’t always come first. I’ve spent a couple of days unpacking life to understand where I’m at - mind, body and soul, and reconnect with goals in a more meaningful way, setting intentions for spring that will serve me and my wellbeing on all fronts.
Sometimes, despite the to do list and the deadlines, you just have to slow down and step back in order to hear what you need to hear and feel what you need to feel. I‘m ready to embrace spring, but I’ll take it at a pace that feels right and I’ll keep checking in with me to ensure balance is still in place. I hope this helps you to also do the same.