Oct 27, 2015
In my most recent post, I had referenced Carol McClelland’s Seasons of Change™ model and promised to elaborate. I left off on the season of Fall. Obviously, Winter follows and it’s a little more complex. One of the aspects of Ms. McClelland’s work that is intriguing is that she makes some distinctions about Winter, breaking it into three phases; Early Winter, Winter Solstice and Late Winter. Each has its own distinct indicators, tasks and detours.
When considering Early Winter, notice how animals have shifted colors to better match their surroundings and become camouflaged. Plants have gone dormant. Trees have shed needles or leaves. What comes to mind when you consider the mood or the energetic tone of Early Winter? How may this apply for you or inform you?
Here are some signs that you may be in Early Winter:
- You’re more tired or lethargic
- There may be a strong desire to slow down, stay in and hibernate
When I hear someone talk about feeling less energy than their norm, it has me consider what stage of the Seasons of Change™ they are in. I offer the perspective that they may be in the season of Early Winter and this is a time to give themselves PERMISSION to slow, to create quiet time and retreat from the busyness. Too, I can tell you that often that perspective is initially met with resistance, especially for highly driven folks who seem to be on overdrive and way more prone to doing. The natural nudge, (yes I said natural!) is uncomfortable because it simply is not their norm. The resistance often is followed by some relief as they understand that nothing is wrong with them.
The notion that we must stay busy all the time or power through when our internal signals are saying the opposite is one of the ways we make this season more challenging than it needs to be. Ms. McClelland refers to these as detours, ways that we evade the wisdom of how to more efficiently use our precious energy to navigate the season.
Detour ahead or heed the signs of Early Winter. You’re in the driver’s seat.