Cycles within cycles within cycles – where do yours begin and end or are they continuous?
Rather than using the ‘it’s the start of term’ metaphor here is an invitation to come on a rather different journey to encourage you to create a collection of perspectives through which to launch you into what is ahead and enable you to reflect on what has been. To appreciate the learnings: both what went well and what certainly could have been better. To take a breath and choose what to take forward and what to leave behind. To give permission for some tough maybe uncomfortable and powerful questions potentially to surface. To revel in the not knowing of what might be.
Welcome to the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ – the first line of that fabulous poem Ode to Autumn by W B Yeats which encapsulates such a powerful metaphor. The summer has drawn to a close and that amazing month of August which weaves a soporific spell is over. Beware, as on the horizon is December which has similar effects!
September, the time for harvest; the time to reap what has been sown; the time to discover whether what has been sown has been tended well; the time to fill up the stores to create reserves for the future; the time to plan ahead and review how to get there.
What is the state of your harvest? If you had been able to know its precise state at the start of the year, what might you have done differently? With that knowledge, what would have been that difference that would have made the difference to your harvest? Maybe you increased it – was there a cost? a benefit? Maybe a plateau happened, was that a necessary occurrence? Maybe there was a slip back, what were the conditions that contributed to that happening?
Autumn is the time when we see the world around us changing shape. The bare bones of trees begin to appear; we cut back our gardens; the sun travels in a lower arc across our sky; the daylight time diminishes. It is a time when the natural world changes gear into a slower pace and draws into itself all available energy in order to survive successfully and re-emerge in the Spring. Conservation of energy is key. The cycle of the seasons is relentless and happens despite anything that we as inhabitants of this planet do or don’t do. What are the degrees of quality within the harvest and how can they be measured quantitatively and /or qualitatively? Who could your harvest enable you to step into?
As you stand with your foot on the edge of Autumn, how will you review what has brought you to this place? What are your successful ventures? What has added to the richness of your store? What has diminished it? By how much have decisions made / not made or actions taken /not taken or fear of / disregarding of consequences affected your position? What do you need to start putting into place to ensure that the conditions are the most favourable that they can be to take you into the next cycle. To be in tune with the cycle within your current situation, your current world whether personal or work, what shift would be helpful to make?
What can you see as you look towards the coming end of the year? What could you do now that would make your journey more favourable? What honesty level would serve you as you review what you have achieved and how you might choose to create movement to the next curve? How can you design the support that you would appreciate? What is your return on your investment [ROI] personally? What is your ROI in relation to your role? What is the ROI that you contribute to your organisation? What would you like it to be? How can you create that situation so that it is win win?
At the turn of the year when everything is at its quietest there erupts onto the scene an explosion of magic and glitter and lights and sparkle. A celebration of a year ended and anticipation of the year ahead. The fabulous pause of breath when anything seems possible and we have our dreams intact.
What will you plan to, choose to, celebrate at the ending of this year? What is still in your anticipation of the year yet to come? By choosing to be the architect of your year ahead, what would be your dream design and how could you bring it into reality? How can you guide, inform, support yet flow with the cycles that happen to bring you into the best position that you can be by the time that the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ comes round again? And when it does arrive again, as it inevitably will, what will your harvest be? What will you choose? Delight, relief, regrets … all are in your power and gift to create …. all it takes is being mindful of what that choice is and it’s implications.