Have you every thought about why projects in autumn and winter are so hard to complete? Why love naturally flows in the spring and summer? And why you cannot get out of bed on a cold winter morning? Well some of these answers are described in the age old chinese I Tjing, `the book of changes`. It is a collection of texts full of wisdom. Some kind of oracle. A more approachable book is the westernised implementation by Jaap Voigt, `werken en leven in the ritme van de seizoenen`, translated as ‘living and working with the ritmes of the seasons’. So, what does this book tell us about the questions I asked in the beginning?
What he describes is the energy fluctuations during the year. This directly correlates with the amount of daylight time. It means that the energy peak is around the 21st of June and the lowest amount of energy can be felt at the 21st of December. Naturally the spring is the moment to start new adventures, new challenges, expand your horizon. The summer is to do the hard work, to stick with your goal, to make the mileages. The autumn is were you reap the successes of your hard work. The winter to look back, to inquire on what succeeded on in what aspects you failed. What you learned from your endeavours. But it is also a moment to look forward, to plan out your next projects and what you will start in spring. These cycles are naturally occurring but are often neglected and forgotten in our artificial world. We sit inside most of the day, behind a screen, working, and this causes us to slowly loss contact with nature and these cycles. The world is getting more and more complex and if we do not honour these cycles we will loss balance. Especially in during the autumn and winter months, were you should slow down, ask yourself questions about your path, honestly looking back what did go wrong.
The last month of the autumn, according to the I Tjing calendar, runs from 6th October to 6th November and it is essential to slowly turn inwards. To be more focused on a smaller group of friends and family. A time to simplify and critically look at the objects and people in your life. A time to clean up. Jaap Voigt mentions a list of questions that can help you reflect on your last year. It is vital not to condemn yourself but only judge objectively.
- What kind of things did you do in your work, physical body, your feeling, your inspiration and your thoughts during the spring and summer?
- Which themes kept you busy in the spring and summer?
- Which activities and themes are still relevant this moment?
- How does your agenda look like for the coming few weeks? Did you plan enough moments to relax?
- Are you delivering work that you feel fulfilled about?
- What is your right balance between together and alone time?
- How is your house and financial situation look like?
These questions I answered a couple weeks ago and showed me a clear picture on what I did during the spring and summer. However, it did took me some courage to confront myself. I felt blocked. A large resistance was pushing me away from reflecting on myself. It confronted me with a small voice that ‘I couldn’t do it’, ‘I’m not good enough’. Limiting beliefs these are called and originate from your childhood. In a next article I will go further in-depth on this topic.
I challenge you to answer these questions and see where you at. What kept you busy this year?