I’m in a season right now in my life, and my body reflects that. We all go through these seasons, yet we often feel the urge to resist them—as though everything in life is supposed to be tightly controlled and maintained.
I do this too, yet with every season’s passing, I’m reminded of just how little control I have in this life. The only thing within my grasp is how I choose to respond, so I lessen my grip on the external, little by little.
It’s easy to fuse certain parts of our lives into our identities—people, places, things, the state of our bodies. Which is a huge reason why we’re often so resistant to the change.
During the good times, we want everything to remain static for as long as possible. During the bad times, we want the change to come more quickly than is natural. We tend to forget that it was always meant to be this way.
I’m beginning to view the seasons in my life—with people, my body, my career, my priorities—with a new-found appreciation, as I learn something new in every single one. Although, admittedly, it can be so damn difficult to view things through this lens while we’re in the midst of it.
Don’t like your job? Work towards what really lights you up while you learn as much as you can in your current position. This may be an opportunity to learn the art of patience, trust, and persistence while you embrace what you currently have.
Dealing with health struggles? Focus on what your body may be telling you if it’s within your control, and use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. If it’s beyond your realm of control, use it as an opportunity to practice surrender and to strengthen your mind.
Your body has changed? It’s OK, mine too! We can view this as an opportunity to challenge what we believe to be true about our own self-worth, how we respond to the opinions of others, and how to speak kindly to ourselves. We can challenge ourselves to fully accept what it is right now without wishing it away.
Relationship changes? We can marvel at the positive memories, and we can challenge ourselves to appreciate the growth we’re currently experiencing through increased patience, forgiveness, or stronger boundaries, perhaps.
Seasons of our Bodies
As this relates to the states of our bodies, they can ebb and flow with the actual seasons of the planet. Not due to some metaphysical forces, but because our lives and priorities often shift in tandem.
The summer is often rife with social gatherings, vacations, drinks on rooftops, and barbecues, and spending time being active outdoors is often more appealing than being inside a gym. We may gain a few lbs. or lose a bit of strength or muscle—it’s all OK!
Winter is associated with holiday gatherings and heavier food choices, and it may involve some extra gym time depending on our location. We may feel the desire to focus on building strength and lessening stress on our bodies through meaningful connection with others, downtime indoors, and amply fueling our bodies. Some fat and/or muscle gain may be associated with this time of the year—it’s all OK!
Spring and Fall are transitional seasons that are often great opportunities to dive more deeply into a routine and work towards our goals—we may slim down as a result or we may not. It’s all OK!
Each one of these seasons brings something magical with it, and if we’re holding on so tightly to one iteration of our bodies, we risk missing out the beauty of these various times of the year.
Or unique live events (like becoming a new parent, weddings, or extended travel).
We risk neglecting the present for the sake of control.
Someone once said to me,
“Appreciate the good times, because they’ll come to an end. Don’t worry about the bad times, because they’ll come to an end too.”
My initial reaction to this statement was fear, as I want to hold onto the good times for dear life, but this was proceeded by a sense of calm.
Accepting that nothing in this life is guaranteed and static can be a tremendous source of fear and discomfort, or it can be an amazing source of adventure and ease. The choice is ours, really.
If you find yourself in a season you would typically categorize as unpleasant with your body, your food, your health, or your mindset, ask yourself if you can reframe it.
Can you choose to accept it fully for what it is in the present moment? And trust that a new season will come?
When we begin to look at things through this lens, we may begin to understand that it’s not that serious (shout out to Neghar Fonooni).
Our assumption is often that the various aspects of our lives and bodies were never meant to change in the first place, and this mindset is what makes it ALL SO SERIOUS.
The unwillingness to flow and the aversion to change is what makes it ALL SO SERIOUS.
For those type-A perfectionists out there, I feel you, and I am one of you. And this is one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves.
Create the structure, practice the discipline, and do the work, but take a step back and marvel at the notion that you don’t have to bare the weight of that which can’t be controlled.