We’re mid-March and had snow falling around us again last weekend and this weekend we have beautiful golden sunlight and warmth. Part of me still wants to give in to the desire to hunker down and snuggle under blankets, and the other part to awaken and put into action plans I’ve been making. In a way echoing how nature is being at the moment. I felt a definite switch in my energy during the middle of March and with the start of astronomical spring this week I feel rejuvenated and ready to share.
Over the past two years I’ve been creating seasonal manifestos to help guide me through each season during the year. The process involves setting a few intentions that are in line with the season and natures rhythms, sometimes the intentions come to me as an intuition and just feel right in the moment of writing. In December I set myself the simplest and gentlest manifesto so far, it consisted of three words. I put the simplicity down to something I needed to balance the fulness of my weeks at the moment and the feeling of just needing a break. Last year saw a slow blogging year and I wrote when I could. There were some pivotal changes going on that I needed to focus on.
The end of winter is now upon us, and this week we turned to spring. I wanted to share what my winter manifesto invited in since I wrote it in December. I’ve enjoyed reflecting on what the manifesto has encouraged and gently nudged me towards.
Winter Manifesto 2018
I really needed some rest after a year of change and adjustments in my day to day routine and work life. Rest over the past few months consisted at times of watching mindless TV shows and box sets on Netflix, it was not something I thought I’d do but that’s what I did. I stopped reading my pile of magazines just dipping in here and there, took more time off social media than I have done in a while. I felt the need for space but also began to feel left behind. I felt the need to retreat and take time away from the speed of the online world and all the sharing that goes on, which gives a sense of the continual ‘need to keep up’. Making the decision to rest brought with it a slowing down of all the things I do outside of work including being online. It felt freeing but also a deep sense that I would want to reconnect again and to catch up.
I spent weekends hibernating at home and napping when I felt I needed to. I snuggled on the sofa with our pup Juno enjoying quality time and relaxing. I started reading books and didn’t finish them. I took photos but didn’t share many. I stopped listening to podcasts and instead listened to a mixture of music for short journeys to and from work. My routines and passions that I had long established that fed me creatively had come to a grinding halt. During the past few months I realised that I had taken away most of the things that inspired me. It seemed to happen unconsciously as I tried to read magazines, listen to podcasts and start books but I’d get a few minutes in and would need to switch off, put them down and just relax. I think I needed a break from the routine and to have time to reset. Rest was a great thing to do to reset during the winter months and have some space. At times I felt I’d lost the authentic me and what I love to do but knew that the desire to reconnect would happen when I was ready.
The word ‘nuture’ came to me as part of setting my manifesto and was something that I wanted to experience during winter. For me it felt like a caring word that would enable me to tap into a way of living slowly and growing gently. I decided that the word sat with me so well that I made it my word for the year.
I wanted to rest during winter but also I wanted my ideas to gently stir from the slumber and to grow them at a slow pace to see what they could bring into my life. Over the past few months I’ve nurtured my love of learning and the gentle process of connecting to coaching in the way that I want to shape the practice it for me. To help me nurture what I have been doing I’ve been connecting with other coaches in Sas Petherick’s Fire Monkey’s mentoring group as I know that accountability is what enables me to gain momentum. It feels encouraging to be connected with women who also have the desire to create something and put it out in the world. Connecting to the intention to nurture over the past few months has brought a steady growth to small ideas I have and sculpt them so they feel right and fit in with my life as it is right now.
I have been someone who enjoys reflecting, making lists and ticking things off and it is the proven way that I usually get things done. I like to be organised. Setting the intention to plan felt like a good way to connect once I had relaxed and nurtured ideas. However despite setting this intention I’ve struggled to plan ahead through the winter months. I decided to rest over putting things into my diary and actioning them. It’s only with the turn of the middle of this month that I was ready to plan again and the one thing I had planned in I was unwell for and exhausted so at the last minute I needed to cancel and set thing in motion to rearrange plans. It felt like a set back missing the one thing that I had planned in but something I think I needed to experience to get back to being organised again.
I have started making plans of what I want to create with my coaching practice to bring into my life and others, and see this as an ongoing creative project that I’ll always be on a journey with. This planning has involved a few lists of all the things I need to do to create my practice, how to fit this around my day job and making intentional decisions about what it could really look like for me. I’m glad that at the last moment with my winter manifesto that the intention to plan started and picked up momentum.
I look at the three intentions I set and can see a gradual movement through all three in time. I think in I needed the disruption of disconnection, and removing elements of what I love doing to appreciate and reconnect once again. I think you only realise the beauty and benefits of what you have in place when you take things away and hibernate. I think over the winter months that I’ve appreciated who I’m being and what I do more than before. Noticing how it feels to rest and not action, noticing what a slow pace of nurture can open up and reconnecting with the joy of planning once again. I’ve learnt to be patient, to go with the pace that I intuitively need at the time, rather than going with what my head is saying I ‘should’ be doing.