My husband and I were commenting on the waves of the year both before we had children and afterwards. Before we had kids, September was just an extension of summer. It was a great time to go camping or take a vacation.
Once our children started school in September, the days leading up and into school are filled with new energy. As a parent, I start to get organized for making lunches, ensuring the kids have the things they need for their first day, and realizing what I forgot on the first day of school (shoes). I reconnect with parents at the bus-stop, whom I haven’t seen in a while. I then realize my days of walking my kids to the bus-stop are coming to completion because my kids were at the bus-stop before I even left the house. I’m a little sad and a little happy too.
Then there’s the quiet in the house with the children gone and the increased space to work on my business and meet with clients. Everyone comments how summer has gone so quickly, and most people are ready for fall.
We experience multiple layers of waves in our lives
- We have waves related to what is going on in our personal life (emotions related to different circumstances).
- We have waves related to the seasons. We see these phases in nature (spring, summer, fall, winter),
- We have waves related to our age and period in our life with each decade brings something new.
In each of these waves of our lives we have the phases of Expansion, Contraction, and Stasis.
Many of us have a preference for the phase we like the most. We can feel that high when life is expanding with fun, creativity, love and pleasure. We can feel relief when things are taken off our plate and we have more space to breath, travel, or do what we want to. We can feel that peace in sitting on the couch reading a book or watching Netflix. We can hide under the covers on a cold day.
You probably notice that you are at different phases for different parts of your life. If you’re highly stressed, it’s likely that the waves in many or all parts of your life are all peaking at the same time. If you’re very bored, it’s likely that the waves in many or all parts of your life are contracting or at a still point in your life.
The one truth about waves is that they cannot keep getting bigger or smaller indefinitely. Movement in the opposite direction is inevitable. This can be the one truth that can help in those times when everything feels too intense or too quiet. Things cannot and will not stay the same forever.
When we are over or underwhelmed by life, this can be an invitation to ourselves to see if we can influence our waves or whether we must ride it out. We consider whether we need to reach out to others or spend more time in quiet. We reflect on the things we think we can’t change and consider whether we can make a tiny change in that area. We consider what we can add to our lives and what we can remove from our lives. We ponder our expectations about life and whether those expectations are true or manufactured by us based on our life experience.
Fall is great time to take space for reflection as the energy of the seasons moves into contraction.