What Season Of Life Are You In?

"Urban Garden" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Urban Garden" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

There are these tulips that are planted outside of the building that we live in, they came up hopefully but out of dozens of bulbs only four flowered. When we spoke to the master gardener who lives in the building next door she said it was because they were planted in the wrong season, that they had flowered once already last year and won't flower again. "Next time," she said "plant them in the autumn. If you plant them in the right season they will flourish for years to come."

I heard this and I found myself thinking about how many times we have all planted seeds for ideas in the "wrong" season only to find that they didn't come into fruition. This led me to remembering a theory I heard from master coach Tony Robbins that I often use with my Intuitive Counseling clients in sessions.

"The secret to life is threefold. It's to understand what season of life you're in, to understand what season the world is in, and to figure out how to take advantage of it." He goes on to say that it is important for each person to, "find the season they're in, which is different for everyone, and to take advantage of it. That's the secret to experiencing an extraordinary life."

We often push things to happen even though some part of us know that something feels off. Whether it's a difficult conversation you pursue with a friend even though you know they are going through a challenging time that might make them reactive rather than open to what you have to say. Or a business idea that you push while having the sense that it wasn't quite the right time for either you or in terms of the receptivity of those involved. There are countless iterations of this idea of planting in the "wrong" season.

What Season Of Life Are You In?

One way to find out what season of life you are in, is to take a cue from the animal world.

According to Jamie Sams and David Carson's enlightening

"Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals,"

butterflies reflect back to us that we are always at a certain stage in our life activities. "The way to discern where you are in this cycle is to ask yourself:"

Is this the egg stage:
Is it just a thought or idea?

Is this the larva stage:
Do I need to make a decision?

Is this the cocoon stage:
Am I developing and doing something to make my idea a reality?

Is this the birth stage:
Am I sharing my completed idea

While this is a great way to tune into what stage you are in for your life as a whole or perhaps more specifically for the idea that you are cultivating, what do you do if you have already planted in the "wrong" season? I don't know anyone who hasn't had that experience in life.

Perhaps the tulips can help us out here. This past weekend one of the families in our building dug out the half sprung tulips from their beds. They prepared the soil for a different flower that we were told would grow this time of year. We did some research and decided we would order with the master gardener new tulip bulbs in the fall and plant them together in the "right season."

We went from feeling disappointed about the state of our garden and the extra work that we had to do, to feeling excited that we now have an opportunity to get to know the other families in our building and include our children in planting some brilliantly hued marigolds this spring.

I also realized that that by needing to educate ourselves in order to utilize our time and energy more effectively we have opened up a line of communication with this lovely gardener next door which has presented the opportunity for these two buildings to work together in harmony for the first time in years to make this block even more beautiful for those of us who live here and for all who walk by. It might take us another few seasons to bring our garden up to where we want it to be, but when we do, I imagine that our neighborhood relationships will be growing as well as the flowers.

Back to you. 

So are you thinking that perhaps you planted in the "wrong" season?  If so, first be kind to yourself. No one has impeccable timing all of the time.  If the word "wrong" brings up regret or shame for you, then let go of the word (want to go deeper with letting go of shame read Dr. Brené Brown's truly brilliant book "Daring Greatly"). Beating yourself up is not only an all-too-human waste of time, it also often leads to you missing out on the benefits in your situation.

It can obviously benefit you greatly to know what season you are in and to understand the confluence of how that relates to the season the world around you is in as it relates to what you want to plant. However, I truly believe that there is always something to be gleaned from all experiences.  

Just like we discovered in this chapter with our building's garden, there are always "hidden gifts" to planting seeds in the "wrong season".  Think about what you learned from your own equivalent experience and apply that newly gained wisdom to your present and future.  Then perhaps meditate on whether you are in an egg, larva, cocoon or birth stage in a life activity that is important to you. Once you know what stage you are in, your decisions about how to proceed will be clearer.

The difference between disappointment and opportunity is your perception of the situation, choosing to be loving to yourself in the process, and being creatively open to how you can grow and flourish in this season of your life...right here...right now.