My Seasonal Manifesto | Summer 2019
Reconnecting with each season and realigning with the rhythm of nature shapes my year. It helps me live seasonably, creatively and manage changes that happen too. As each season shifts I create simple seasonal manifestos to add a layer of appreciation to the small things happening in my day to day. The manifesto forms a set of intentions for the season ahead, and enables me to have a slow, gentle and sustainable connection and progress with my word for the year. My word this year is Bloom. It’s a word that is very much connected to summer with the natural blooming of plants and flowers and the different energy the season brings.
As we transitioned from Spring to Summer with the summer solstice I started to reflect on my spring manifesto and the start of the new season ahead. The summer solstice marks the shift into summer and connecting with nature and the predictable cycles which shape the year enables me to appreciate that each season creates the change we see around us. I know it feels like summer when I stir at 4am and it’s getting light, the leaves on the trees have shifted from a light green into a deeper shade, fruits grow when blossom used to fill the trees, there are warm nights, sunny days and a different golden light in the evenings that streams into my camera.
In my work as a seasonal coach the shifts of the seasons play a key metaphor and role in accepting and shaping change. These changes can feel slow and sustainable and have a familiar comfort that comes with them. The seasons themselves hold the space for the types of change to happen, different types of energy and intentions for the time ahead. Seasons can guide how we show up in the world, the stories we tell ourselves and ultimately what we feel.
I use the practice of writing each seasonal manifesto to slow down, take time to think about what I would like to invite into my life, and savour the moments of the season. For me writing a manifesto each season creates journaling prompts, sparks brilliant questions and metaphors to ponder over with those I have a coaching partnership with, and form a few intentions to help shape the season. I deliberately leave the manifesto open for interpretation as there is a wonderful power of an open ended statement that can take your unconscious mind in many directions and open up more possibilities allowing flexibility. I want to point out that when writing the manifestos they are not a list of must dos, should dos and are not goals (I’m not a fan of the word goals). The seasonal intentions are linked to nature’s cues and themes at its core. The manifesto creates a way to experience the season, reconnecting to the senses we have and realign ourselves with nature. Having a manifesto brings a more considered pace and focus into my life. I live in a city and so having this practice helps me to live in the season and connect to nature.
For me there is an odd divide in this Summer season one shaped by resting and relaxation, and then actively exploring new places on holidays, utilising as much of the long days as possible for entertainment and to work. Most summers for me have been spent in an office, air conditioned and lacking a seasonal connection. Weekends can be the best times to connect and when the weather works in our favour we head out on walks and spend time outside. This summer I have not missed the office or the hot train journeys. I feel lucky to be able to experience the summer differently this year and it feels so special, maternity leave allows me to have a day shaped with a routine, time in our garden, walking in our local park, and a deeper appreciation of the season. Summer is one time of the year where I step away from my computer screen to experience life outside of home and so my manifestos in the past have stayed written in journals or on notes taped up on my mirror to see each morning. This year I’ve decided to share with you my Summer manifesto, it’s simple, slow and helps me shape a big picture view of the season.