Seasons of our Lives

Life has been likened to a pathway, a river, a cycle, a spiral, or any one of a multitude of poetic and inspiring metaphors. Is there a metaphor that describes the way you think about your life?

In another post, I talked about time, timing, and reimagining time. In this post, I’m inviting you to play with another time-related concept: the seasons, or stages, of our lives.

This post is excerpted from my September 2023 newsletter. If you would like to receive a free monthly newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, contact me at [email protected].

We carry ideas with us—from our upbringing, from our family and friends, from the media that we choose to consume—about what each season, or life stage, looks like, feels like, what we “should” be in any given stage, and even how what we did in one stage translates to, and sometimes presupposes, what the next stage or stages will look like.

I grew up imagining life as divided into clear sequential stages: child, adolescent, adult, and elder. As a child, I expected to walk forward through each stage in accordance with expectations that I shared with my family and community. I would grow into, mature through, and complete each stage in accordance with what was “appropriate” for that stage.

When I became a teen, I turned this entire model on its head—the age of majority seemed arbitrary, I was buoyed by youthful dreams of freedom from all societal expectations, and I shared with my peers the exuberant questioning of prevalent behavioral norms and mores. My upbringing cultivated a strong sense of social responsibility—an internal compass—yet I no longer felt destined to follow a prescribed path.

With the birth of my son, I was again plunged into a strongly normative reality about what it means to be a mother, and the “best” way to raise a child. I read many books on child development, and the ones that I most appreciated respected my child’s unique unfolding while providing benchmarks to orient my evolution as a mom. Among others, I appreciated the integrated “mind-body-spirit” developmental philosophy of Anthroposophy (familiar to many through Waldorf education); rhythm, the arts, and movement supported a vision for unfolding that was anything but linear!

As autumn approaches and I reflect on the changing seasons, I feel more strongly than ever that predetermined and predictable life stages are too proscriptive, too predestined, to support our lives in these times. Ken Wilber’s description of evolution—of a person, an ecosystem, or a planet—as a “wildly self-transcending process” feels more consistent with my life experience.

We emerge in each moment formed and in-formed by interrelatedness and possibility, co-creating our lives from the rich humus of each prior “self-moment.”

A meditation for engaging and assimilating our preconceptions and judgements about life stages

Before we start, a few reminders:

  • The personal (Astral) aura extends about five feet (for women) or about three feet (for men) out from the surface of the physical body above and below, to the right and to the left, in front and behind.
  • As you move through the clearing part of this meditation, you need not identify the origin or the details of any stories and images that you carry about your life stages. For this meditation, allow your analyzer to rest, and stay in the center of your head.
  • Fast and slow have limited meaning in this realm. Clearing images and stories may take a moment to parse, or the clearing may happen all at once. Stay in curiosity and patience with yourself and trust your process.

To begin, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and bring your attention into your body.


Bring your attention to the center of your head. Relax and take a step back from the analytical, directive part of your brain into a space of warm and welcoming awareness and curiosity.

Create a rose and place it outside of your aura. From the center of your head, say hello to any preconceptions or judgments you are carrying about this time in your life. Note the place or places in your body that you carry these preconceptions and judgments.

Now, send those preconceptions and judgments out onto the rose.

Contemplate the rose. Ask yourself, “How many of these preconceptions or judgments are mine and how many come from other people?”

Invite the images or stories that are not yours to return to those to whom they belong. Notice what you feel: you may feel a movement, a growing spaciousness or light, or an unraveling of tensions as these stories clear from your energy field. Continue with this clearing until you feel complete.

Now bring the energy that belongs to you from the rose back into your field, back in through your crown, and assimilate this energy in current time. Replenish your field with golden Cosmic energy (which comes in through your crown) and just the right amount of neutral green Earth energy (which comes in through your 1st chakra) to fill all the spaces you cleared with a balanced and flowing resilience.

Release and recreate your grounding. Take a few deep breaths, and come on back.

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