Seasonal Shifts and Emotional Tides

Discovering the Value in the Seasonal Rollercoaster of Emotions

As I reflect on my journey through the seasonal emotional changes, I find myself oscillating between the vibrant, expansive moments of spring and summer and the dim, contracting phases of fall and winter - all in one day. Okay, it was two.

Just last Saturday, the weather was a comfortable 20 degrees. I felt blessed to live on this beautiful island with stunning beaches, and I took advantage of the opportunity for a leisurely walk on Greenwich Beach, pictured above. I felt fully present, enjoying the beauty, with a light and buoyant mood.

Two days later, on Monday, snowflakes filled the air, the sky turned dark and dreary, and almost instantly, my mood plummeted. It's fascinating yet striking how swiftly nature transitions, reminding me of the natural ebb and flow of seasonal changes.

As someone who feels deeply connected to nature, I recognize the undeniable influence these cycles have on me. I have a preference for the vibrant, alive phases of spring and summer. However, I understand that the contraction phase of fall and winter holds its significance. I just don’t like it.

Despite my resistance, I slowly accepted this inevitable shift. The urge to escape, to head south for the winter, is ever-present. But I contemplate - what would it take to gracefully let go into this transition? Can I approach it with the same deliberation as easing into a hot tub on a cool evening?

It's tempting to layer the gloomy clouds with toxic positivity, hoping they'll vanish. I’ve tried it – repeatedly – but it doesn’t work, and there’s not enough carrot cake or popcorn to keep it at bay. So, I have the choice to resist and suffer or acknowledge and accept the importance of these shifts and everything that comes with them. Cue the kicking and screaming.

Distractions serve their purpose throughout the day, but as the evening quiets down, the emptiness resurfaces. I find myself seeking solace at the fridge door, then the cupboards, then Netflix, hoping to satisfy an unidentifiable craving - perhaps a yearning for sweetness, both literal and metaphorical.

This internal struggle between knowing the natural cycle and resisting the inner work feels exhausting. The weariness of self-reflection and the discomfort of emotional processing weigh heavily. The desire to simply feel alive, to thrive in these darker months, lingers.

Yet, buried within these conflicting emotions lies the glimmer of an opportunity – a chance to grow, create, and learn. I’m obsessed, I know. “Why can’t you just be miserable for a little while? The whole world is falling apart. Do you have to turn everything into an opportunity for growth?” YES!! Can I transform this phase into an adventure while acknowledging its darker aspects and embracing its growth potential?

I know how to do it.

I am aware of a way, an exciting possibility of experiencing the entirety of these seasonal changes, embracing the full range of emotions without getting stuck or resisting. It's a rich and vibrant experience waiting to be lived; or painted onto a canvas – I’m working on something.

The prospect of thriving and embracing the full spectrum of emotions, acknowledging pain, darkness, creativity, beauty, and light without resistance, is daunting and exhilarating, within reach – a potential for growth, an alive experience.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes by the late David Hawkins, “Removing the clouds does not cause the sun to shine but merely reveals that which was hidden all along.”

The sun is always shining.

I’ll leave you with something to think about:

When facing emotional lows, do you tend to resist or accept these feelings? How might acknowledging and accepting these emotions lead to a more fulfilling and vibrant life experience?

Have you ever considered the potential for personal growth within the darker, more challenging phases of life? How might you embrace these moments as opportunities for learning and development?

The Personal Peace Process

I’m going to paint.

To Your Brilliant Future,


I'm the Author

Michelle Burns

Transformative Executive Coach - since 2001

From hyper-rational stockbroker to mindful and present yoga teacher, and ultimately to a career as an executive coach in a journey that spans over two decades, my job is to bring out the best in you, your business, and your life.

Cultivating executive presence isn't about becoming someone you're not, but rather recognizing and developing the greatness that already exists within you. By tapping into your authentic self and enhancing your communication, leadership, and emotional intelligence skills, you can take your presence to the next level and achieve your goals with confidence.

I look forward to meeting you.

Transformative Executive Coach

Michelle Burns

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