The “yes, no, maybe” buttons on the Facebook events page gives me a tiny thrill each time I see it. It is a moment when I get to make a decision about my future. I carefully review my google calendar, check the weather, check in with my internal motivation clock, visualize myself at the event and then decide yes, no or maybe for the event. I have noticed a trend about my choice.
In the Spring I am full of energy, optimistic about conquering the world and ready to burst forth from a long Winter slumber. I check “yes” for all events, only glancing at my calendar to make sure they don’t coincide. I forget about weather, motivation and visualization. Who needs it?! I am a new spring bud bursting forth into the sunlight!!
In the Summer, the days grow longer and a contentment of abundance takes over. I feel satiated and lulled into a drowsy acceptance of a full life.
In the Fall, life slows a bit. A glimpse of a quieter, slower time is seen on the horizon. By the time Fall arrives I am ready for some still time. I begin to put more thought into the events I say “yes” to. I start hitting the “maybe” button more often. I can visualize myself at the events and I feel the longing to extend the Spring and Summer energy just a little longer. But it is like the old saying, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”. During the Fall I take too much “food” on my “plate” and find myself wasting “food”. It really feels like wasted time, wasted invitations, wasted opportunities for connections.
By the time Winter rolls around I am burnt out. The natural inclination to hibernate in the darkest part of the year takes over. I don’t want to attend any events, let alone go to the store when we need milk. The “no” button gets overused during this part of the year.
Now transpose that picture of activity by season onto your life timeline. Spring for childhood/adolescence, Summer for young adult, Fall for adulthood, and Winter for late adulthood. At forty-five years old, I feel I am on the cusp of Fall/adulthood, Winter/late adulthood. Am I stuck clicking the “maybe” button to often? Have I stopped showing up with the Spring energy? Has the Summer feeling of fullness gone for good?
Every year my twenty-five year old daughter and I get together and make manifestation collages. We cut pictures, words and phrases out of magazines and glue them to a large piece of poster board. These images represent all that we want to manifest in our life in the coming year. My collage took me longer to complete this year. Instead of a couple of hours as usual, it took me five hours and I walked away from it and came back several times over two days. I put a lot of thought into what I really wanted to manifest in my life,which made me stop and ask myself some realistic questions about what I wanted and needed to feel full and satiated.
After it was completed, with lots of flowers, stickers, ribbon and fairy stickers, I stepped back and looked at it. It filled me with such a rush of hope, excitement and optimism. I could actually envision this life I had mapped out on my collage. I felt a new life emerging!
Perhaps our lives could benefit with a yearly reframing. A step away from the “yes, no, maybe” buttons and more like colorful images, words that stir something in us, fairy stickers that remind us of childhood fantasy, ribbon that evokes pony tail dressing and a poster board snapshot of what we can be when we open up possibility doors within us.
My challenge is to recognize when I am hitting the “maybe” button a little too often. What am I really saying about my engagement with myself and my life. Maybe I will show up? Maybe I will be present? Maybe I can do this? When stuck in the Fall, dare to envision myself in the Spring and Summer. Take the time in the Winter to regenerate but say “yes” once in a while just to keep the glint of possibility alive.
“…For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. ” William Stafford