One of the most satisfying and rewarding shifts I’ve made in the past few years has been to intentionally live more seasonally connected.
I started by highlighting certain foods or ways of cooking that reflect the seasonal shifts. But then I began to move into other seasonal rituals as well– and one of them is the season “symbol”.
A fun way to feel more seasonally aligned is to choose a symbol for each season as you enter it.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant but choosing a visual image or “symbol” can be a powerful and enlightening way to anchor your intentions for the season ahead.
Images are tremendously powerful.
Your brain and subconscious are wired to respond to images more deeply than words.
Summer is a season of fruition, playing, rejoicing and enjoying. It’s abiding quality is to celebrate all that is lush and full, ripe and flourishing in your life– or that you want to be flourishing in your life. Where your attention goes energy flows!
Here is your easy-peasy 2 step symbol picking process:
1. Within the overall qualities of summer, feel into what you want to most experience for this season– maybe it is an area of growth you want to fully embrace? Maybe it is a relationship you want to appreciate more deeply and celebrate? Or a passion you want to move more boldly toward? Remember summer is when all the work of the harvest pays off- it is about action and deep enjoyment.
First identify what the intention or focus or goal for this summer will be in your life.
This summer my intention/goal/focus will be on _________________________.
2. Sit with that intention and consider what symbol or image would represent that for you. Don’t over-think this. If an image surfaces that your head can’t make sense of, but your heart “gets” it- go with it. Choose it, claim it as yours!
My summer symbol is __________________________. (and now share with us in the comments below!)
In the early Christian church, when people would go on a pilgrimage, they would often choose the symbol of a seashell for their journey, as all the ridges of a shell all lead to the same place.
And lately, as I’ve meditated and prayed, the symbol of water keeps coming back to me. I feel God asking me to become like water and completely fill the present moment as it is without trying to change it or change myself- just relaxing into what is and allowing the natural flow to happen.
I think once you begin to explore choosing symbols in your life, you’ll see how powerful they can be.
In fact, the water symbol actually has a lot to do with why I’m leading a live group run of Designed for Wellness this summer. (I did mention that we are beginning the summer group run of the course THIS Saturday- June 23, didn’t I??)
I’ve never lead a group run in the summer before. But recently I’ve been getting so many requests from moms asking me if I’d consider it.
And as I reflected it occurred to me that summer is the ideal season for the transformation this course takes us through. For the diving in and celebrating and experimenting and equipping and transforming that takes place when you say YES! to your own well being and health.
So it felt like the flow was leading there, and I said yes. And I’m so excited that I did- I’m amazed at the incredible women that have already signed up for our summer journey together.
Take a minute.
Make an intention for this summer.
Anchor it with a symbol to keep you on track and committed to seeing it through.
And if by chance, your gut is telling you “Yes!” to joining us for the summer run of Designed for Wellness…do it. I’ll be celebrating the choice with you!
My intention is to spend more time playing with the kids! My summer symbol is a pool!
Love it- bring on the fun!
I can’t quite figure out my intention or goal this summer, but what came to mind when I was thinking about this summer was a lantern. Then I wrote down the words that came to mind and thought about where it led me: lantern – light – steady – warm – leading somewhere – journey – relaxing – contemplative. I’m going through a time in my life where I’m trying to figure out where to go from here. I’m not doing exactly what I want to be doing, but I know that it is granting me opportunities and experiences that I may not have otherwise. I guess you could say I’m doing a bit soul searching right now.
This is great Emilie! I love that you let the symbol come to you first– and now you can let life fill in the details as you go 🙂
My symbol is a firefly and my intention is to slow down and take in the joys around me. Like laying in the grass and watching the fireflies.
Just so sweet sounding, love it, Tara.
My first thought for a symbol was a poppy, one that is in the process of flinging itself wide open petals stretched back like they do. I realized that my intention is to open up to life and live more engaged especially in my close relationships.
Wide open petals! Love it, Amy…YES! Such a beautiful intention to live more wide open in life and relationships 🙂
My intention this summer is to accept and radiate peace. The symbol that I will embrace is the Medal-Cross of St. Benedict.
Love the Kiwi koru at the top 😉 Here in Australia it’s winter (albeit a warm one) but I’m also going to spending a week in the USA where it’s going to be summer so I dont really feel I can choose a specific seasonal symbol! But my main goal for the next few months is to make the most of my moments – to live in the moment but also to utilize the time I have to do what I need to do (whether that’s “doing stuff” or connecting with my kids) – so I’m going to choose earrings as my symbol. It may seem strange but I guess the whole “being intentional” thing reminds me how much more “ready” I feel to face the world when I shower, get dressed, and put on a bit of jewelry… and so putting on my earrings each day will hopefully remind me of my focus this season. Thanks for the exercise 🙂
I want to be a more nurturing mom. Not a huge part of my personality, nurturing and compassion. But I’m tired of all the power struggles. Of feeling like I spend half my day as a “witch with a b”.
Symbol…I know this will sound crazy, but for the first time in four yrs my cuke vines are growing and producing like crazy, disease-free. I simply had to find a variety that appreciates the heat and humidity of the South (I’m in north TX). So right now, those cucumber vines are definitely nurturing.
Cucumber it is!
Oh wow, how much do I love this post! I am a photographer and I am often encouraging my clients to pick a symbol and not only envision it but to photograph it and hang it on their walls or post it in their homes! I’ve never thought of this concept in terms of seasonal changes though. I’d love for you to come guest post this idea on my site if you’d ever be willing. My symbol for the summer? I sleeping cat. I am taking some time to slow down and live at a more relaxing pace this summer.
Thank you for this post. 🙂 This year has been overwhelming, to say the least…and I had lost my sense of purpose and direction. For as long as I can remember I have always dreamed of being a mom. As a girl I’d play mommy with my dolls. As a pre-teen I just loved helping in the church nursery. As an adult I have found my calling as a teacher of all ages from pre-school to high school. I guess God just put a nurturing spirit in me. So, you might understand my shock, confusion, sadness and grief at finding out that my body has fertility problems which will make having a child much more difficult for me than the average woman (after 6 years of marriage we have failed to conceive). It crushed me…the news overwhelmed me with sadness. I have dreamed about motherhood my entire life…I have dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, of home-schooling my kids, and investing all of myself into their care. I have saved things from my childhood to share with them, I have bought things at stores that I wanted them to have. All just sitting in the garage…collecting dust…waiting. And nothing. And so…I felt lost. “Yes, I might still have a child with a little help from the doctors. But, what if I don’t?” “What if I am never afforded that opportunity?” “What is my purpose now?” “How should I invest my time and energy?” All of these thoughts have been parading around my mind endlessly, and loudly, and heavily. But, here’s the good part! 🙂 Your posts have been so inspirational and helpful to me. Through prayer, reflection and readings like this I am beginning to find myself and rekindle my purpose more and more. As you have said before, God has also shown me that I need to forget about the future and the “what ifs” and the “if onlys” and focus on the now. God HAS given me a purpose and a calling and that is to be the wife of my wonderful husband…and I need to invest in that. So, this summer, my symbol is a load of clean white socks. It reminds me, first, to invest in myself and in my talents as a homemaker. Second, it reminds me that it’s the little things I do for my husband (like make sure he has clean socks to wear) that allow me to fulfill my purpose as his wife and make him feel loved. Finally. Socks are a PAIR…and 2 is just the right amount. So, until God decides to bring more little “socks” into our life, I will learn to be content as part of a perfectly planned, God ordained…pair. 😉