We’ve all found ourselves in seasons of growth. Heck, the last 2 1/2 years have been a non-stop season of collective growth. And while these kinds of seasons are necessary and important to our development as human beings having a human experience on Earth, they can also be extremely uncomfortable in the moment. I want to dig into a few of my go-to practices during seasons of growth; these are the practices that support me through the ups and downs, the twists and turns, and keep me moving forward through it all.
This month on The Soul Connection Podcast our intention has been around growth. Each meditation and accompanying journal prompt has been focused on having a growth mindset, on pushing ourselves through these seasons, and on finding the courage to show up even when it’s challenging. This has been such a timely intention with my own life and my own current season of growth so I thought it would be helpful to share some of the practices that I turn to during seasons of growth so you can feel supported during your next (or current) season. I also recorded this as a BONUS podcast episode so if you’d rather listen…feel free.
Practices during seasons of growth
Find a therapist that resonates with you, who sees you, understands you and listens to you. Sometimes we have to “shop” around to find the right therapist. I know that can feel intimidating at times; it can feel like a lot to “start over” even after only one session but trust me, this is KEY.
The world has made a lot of progress in recent years on normalizing mental health (but oh man, there’s still a long way to go) but let’s normalize going to therapy during the tough seasons AND the not-so-tough seasons. You may change the frequency that you go when life feels pretty good, but it’s still so nice to have that check-in point, even if it’s only once a month or every other month at that point.
I’m a big fan of self-development books. I found my love of reading when people stopped telling me WHAT to read and I just let myself gravitate toward the books that sounded interesting. For me, that’s more often a yoga-related book, self-help, business, and entrepreneurship books; it’s books where I can learn something new. I know that may not be everyone’s style and if you like to read novels, by all means, keep reading them, but you may also find some books that can support you through the season that you’re in and maybe make it a little less painful or not last quite so long.
Rest is HUGE but I also want to fully acknowledge just how hard it can be. I’m an Aries and one of the ways that I work through that fiery energy is to move my body, but I’ve also had to learn that my body still requires REST. This looks like rest days from our workouts, breaks in the middle of our workdays, and time to do absolutely nothing. Our bodies, minds, souls, and spirit need this kind of care.
In yoga, we call this svadhyaya and it’s one of the NiYamas in the Yoga Sutras. Svadhyaya translates to “self-study” and it’s that piece where we get to know ourselves better. So many of these practices I’m talking about today are forms of self-study, but it’s worth mentioning on your own because as this practice of trying different things to support you, you will notice some things that land and some that don’t. This practice of self-study will help you learn what is actually supportive, taking that with you in your toolbox, and then leaving the rest.
Meditation + Journaling
You knew I was going to mention this and I’m lumping them together because The Soul Connection Podcast but of course, they could be practices all on their own as well, but I particularly love them together. Sometimes when I sit down to journal, I feel like it takes a while to work through the muck and mud; to let my ego step aside so I can let my subconscious step in, but when I start with meditation first, I’m better able to drop right into my journaling practice and often go even deeper. These practices feed off each other so beautifully to help us find that soul connection and work through some of the tough stuff.
I spent a LOT of time on my yoga mat during seasons of growth, but sometimes my practices need to change and look a little different. Depending on what I’m going through and how it’s manifesting in my body, I may cut out a vinyasa flow practice entirely and instead stick to a restorative, yin, and gentle yoga practice only. I may weave more Breathwork and longer holds into my time on my mat; I really try to meet myself where I am in that moment.
I don’t know about you but I can’t stand it when my home feels cluttered. When my space is cluttered, my brain feels that way too. By spending some time cleaning, de-cluttering, and generally just clearing space, I always feel a little better. Even more so, you may find that you have things you can donate to a local charity organization or maybe you have enough items to have a garage sale to make a few bucks. Notice how clearing out your space helps you feel a bit better throughout this season.
Get in Nature and out in the Fresh Air
For me, this looks like taking extra walks with my dog, but for you that could mean going hiking, walking on the beach, working in your garden, fishing, hugging a tree, or just putting your bare feet in the grass. Nature is so supportive and always helps ground me back in my body when things feel overwhelming.
If any of these ideas are new to you, try one or two of them on, see what sticks, and let go of the rest. Now, tell me, what are some of your favorite practices that support you during seasons of growth?