The Cycles Of Nature And Self
In a previous blog post, 4 Tools for Metamorphosis, I presented four tools corresponding to four phases in the self development process:
- Intuitive Expression > discovering a new pattern
- Aligned Action > embodying a new pattern
- Shadow Awareness > uncovering the shadow side of the pattern
- Somatic Release > letting go in order to make space for more
As I was writing, I realized these phases correspond to what we observe in nature, in the cycle of the seasons.
- Spring > emergence of new life
- Summer > proliferation of life
- Autumn > fall, decline, and decay
- Winter > death, rest, and preparation for new beginnings ahead
This is not a coincidence. We are not separate from nature. We are connected, interdependent, and symbiotic with nature. And so we develop as nature develops.
Now, let’s utilize the seasons as a framework to further examine the self development process.
We start with spring, summer, autumn, and winter on a graph, with spring and summer above, and autumn and winter below. Since spring and summer have more daylight, choosing this placement establishes the y-axis as light/dark, with upward movement indicating more light, and downward movement indicating more darkness.
So what about the x-axis? When we move left to right, life is growing. When we move right to left, life is dying and returning to the Earth. So, let’s add growth/decay to the x-axis.
As we translate the graph back to the cycles of personal development, we can see some general patterns about the how light/dark and growth/decay interact with each other.
First, let’s focus on the horizontal movements in the cycle. Movement towards the right represents a growing sense of self and the development of an identity. The seasons of growth — spring and summer — occur when there is more light than dark.
The reverse is true for leftward movement, which represents a decay in the sense of self and the dissolving of an identity. The seasons of decay — autumn and winter — occur when there is more dark than light.
In other words, the experience of growth generally feels positive, and the experience of decay generally feels negative. It feels good when things are coming together, and it feels bad when things are falling apart.
Now, let’s examine the graph vertically. Upward movement represents a shift in polarity from dark to light. During these seasons, winter and spring, we see the path goes through a complete decay of the self. Dissolving the sense of identity is what transforms darkness into light.
Likewise, downward movement represents a shift in polarity from light to dark. During these seasons, summer and fall, the path goes through an expansion in the sense of self. Inflating the sense of identity is what transforms the light into darkness.
The full cycle is a dance of transforming energy from decay to light to growth to dark.
Now, let’s return to the four tools to see how it all fits together.
The beginning of winter is the darkest point in the cycle. Somatic Release effectively transforms the darkness into decay, by facilitating the detachment of a negatively perceived experience. Forgiveness, surrender, and acceptance allow the dark polarity to shift to neutral. The identity dissolves and returns back to the Earth, becoming the fertilizer for a new pattern to emerge.
The beginning of spring is a blank canvas. Intuitive Expression effectively transforms decay into light by developing a new identity that expresses your true nature. Your intuition connects you with the truth of who you are right now, as opposed to who you think you’re “supposed” to be. Follow the light, the joy, the blossoming.
The beginning of summer is the lightest point in the cycle. Aligned Action effectively transforms light into growth by focusing the energy into tangible results. Commitment, perseverance, and drive is necessary to overcome the challenges that inevitably arise as growth approaches it’s maximum point.
The beginning of autumn is when darkness falls and decay begins again. Shadow Awareness effectively transforms growth into darkness by bringing presence to the shift in polarity. The more present in the experience, the more discernment can be exercised for what must be surrendered, and what must be integrated. This is preparation for the release coming in the next season.
And then the cycle repeats. Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. With each passing season, the continuous development of nature and self.
Thank you for reading! In the process of writing this post, I started noticing the cycle show up in other areas of life. Not just in the rhythm of the seasons, but in the rhythm of the days, in the rhythm of the moons.
I see the cycle in the body, when new skin grows to heal a wound, and in the menstrual cycle. And I’m sure there are many more examples to discover.
If you found value in my perspective or want to follow my journey more closely, I also make TikTok videos @kyrotechnics.