Honoring the Cycles of Our Inner Seasons

Excerpts from my article “Honoring the Cycles of Our Inner Seasons,” Itineraries, Spring 2011,

Do you remember being asked as a child: What do you want to be when you grow up? What image did this question generate?

As youthful adults, we busily till, plant, and cultivate the landscape of our life. We are the architect of our dreams, goals, education, work, family, and material needs and wants. We choose what to do, and we are asked: How are you doing? Over time, we notice how we feel in the doing.

And then how quickly the landscape of life reaches full bloom and the weather begins to change, suggesting the onset of a new season, new priorities. Interest in retirement from employment may arise when preoccupation with the outer landscape gives way to a desire to create more balance in life, and the inner landscape and the relationship between the inner and the outer become as compelling as being busy in the world

The usual question at this transition point is “What do you want to do when you retire?”

However, the most important question is not What will you DO? in retirement or your second half of life or your third age. The question is not even: What do you want to be when you retire? The question is: How will you be? And then: How are you being?

The autumn season offers an opportunity to create a deliberate blueprint for living—to notice how we want to be in order to choose what we want to do. With the advantages of youth and adulthood—experiences, skills, knowledge, and acquired wisdom­—we are positioned to become the considered architect of our being. With qualities of agefulness, we have the opportunity to mindfully fulfill life’s cycles.

Read more at http://www.secondjourney.org/Itin.htm



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