Working Alongside Nature
There’s a lot of hype at the moment around the concept of ‘slow living’ and how that manifests in our day-to-day lives. Making time to enjoy a cup of coffee. Prioritising the journey over the destination. Opting for simplicity. Slow living looks different for everyone, but what seems to resonate with many people, is the desire to disconnect with technology, and reconnect with the natural world. It’s no surprise, then, that the ‘seasonal living’ movement is also experiencing a surge in popularity.
For Maddy and I, living both slowly and seasonally is the backbone of everything we do, so it was only natural we transitioned this lifestyle to our businesses when we made the leap to self-employment.
Why do we choose to work alongside nature?
For a long time, the world has been shouting at us to move faster and work harder. No matter if you don’t see sunlight for a whole week, or if you find yourself replying to emails at 3am. Work is supposed to be hard, right?
Imagine this: It’s the 29th of January. You wake feeling lethargic and demotivated, and there’s a stack of messages to respond to, orders to pack up, clients to call. You’re beating yourself up because you haven’t got around to setting your goals for the year ahead, you know you’re not doing your best work, and the pressure to post on social media (because you haven’t for three weeks now) is all consuming.
I remember the feeling well. That gentle, growing, gnawing sensation in the pit of your stomach that you’re getting it all wrong. The answer? Look outside. The earth is still resting. Having spent weeks, maybe months, nurturing seeds beneath the surface, it’s still not ready to emerge. It needs a little longer, to feel the warmth of the spring sunshine, before it will be time. We don’t expect flowers to bloom all year round, so why do we expect it of ourselves?
Working in alignment with nature means expanding your awareness, and exploring the possibility that the reason you’re feeling the way you do, is because you’ve skipped a stage in the cycle, and your rhythm is off-kilter.
If you think your business might need a little rewilding, knowing where to start can be overwhelming, especially because there isn’t much noise out there at the moment about working seasonally.
To get you started, here are a few pointers:
Consider the yearly cycle of your business - are there naturally busy and quiet times of the year? Do these align with the seasons? (e.g. Planning for the year ahead during the winter months, beginning new projects in spring, moving forwards and sustaining these projects over the summer, and reflecting and celebrating during the autumn).
If your yearly cycle does not translate obviously with the ebb and flow of the natural world, how might you use the power of the seasons to impact what’s going on in your business? (e.g. If your business is particularly busy with sales in January, how could you use the quiet, introspective qualities of nature in your marketing or sales copy? How might you structure your week differently to ensure you make time for your own rest and self-care?)
Look at each month as having four seasons, just like each year. Every month, you should find time to rest and recharge, as well as time to plan ahead, make progress on your current project(s), and celebrate things that bring you joy. Introducing this loose rhythm to each month not only grounds you, but is also a reminder that we cannot always work at the same speed.
A Seasonal Year will guide you through all of the above, with resources, workbooks and support from us every step of the way. This part of the rewilding process for your business is really just the start, though, and we’ll move beyond these initial stages to explore the power of light, bringing the outside in, balance, seasonal creativity and the importance of community and connection. We will also be considering how you can incorporate slow living principles alongside seasonal working practice, something Maddy will be writing about in next month’s blog post.