What is "inner autumn"

Good question. It is one of the inner seasons.

In this post, I’ll answer 3 questions: 

  • when is autumn?

  • what happens during inner autumn? and

  • what’s good to do during inner autumn?

At the end I’ll share a top tip.

When is autumn?

Outer Autumn

In the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is typically September to November.

In the Southern Hemisphere, autumn is typically March to May. 

Inner Autumn

If you are menstruating, inner autumn is after the middle of the cycle, ovulation, and before you start bleeding. This is the luteal phase.

If you aren’t menstruating, and are working in tune with the moon then the lunar autumn is from the full moon to the third quarter. This is when the moon is waning.

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What happens during inner autumn? 

Autumn… what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits
— Samuel Butler

What is happening in nature?

This is the season when light levels and temperatures start to drop. In the life of a sunflower, it is the time between the last blooms to the creation and harvesting of the seeds.

What is happening with the moon?

The moon continues its journey back towards darkness from the full moon and we can see half of the illuminated part of the moon. Known as the last or third quarter.

What is happening in my body?

This is the luteal phase, the name comes from the corpus luteum - this is what is left of the follicle that was home to the egg that is released. The lining of the womb has grown for a while beyond ovulation producing larger amounts of progesterone and if an egg is not fertilised then oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone begin to decline. The loss of all these feel hormones, which peaked in summer, is connected with the shift and decline of moods into the later luteal phase, the premenstrual time.


What’s good to do during autumn?

If you have got lost in the flowing ways of summer, now is time to get back on it.  Early autumn can still have the energy and resilience of summer: it’s time to get things done. The second phase there is a slowing down, and preparing before winter.  

Planning and completing

It’s time to write that to do list.  

  • Get all your actions out of your head on to paper

  • Now make a plan and stick to it.

Some questions to ask yourself in autumn: what do yoI need to get done before winter? What’s the plan for making it happen? 

Celebrate

As you head into late autumn, make time to celebrate what you have achieved this cycle.  (N.B the time to evaluation comes later, first enjoy it). How will you celebrate? 

Top Tip for late autumn

Prepare for winter 

During the second half of autumn, your energy might slow down as you head towards winter.

What can you do to prepare for winter?

Posted on September 16, 2019 .

What is "inner summer"?

Good question. It is one of the inner seasons.

In this post, I’ll answer 3 questions:

  • when is summer?

  • what happens during summer?

  • what’s good to do during summer?

and at the end I’ll share my top tip for summer

When is summer? 

Outer Summer

In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is typically June to August.

In the Southern Hemisphere it’s typically December to February.


Inner Summer

If you are menstruating, inner summer is around the middle of the cycle, across ovulation, so this will vary depending on the length of your cycle.

If you aren’t menstruating, and are working in tune with the moon then the lunar summer is when the full moon appears.

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What happens during summer? 

What is happening in nature?

The days are the longest and warmest, and for the sunflower this means they start blooming.

What is happening with the moon?

The middle of the lunar cycle, the moon is at its fullest. A great time to enjoy a moonlit evening walk.

What is happening in my body?

This is the time of ovulation, the ovulatory phase, as the uterus has been prepared for pregnancy.  The hormones that stimulate ovulation are primarily oestrogen and luteinising hormone (LH) although cortisol, thyroid and the mitochondria all play a part. When LH peaks really high as instructed by oestrogen out pops an egg. LH also stimulates testosterone release from the ovaries. There is also an increase in testosterone levels up until ovulation, and then it starts to drop. These rises in hormones also affect the verbal and social centres of the brain.

What’s good to do during summer?

Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Summer often a time of lots of energy, and going from the ideas phase during your inner spring, to making them happen.

Communicate and collaborate 

Summer is a great time to communicate and work with others:

talk about your project work with a colleague get a buddy write content discuss negotiate record yourself

Socialise 

Summer is also a great time to make the time to see friends, have fun,  have people over, make dinner, go for picnics, go dancing.  What feels like fun for you? 

Top Tip for Summer

When you’re in your inner summer, before careful not to schedule lots of things during the end of your inner autumn and winter. Those hormones are shifting, and energy levels will soon start to drop.

Posted on September 10, 2019 .

What is "inner spring"?

Good question. It is one of the inner seasons.

In this post, I’ll answer 3 questions: 

  • when is spring?

  • what happens during inner spring? and

  • what’s good to do during inner spring?

At the end I’ll share a top tip.

When is spring?

You may have heard me refer to spring and inner spring.

Outer Spring

In the Northern Hemisphere, spring is typically March - May 

In the Southern Hemisphere, spring is typically September - November.

It is the season when seeds germinate, growth speeds up closer to summer.

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Inner Spring

Inner spring and the menstrual cycle

If the first day of bleeding is day 1, spring begins when bleeding ends around day 6. Inner spring ends around day 11. At the start of inner spring, all hormones levels are low but slowly rise.

If you aren’t menstruating, and are working in tune with the moon then the lunar spring is the phase between the new moon and when the first quarter of the moon appears.



What happens during spring?

It’s spring and life is no longer about being inside; it’s time to live outside, to fall in love with seedlings and new growth, to watch it all unfurl again.
— Alys Fowler

What is happening in nature?

The hours of day light increase, as do temperatures. During outer spring, it’s common for most seeds to germinate and start to grow.

What is happening with the moon?

Everyday more of the moon becomes visible to the naked eye at night.

What is happening in my body?

This is the follicular phase of the cycle, and the production of oestrogen increases. During this phase the follicles in the ovary mature.



What’s good to do during inner spring?

Spring can be the perfect time to think about new projects for the month ahead. 

This is a great time to brainstorm and plan, to get inspired and start exploring, and to plan.

Brainstorm

Guidelines for brainstorming

  1. Go for quantity, not quality

  2. Don’t judge or censor your ideas

  3. Include the wild ideas

Pick what you’re going to focus on

Re-read through your brainstorm of ideas.  Which ideas jump out to you?  Mark them.  If it is a big ambitious idea, break it down into something manageable you can achieve this month (spring - end of winter).  For example Big Idea: do a triathlon in autumn 2018.  Possible project for this month: start moving my body in a way that feels good.  

Re-read the ideas you’ve marked.  If you had to pick one, which one would it be? Mark it with a star.  

Start exploring and get inspired

Read a book Listen to podcasts Chat with an inspiring friend Go to a lecture Read guidebooks Go out for walk 

Go to an exhibition Go to a library/bookshop  Explore pinterest Read blogs Make something Say yes to things

What else could you do?


Start making a plan 

Create a plan for how you could achieve the things you want to achieve.  I like to break things down into months and my inner seasons.  

Top tip

I add in my inner seasons into my diary. This helps me when I am planning and scheduling things.

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Next up, inner summer.

Posted on September 9, 2019 .

The story of a sunflower farmer

Imagine there’s a farmer who had the vision of a whole field of sunflowers.  Much like this:

Photo by Bonnie Kittle @bonniekdesign

Photo by Bonnie Kittle @bonniekdesign

She read lots of books about growing sunflowers.

Then she got to work: she prepared the field, carefully sowed all the seeds, and spent most days working in the field.

But six months later, where she expected to see a field of yellow all she saw was dead stalks.  Not one sunflower to show for all the work.  On top of that she feels like a failure and exhausted.

She spent some time trying to understand what went wrong, but she’d done all the things that she was meant to do… 

Some time later, she read another book and it said the best time to sow the seeds was at the time of year called spring.  But none of the books had said that.  And yet, it made so much sense. 

This is exactly how I felt when I learnt that menstruating women go through 4 phases of their menstrual cycle (which last roughly 1 month). During each phase, their hormone levels change and these changes in mean that they are better suited to different activities at different times of the month. All this made even more sense to me, when I realised these phases were similar to the four seasons.

It seems unimaginable that a farmer wouldn’t know about seasons, and yet most women I speak to do not know they have four inner seasons and what would be best for them to do during that season.  So, for the next month I’m going to take you through the four inner seasons.

Posted on September 4, 2019 .

Should you have one life design or many?

As you’re interested in creating a life that you find fulfilling, you’ve probably come across the advice ‘follow your passion’.

Did you find that useful?

If you’re like most of my clients, you didn’t. Either because you don’t know what you’re passionate about, or you’re passionate about lots of things.

In this week’s video, I’m sharing an alternative. It was inspired by spending the last month living in different places.

I’d love to hear three places that you could imagine living. Reply below.

Posted on August 27, 2019 .

Are you trying to achieve the wrong goal?

Important step in life design is going from creating a design to making a plan to taking the actions to make it happen. 

As part of creating the plan, it’s super useful to identify a goal or learning question.

But a problem I often see is people start out with the wrong goal, and so either don’t achieve their goal or don’t feel good when they do.

Thankfully, there’s an easy, if a bit radical, solution.

Are you trying to achieve the wrong goal?

In this short video, I share about two different types of goals, the different qualities of those goals.

So, were you trying to achieve the wrong goal? How could you re-frame it?

Posted on July 31, 2019 .