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Seasons of Love: Lessons From Nature on Our Relationship Statuses

07/15/2013 03:19 pm ET | Updated Sep 14, 2013

Feng shui is the ancient art and science of how our environment affects us. Its principles came about when people were observing how living in harmony with nature created more auspiciousness, more flow, more harmony and more joy. I am constantly reminded of how observing nature can help us to mirror that success in our own lives.

My clients tend to reach out for a session when they are going through a life transition (a birthday, a new year, a breakup, a divorce, the loss of a job, a loss of life, moving into a new space or having someone move into their space). Life's transitions are important, as they provide opportunities for growth, but while some life transitions are exciting, others range from stressful to downright uncomfortable.

Relationships go through seasons, just like our planet does. Spring tends to be when we start putting ourselves out there, weeding our garden, planting seeds. Shortly thereafter, we find ourselves looking for signs of growth, signs of life and signs of possibility. Summer relates to when things start heating up. We may find ourselves in the throws of passion, going through tremendous growth spurts and enjoying the bloom of one another's roses. Fall brings with it a new adventure. For some it means a fork in the road -- coming closer together and reaping the harvest of all their work, or letting go and allowing the leaves to blow on the wind. Which brings us to winter. Winter is a time of stillness, of contemplation. It's a time when we reflect on the year, reconnect to our source and prepare our soil for glorious spring.

Each season brings with it an incredible opportunity and benefit to our love lives. The challenges arise when we try to go against life's normal rhythms and cycles and force ourselves to do something that is out of energetic alignment.

In our culture, the season that people seem to avoid most often is winter.

I see people going through a breakup and immediately trying to distract themselves from being alone. Sometimes people try to line up a new relationship as their old one is crumbling. Other times, they wait until after the breakup is official, but they immediately start putting themselves out there. During springtime, people are out every night of the week, spending late nights patrolling social media websites looking for someone to love. But winter is supposed to be a time of introversion. A time to go inside, to seek warmth and light and comfort and just be.

People who skip this step will do anything to avoid the stillness and quiet and patience that winter brings. They want to go right into spring, getting out there, planting seeds. There is no judgment here. People need to listen to their own rhythms, their own inner voices. And they need to be willing to live with the consequences.

Winter requires patience. Winter requires quiet. It is winter that helps bring us understanding of ourselves and deeper understanding of others. We may end up attracting the exact same relationship with a new face. If we avoid this period of time, we are robbing ourselves of a vital part of the rejuvenation process. We may have to learn lessons the hard way, but everyone needs to learn things their way, even if that way has a price attached.

For example, farmers used to notice that when they took everything from the soil (without giving any of their crops back to the earth) eventually there would be a down year, when crops simply would not grow. Putting roughly 10 percent of the annual harvest back into the soil led to the principle of sustainability in farming, which opened up possibilities others couldn't have imagined. This was also the inspiration for the principle known as tithing, or giving back to your source, so that we may always have enough, be sustained and live in harmony with the elements around us.

So the next time you are invited to embrace winter, perhaps you will not avoid it at all costs. Perhaps you will instead accept the invitation to be quiet, take some space, "Be still, and know that I am... " And just perhaps, you will recognize and reframe it as a positive experience that is leading you closer to your heart, rather than a punishment you are being forced to carry out. Instead, winter is empowering you on all levels for the exciting spring that lies ahead.

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