Work Cycles

Human beings have always been aware of cycles; the detailed fabric of nature’s rhythms surround us. There are astronomical cycles: day and night that last for 24 hours; weekly cycles that last for seven days; lunar cycles that last for 29.5 days; and seasonal cycles typically broken into four periods throughout the year. Indeed, we live with these cycles and are affected by them; the daily cycle of light and darkness, the lunar cycle of the tides, the annual cycles of the sun, migrations, floods and drought, and the life cycles of birth, growth, harvest and death.

Too often in today’s modern world, however, we forget about nature and its rhythm, and as a result fall prey to the affects of falling out of sync. Traditional cultures, on the other hand, marked their calendars, particularly the new moon, with names that kept them cognizant of the time at hand and in a perpetual state of harmony and balance.  For instance, to the Dakota Sioux, the moon in October is called the “Moon when Quilling and Beading is Done.” This moon name reflects the shifting energy of the season and is a call for a corresponding shift in daily activities; the work of harvesting is coming to a close, and now it is time to move inside for more solitary and sedentary work. 

Indeed, we might do well to consider ways our productive activities can have seasons as well. Yet, the fact is, many of us have jobs and pursue hobbies which do not change during the course of the year; a routine that lacks cyclical flow and doesn’t seem very skillful when you think of it.  Although it might not be possible to shift focus or tasks at work with each season, perhaps we can make some adjustment, and certainly we can adjust our activities or hobbies with the season. We just need to put our minds to it.  So, I ask you to think: Where can you consciously make a shift in how you spend your time according to what makes sense for this time of year?

To start, I suggest you stop the heavy lifting for now and turn your attention inward.

And, don’t forget to breathe in the cool, clear air of autumn. More importantly, breathe out…let go of some tension and begin to relax.

Mitakuye oyasin,
Michael

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