It probably seems odd to you to be reading about the winter in the middle of August. With the stock market falling, financial collapse looming and unrest raging around the world it is clear that our society has entered its’ historical season of winter and will not be seeing spring any time soon.
The Fourth Turning
The concept of historical seasons comes from the incredible book The Fourth Turning, by Strauss and Howe. The authors (historians and economists) document how society has undergone predictable and repeatable 80 or so year cycles comprised of four 20 or so year seasons. Each season has challenges, opportunities and lessons to be learned. Over the past 5-8 years we have entered our season of winter, which is predicted to last about 20 years.
The Challenges of Winter
The challenges in winter are that resources can become scarce (financial crisis) and that there are frequent storms (wars, riots, etc.). Winter is a time where old, inefficient and ineffective systems and institutions break down so that they can be replaced by something completely new and better. In winter we become more isolated from the global community.
A Bikini in January?
This all sounds pretty terrible when you first hear it. We all know that winter can be a pretty great time if we know how to respond to it. Most of the pain of winter comes from behaving like it is one of the other seasons. If you try to harvest or plant your crops in winter it is going to hurt! If you dress for the beach in January…ouch!
Resourcefulness NOT Resources
To be successful in winter you must focus more on resourcefulness than resources. Winter is a season to work on things internal and develop new strategies that will set the stage for transformation in the spring. Winter is also a time when connections with ourselves and those in our immediate community are valued and required (Christmas).
NSA and Winter
It is my feeling that it is not a coincidence that NSA, SRI and Reorganizational Healing were developed just before the beginning of winter. The work we do develops internal resourcefulness and awareness and results in the ability to learn new strategies and improved connections with others. As we move into the dark days of winter I know of nothing more important.
It is likely many of the institutions we draw comfort from will fall in the coming decade (I hope and believe our health-care system will completely change). Will you be ready? Will you be flexible and adaptable enough to survive and thrive? Will you be able to take advantage of the opportunity to create something so much better than we have now?
Succeed or be Crushed? The Choice is Yours.
Some people will be crushed by the winter, others will succeed beyond belief. What will be required to succeed during the winter is internal awareness, resourcefulness and close community connections. It is not too late to create and enhance these features in yourself and family. I am personally getting entrained MORE often, developing myself internally and strengthening my close relationships. What will you do?
Spring will come and it will be glorious for those who don’t try to run away from the cold. Why not strap on some snowshoes with me and come along for a ride!
If you would like learn more about the Fourth Turning you can order the book at the above link, or visit this website for further resources.