Planting Your Birthday Harvest
Inspired by the spiritual rites of ancient agrarian cultures, the Birthday Harvest Ritual combines practical magic with actionable steps and is one of my favorite tools for helping clients my to mindfully manifest all the wonderful things they want to create in their lives.
Each year on your birthday, write out a list of your goals for the coming year. These are your Birthday Seeds. As you review your list, think about the next natural steps for planting each of these seeds in your life. For example, if you want to run a marathon and you’re not running at all, then setting a goal of running one mile a day might make sense. Pushing yourself to run a four-minute mile does not.
Now that you’ve assessed your list, it’s time to map out your Birthday Harvest Calendar. Take a blank sheet of paper and list all the months between now and your next birthday, then divide the year into quarterly increments. For example, if your birthday is January 1st, your first quarter will be January 1st- March 31st. The second quarter will be April 1st – June 30th. The third quarter will be July 1st – September 30th. The fourth quarter will be October 1st – December 31st.
The first quarter of your year will be dedicated to sowing your Birthday Seeds. Review each of your goals and ask yourself, “How do I want to feel at the when this is accomplished?” Instead of simply vowing to run a marathon, feel the exhilaration of the runners high once you have crossed the finish line. Taste the bananas and orange juice handed to you by a marathon volunteer. By giving yourself emotional and sensory touchstones, you will move out of your head and into your heart, where it’s much easier to get the heck out of your own way.
The second quarter is time to tend to your seedlings and weed out things that aren’t quite working out. Perhaps at some point during the first quarter you decided that the natural next step was to start timing yourself in order to achieve that elusive four minute mile. If this choice is leaving you exhausted and deterring you from running at all, revisit your reasons for running the marathon in the first place. Rather than trying to finish your first marathon in record-breaking time, perhaps it makes more sense to focus on simply finishing the marathon.
The second quarter is also a great time to plan logistics, like registering for the marathon, arranging any related travel and enlisting a team of friends to run with you or cheer you on.
Now that you’ve reached your third quarter, it’s time to reap your amazing harvest! Including this quarter on your Birthday Calendar is especially helpful when it comes to making time-sensitive decisions throughout the year, like choosing which date to run your marathon. If your birthday is January 1st, then registering for a September 30th marathon will help you hit the sweet spot of maximizing your training time and harnessing all that potent third-quarter harvest energy.
As I write this column, I am currently in the forth quarter of my Birthday Harvest Ritual. This is my time to relax, reflect and ready myself for the upcoming new year. It’s important to note that the first day of the fourth quarter is energetically the emptiest day of the year. This is the time to embrace the void and appreciate the fact that each day that follows has greater momentum than the day before. I am capitalizing on that momentum by starting my 2016 birthday list now and revising it accordingly over the next three months.
Even though it appears as if I’m biding my time until the energy has reached its apex on my next birthday, in truth the fourth quarter is the most powerful time in the cycle. Evaluating what I have created in 2015 will help me to be even more deliberate in sowing next year’s birthday seeds.
riginally published in Connect Savannah (p. 53)