Welcoming Spring

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” (John Lubbock)

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Spring is almost here! Like many others who live in the northeast, I look forward to being outdoors and enjoying warmer weather after hibernating during cold winter months. In spring Mother Earth awakens from her long winter’s nap, bringing renewal and more light filled days. I eagerly anticipate seeing forsythia, daffodil, and crocus blossoms, harbingers of spring’s arrival.

Nature teaches us about healthy living — going inside and resting more in winter; awaiting new growth in spring; feeling gratitude for the beauty surrounding us in summer; and letting go in autumn as one cycle ends and another begins. Healthy living requires activity balanced with rest, preparing for new growth, appreciating what IS working and beautiful in our lives, and learning to let go of what no longer serves us.

How can we meet and manage challenges faced during life’s seasons? Our cars come with an owner’s manual, yet the vehicles we travel through life in, our bodies, don’t come with a manual or instructions about how to optimize health and promote resilience. Three steps can guide us: (1) increasing self-awareness; (2) using self-care practices; and (3) reconnecting with what brings meaning and joy into our lives.

Self-awareness brings insights about how to operate our whole being in ways that give us quality of life and mileage. Self-awareness can be enhanced in many ways, for example: time in stillness, meditation, prayer, mindful eating/daily activities, walks in nature, journaling, relationships, and hobbies.

Self-care tools and strategies┬ábecome part of a daily “practice” that keeps us on our life path and connected to our internal GPS. They help us manage stress, promote relaxation, enhance our ability to respond to change, promote heart health, strengthen immunity, build flexibility and strength, improve focus and memory, and empower us. They also enhance self-awareness and enable us to discover and rediscover: Who am I? What do I want and need? Where am I going. Self-care practices can vary over the seasons and years of our life. When choosing self-care practices consider physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual ones.

When we reconnect with what brings meaning and joy into our lives we plug directly into our internal GPS, which sends us guidance through sensations, thoughts, emotions, and other “signals.” Our internal GPS is always available, when we remember to take time to listen and receive its messages.

How will you welcome spring this year, and what self-care practices will you include as part of your renewal?

 

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