Sunday, April 10, 2016

Living in Harmony with the Seasons: Spring


The energies have shifted and Spring is fully in the air! While Winter is a season of rest, reflection, and conserving energy, Spring is all about awakening, stretching, and shaking off the slumber of Winter, soaking up the warming sun, planting seeds of intention, nourishing those seeds, and witnessing new life slowly peeping out and then bursting into the world as leaves unfurl and blossoms bloom. The sacred cycle of creation is warming back for another turn of the wheel.

"Spring is a natural resurrection, an experience in immortality." -Thoreau

There exists a flow to nature - a flow of energy. Just as the moon waxes and wanes, so does the energy of nature, the energy of life. Good health of mind, body, and soul are dependent on being in harmony with that flow. The elements of nature are the very same elements of your body - intertwined, twisted, woven, and inseparable. Energy shifts, and so must you. #shiftthappens



Living in harmony with the seasons isn't a new idea. It's an ideal way of life with roots dating back thousands of years. If you're familiar with Ayurveda, then you know this concept isn't new at all. In fact, it's an integral part of many various cultures across the globe. It seems that only in modern times and in our own western civilization that we've moved away from this wisdom. The conveniences and comforts of modern living as well as the increasing number of people living in large cities have in some ways separated us from the natural world. It's important that we learn to somehow blend these worlds so that we can continue to move forward as a civilization while staying connected to that which is the absolute root of our existence and well being. Living a life of disconnectedness leads to illness, anxiety, and unnecessary feelings of isolation. Here are a few ideas to get you heading in the right direction for living in harmony with Spring...

Move Your Body!
 
Spring is a time of awakening, and just like when you awake from a long deep sleep, you need a good yummy stretch and to start slowly warming up your body in preparation for increased activity. Physically speaking, Spring is an optimal time to ease into a fitness program. Yoga, Tai Chi, walking, and jogging are perfect to start with. Anything you can do outdoors is wonderful and beneficial. If you're brand new to exercising, or have been stagnant through winter be careful to ease into it. Gentle stretching and walking are a great place to start. As your body gets more flexible and mobile you can carefully increase your activity. The important thing is to nurture your body, not to injure or over-stress it! Never push beyond what is healthy. Always love yourself enough to honor and respect your body's current capabilities.

Eat Seasonably

A little detoxing may be in order to Spring Clean your body. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas to help flush your liver. Dandelion tea is an excellent choice! You can find it at health food stores and many grocery stores, but how about trying to make your own!?! Dandelions are everywhere this time of year. I hope you're letting a few grow wild in your yard for the bees and butterflies, and for yourself! They really are herbal powerhouses! If you're not familiar with the benefits, I encourage you to do a little research. I've been learning a lot about herbalism and wildcrafting lately and there are many wild things that grow in the Spring that I plan on trying new things with. Wild violets grow bountiful in my backyard and I hope to be able to try out some Wild Violet recipes I've found on Pinterest! #trynewthings!

Spring greens are also excellent for your body as well as brussel sprouts, and broccoli. See what fresh veggies you can find at your local Farmers' Market. Seasonal + local is a powerful combination. As the weather gets warmer and warmer, your metabolism changes. Summer is the optimal time for raw fruits and veggies, so you may want to at least steam your veggies in early Spring if you find you're having trouble digesting them raw.

Get Your Hands Dirty 

One of my favorite things about Spring is dirt. I love digging in the dirt, especially after a good rain. You know that amazing smell of damp dirt? That's the scent of life! Planting and tending a garden is one of the most magical and satisfying experiences ever. It also puts you in direct contact with nature. This gives you the fast track to harmony! There are also undeniably therapeutic aspects to gardening. So, whether you would like to grow a little flower garden or get ambitious with a large produce garden, go for it! I don't think anyone has ever been sorry they planted a garden.

"In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." -Margaret Atwood

Setting Intentions
 
Spring is where it all starts. It's a new beginning. This makes Spring the perfect time for setting your intentions. Its very important to distinguish intentions from goals. Goals have a measurable outcome. A goal would be something along the lines of wanting to run a 4 minute mile, lose 5 pounds, make all A's, etc. An intention is something less quantifiable, yet so much more powerful. Intentions are a communication between your heart and the universe. Examples of intentions are finding balance, seeing beauty, remaining connected, opening your heart, seeing truth, and finding health. Also you could have intentions for creative expression, forgiveness, gratitude, peace, being of service, and finding meaning. Intentions are extremely personal and deep. Only you can know what intention you need or desire. You can set an intention for a day, or for the length of a yoga session, or for a certain situation and you can set an intention for a longer period of time. Spring is a wonderful time for setting an intention for something you want to be a part of you for the rest of your life - a long term intention so to speak. So, look deep inside and ask your heart what it is you need. It may not come to you right away, but trust that it will and when it does, name it and name it clearly. Then focus daily and align yourself with that intention and it will come to you. You do the work on your side and the universe will do the work on its side. Its a beautiful process.

The key to intentions is clearly naming them and holding them in focus. Your intentions become your reality as you hold them in focus, day by day, and as you realign your thoughts and actions with your intention. You might want to start each day with meditating on your intention. A few minutes to clear the chatter in your mind and to focus on what is important to you can make a huge difference in how focused you can remain and the choices you will make throughout your day.

Soak Up Some Sun

Set aside a little time, daily if possible, to feed your body some sunlight. Sunshine is good for your mood, it improves sleep quality, and makes the oh so important Vitamin D that we all need more of. Don't be a total cave dweller! Get outside! Flowers can't bloom with no sunshine!

 
And... BLOOM!
 
All this leads me up to the ultimate conclusion for Spring. You need to bloom. You've been storing and holding your energy all Winter in preparation for this! Let it happen. Feel the energy that's ready to be released. I don't know what your particular "bloom" is, only you know that... but ultimately it will lead to a ripe garden ready to nourish you through the intense energy of Summer. In Summer, the garden - whether metaphorically speaking or literally speaking, or both - is buzzing with energy! The seeds planted in the Spring bear fruit in the Summer. All the caring and tending will be been rewarded with spectacular flowers, fruits, and vegetables, as well as the fruits of your intentions and efforts! I can't stress enough how living in harmony with the seasons is both metaphorical and literal! As you learn to observe the energies within yourself as well as around you with each season that comes and goes, your understanding will deepen year after year. <3

I want to conclude this post with a little excerpt from a John Burroughs essay. I think it is so relevant to many things, but it also fits nicely into the idea of harmonizing your life with the seasons. It's one of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it :) xoxo ~namaste





1 comment:

  1. What a beautifully-written tribute to spring, Amanda. I admit to being an autumn person, but I do love this post :)

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