Spring is coming.
It was a long, icy cold winter. I, like many of you, hunkered down, wrapped myself in blankets and drank gallons of hot tea. I figured that it would be more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and perhaps even healthier than turning up the heat. It sort of worked I guess. Especially if you don’t count the few occasions when I froze my clients to death in my home office. I do feel a little bad about that.
Anyway, spring is slowly approaching and, as always, I have a mixed response to the change. My introverted, hibernation-oriented self was quite pleased to relax into a period of forced isolation. Therefore, initially I feel a bit of resistance to the first signs of spring. Those of us who enjoy some degree of lethargy find it harder to meet the demands for activity that the spring presents. In my therapy practice I have always observed that people tend to be the most distressed in April. It feels to me that, like nature, people who have less energy find it more challenging to defrost, break through the earth, or emerge from their caves. Low energy is dissonant with the creation of new life. Faced with the sunny demand to move forward, those who don’t feel lively enough to meet this unyielding challenge seem to wither away. Some gracefully and some not. On the other hand, many of you have energy that is harmonious with spring. You are just waiting, perhaps even impatiently, to pounce on the season.
Whether we are reluctant or eager, we all need to prepare ourselves, and the earth, for new growth.
It may be most obvious in spring, but the truth is that every moment is pregnant with change, or, what one might call, chaos. Basic physics teaches us that order and chaos together create life. The wave and the particle, the egg and the sperm, the yin and the yang, and so on. The undeniable truth is that chaos without order would destroy us, and order without chaos would, well, go absolutely nowhere.
Consequently, learning how to bend and flow with change is our primary job, and breathing to relax, soften and be present is our practice. We replenish our energy with rest, water, nutrients, laughter, compassion and self-acceptance. We care for our bodies and our homes in order to feel supported and grounded. We plant, pluck, prune, scrub, clean, wash and mend to create order. Order that cannot exist without the chaos that created the urge for it in the first place. There is no way around it. We must embrace them both equally in order to live and grow.
I know that I need to digest the change of season slowly and increase my outside activity a little bit at a time. What is it that you need to do that might help you to feel less brittle and more flexible this spring?
Whatever that is, I hope that it includes taking the time to stop, breathe, and witness the beauty of the new growth around and inside of you.
I wish you a happy, healthy, and sunny spring.