I grew up in New York City, where the seasons were a lot more defined than they are here in Southern California. I remember bracing myself against the cold of winter, leaning into the wind as it whipped around the buildings and longing for Spring. When the first crocuses peeked out of the ground and pale green shoots appeared on the trees, the whole world felt new and filled with promise.
Today, in my San Diego home, spring is officially here, and I’m ushering in the season in my usual way; digging around in my garden, weeding, planting and fertilizing. My windows are always wide open, letting in the warm breezes, and I take every opportunity to fire up the barbeque and cook outdoors.
This season is a reminder that rebirth and regrowth is constant, and just as the earth renews itself every spring, we are constantly in a state of growing, healing, and reinventing ourselves. And that’s a very good thing!
If, like me, you’re ready for a “springtime of the soul” to clear out what no longer serves you and make room for new growth, here are a few ideas and a simple exercise to inspire you:
Make joy priority #1.
The things that you make a priority are the things that get done. This spring, and for the rest of the year, make JOY your priority. Decide what lights you up deep in your soul, and put that top and center on your to-do list. Give yourself permission to turn down a social obligation that doesn’t excite you in favor of doing something you love – even if that something is as simple as writing in your journal or going for a leisurely walk at sunset.
Tap into the real you.
Do you ever get so caught up in work, school, and family that somehow the “real you” gets lost? Let nature’s rebirth be a signal every year, reminding you that your soul self – the purest part of you – is in there, waiting to blossom. You can tap into the wise inner voice just by being still for a moment and listening. Need some help pushing aside the noise? There are lots of ways to remind yourself to tune in. Personally, I think a journal is a great way to start. Write a few pages every morning, without editing. What goes on that page is just for you, so grab a pen and let the words flow. After a few days when you glance at what you’ve written, you might be surprised at the insights that are revealed.
Reinvent yourself with your breath (a simple exercise for you!)
Living in the moment, reducing stress, even losing weight, begins with the simplest thing – your breath! When you are meditating, walking, or doing yoga, tune into your breathing. Make it a point as you exhale to imagine yourself releasing old energy, tension, and pain. It might help to “colorize” that breath in your mind – imagine yourself breathing out dark gray smoke. Then, as you inhale, replace that stale gray with pure golden light. Take it a step further by picking up a virtual feather duster and loosening all the old “stuff” trapped inside of you, then breathe it all the way out. When you think you’ve released everything, go deeper and push out a little bit more, emptying every little bit of breath in your lungs. Then breathe in, allowing the golden light in as you feel your lungs and every cell in your body brimming with sunshine and clean new spring air.
I like to do this exercise outside as I walk through my garden, but you can do it anywhere – whenever you have a few minutes. If you’re feeling frazzled, with too much on your mind, take a three minute time-out to breath out the old stale air and breathe in golden light. You can even do this at a red light, or waiting on line at the supermarket. I guarantee you’ll feel renewed after just a few breaths.
Your time on this beautiful planet is relatively short – so enjoy every moment with all of your senses. Stay up and admire the moon, listen to the birds sing, exercise outside. Honor the beauty around you, and tap into the beauty of your true, soul self.