Monday, April 8, 2013

The Healing Power of Spring

Just back from a winter vacation in Arizona, I found snow all around my property.  Makes this story appropriate.

Creating Rituals of Renewal
By Scott Jacobs
It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain
As Midwesterners we are all too familiar with the ache/joy of “spring fever.”  We've endured/survived/enjoyed winter’s hibernation and now our thoughts turn to warm weather, longer walks, fresh smells, and colors other than gray. We have been at rest—like the trees and soil—and now something is calling us to awaken.
What is it about spring that calls you? Are there rituals that help create a sense of renewal for you? For me it is lilacs, golf (or at least the hope of golf), and getting on the motorcycle.
Our rituals have the capacity to energize us, to comfort us, and to prepare us for what’s next. We are metaphorically clearing out the cobwebs (whether we find them along the ceiling or in our thinking).
Maybe you've been planning to attend to your health, finish that project, reconnect with a lost friend, learn a new skill or tackle a new role at work. These changes can happen at any time of the year but spring can add a new sense of energy and hope about taking them on.
The spring was my inspiration for finishing an important paper 33 years ago to complete my Master’s degree—“no golf or motorcycling until you’re done” was my mantra. And three years ago, spring jump-started my final steps to complete a kayak I’d been building for…… (Let’s just say it was a long time in the making!).
Warm weather and flowers alone won’t make your important life changes happen. It starts with knowing that these matter to you—that you deserve the good they will bring. As we dust off the cobwebs in our mind we must keep our thoughts positive, focus on the strengths we will bring to our change process, and trust that setbacks will happen—but they won’t defeat us.
And our rituals of renewal can be made easier and lighter—like a warm breeze—with the help of others. Who might provide you the needed encouragement, or validation, as you embark on your process of change? An exercise buddy, a mentor, your therapist, or a friend who offers unconditional support can enhance our chances at realizing our new BEST.
 Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush. ~Doug Larson
I've noticed the cardinals whistling a bit louder as I take my slushy morning walks and I've been wondering if they know that spring is coming—or am I just paying attention better—looking and listening for the signs of spring.
Keep your eyes and ears open to spring’s healing energy. Find your rituals. Inspire yourself to change and know that the things you seek for your renewal are important. 

Reprinted by permission of REALiving Magazine.