A POEM, TOOLS AND WINTER’S WISDOM TO EMBRACE SPRING IN OUR BODIES AND HEARTS
My Love it’s time to awaken
breathe off the heavy blankets of winter’s slumber
move slow as you undress with the growing hands of
inch by inch a new body of fertile soils
Happy Spring! This time of year is potent for setting ourselves up to be grounded, energy efficient and focused for the rest of the year as we transition from Winter to Spring. I wanted to share some tools and reflections as a guide on syncing up with the earth’s current seasonal cycle. A time I refer to as “coming through the narrows” – moving from the contracted cave of winter out into the expansion of Spring. I’ll begin by sharing the lessons that came with this Winter and than share more concrete tools and reflections at the end. I hope you enjoy and feel guided during this precious time.
It’s been a few years since I’ve greeted Spring after spending the entire winter in my Pacific Northwest home. I’m glad I stayed this year – it feels like the first time I have truly been able to sink into the medicine of winter’s quiescent touch. How it holds and cocoons in order to shape and digest the body from the previous year. A touch that works through stillness. It was beautiful and AGITATING! I realized at the end of it all that winter, when we surrender to it’s potency, is meant to be uncomfortable. Of all the seasons, it is the most discerning, contracting around us drawing focus inward and downward to the roots holding a mirror to the lives we have grown thus far asking with razor sharp focus:
“What is no longer tolerable to carry?”
I could feel so viscerally the response feeling the actual weight and burden of thoughts, patterns, relationships and actions that have become outdated for the life that is drawing me in. It created an inertia so strong I had no choice but to be still. I was left with just enough reserves of energy that I had to exercise choice with mature, slow steps and a thoughtful heart to make it through without depleting myself. In this way I was able to feel – am I making choices that feed me or bleed me? The ultimate discernment process. At first I felt agony in this contracted space falling victim to familiar scripts of “Why me? Where is the support? Why can’t I do more? What’s the point?” Fortunately, I came to this crossing with winter after many years feeding the wise one inside of me. Wise one let me wail and complain for a short while, than it’s ground came to soothe my cries while also telling tales of Winter’s beauty revealing it’s deeper purpose as a kind advocate for justice. The season that stands up for us – demanding release of anything that may be exploiting us. It drew me outside towards the snow and barren trees where I felt and saw immediate spaciousness. The contraction from the cold turned into comforting blankets to hold me as I stepped out into a landscape awaiting the release of my burdensome baggage. Mere breathing was all it took to let go so I could reclaim space and energy within my inner landscape. Here I learned how to flow in stillness and that the discernment process of winter is necessary so that we are left only with seeds for spring that serve our becoming.
COMING THROUGH THE NARROWS: TOOLS AND RESOURCES:
Moving through the contracted narrows of winter to Spring in a good way takes mindful reflection and action to help prepare the physical, emotional and energy body to slowly expand as the energy of the earth does as well. Taking time for this process allows us to sync with the energy of our earth so that we are better supported in our endeavors. Here are some guiding steps to support you in this process. Take what resonates and feels doable, leave what doesn’t, make it your own. Trust your intuition.
IF NOTHING ELSE DO THIS
The best way to sync up with the energy of spring is to be in close relationship with it. There really is no substitute. Meditative walks paying attention to what’s blooming and what’s not. Feel the change in temperature, the increase in light, the fragrant scents and sounds of the changing season. This practice also allows us to stay grounded in the pacing of the seasons transition to soak up Spring into our cells through our senses and body. Spring doesn’t come all at once, the plants, air and light give beautiful reflections on how to use our energy and how to conserve it as the season unfurls into it’s blossoming.
REMEMBER. Take a moment to remember the winter – at first just reflect on the season as a whole. What stands out, how did it feel (sensations, textures, or emotions)? You can do this through movement, drawing, writing, singing, whatever you are called to do.
MAKE A LIST. After taking yourself back see if you can easily identify any recurring thoughts, emotions, patterns or experiences that felt frustrating or agitating (besides weather related frustration). OR complete the prompt “It is no longer tolerable to carry….” As an example, I was consistently moving through feelings of loneliness.
FIND THE GEM. Take each “agitation” and complete the prompt “The gift of (insert agitation here) is….”. For example, the loneliness I felt caused me to reflect deeply on how my life feeds an experience of loneliness which than allowed me to identify some key shifts I need to make in my life in order to feel more connected.
DISTILL. Distill the gifts of winter’s agitations into prayers or intentions – seeds that you want to cultivate over this year. For example, I have planted a seed of welcoming aligned collaboration into my home and work life this year.
The reflection process can be challenging at times BE GENTLE. It’s a delicate balance identifying gifts from our wounds. Also the process of creating medicine from difficult emotions or circumstances can feel impossible at times. Do what feels doable, trust what comes – whatever insights you come to are worthy of celebrating and will build in the years to come. It can also be really helpful to get support through this process, so reflect with others. I am also here – always - for a heart-to-heart session to help guide your process.
FOR YOUR BODY
MOVE YOUR BODY. It is especially important to move our bodies more than usual during the winter-spring transition. The inertia from winter causes us to slow down creating stagnation in our muscles, cells and energy. Move – regularly – in whatever way works for your body - walks, yoga, exercise, foam rolling, micro-exercises from your chair, jumping up and down. Check out Dr. Montserrat Andrey’s Instagram feed for simple, fun movement exercises @hearthealthcareforartists
DIGESTIVE SUPPORT. If your winter diet was hearty and heavy begin to introduce lighter foods such as cooked and especially raw vegetables into the diet to lift the lethargy off the digestive tract. Use your bodies intuition to discern what it needs to lighten. Probiotics and fermented foods can be very supportive at this time.
LOVE YOUR LEGS AND FEET. Give them lots of attention. They are the point of contact for your grounding – self massage, walks, exercises (squats, lunges, foam rolling the legs) to activate, strengthen and care for our lower bodies. This will help ground as spring energy asks us to expand. We cannot expand safely without having solid rooting and grounding.
WATER. Drink extra amounts of water – making sure to add minerals and electrolytes to help with absorption and replenishing after the winter.
SLEEP. It’s OK and natural if you are sleeping more than usual at this time. The transition into Spring takes roughly a month. The body needs time to slowly wake up and ease into expansion. This allows us to stay grounded.
FOR YOUR ENERGY BODY:
BREATHE. Seasonal transitions often coincide with the release of lots of latent energy. To help release that energy take deep sweeping breaths often. This can happen in the morning, at night, or throughout the day. Let your body be a guide to how and when.
WEED. The winter is a time to recognize what has become a weed in our lives and needs removing. Winter offers the opportunity to become consciously aware of our “weeds” and the weeks of transition into Spring are prime for doing the work of removing our “weeds”. It’s also the time when weeds physically pop-up from the earth - becoming visible. Weeding as a meditative and cleansing practice can be very potent at this time for energetically, physically and emotionally releasing
GET SUPPORT through energy work from a practitioner. There is a lot you can do on your own and, when we are able, it’s important to also get support. A practitioner’s guidance, especially at this potent time, is extremely helpful with establishing healthy new patterns effortlessly. I am offering deep Spring cleaning sessions if you are feeling called to this type of support.
Stay tuned throughout the week for more detailed tips on how to ground our bodies, fortify our roots, and spring clean our energy bodies into gear for the year. Congratulations on making it through the Winter. To healthy budding and blossoming.
With so much love