As we shift into spring we welcome longer, warmer days bursting with signs of wildlife, and many of us will find ourselves outdoors more, perhaps even tending to our garden spaces- prepping soil, planting seeds and nurturing signs of growth.
As we do with our garden spaces- there is wisdom here for how we care for our internal wellbeing. Spring serves as a wonderful time of year to pause, reflect, and take inventory of what is serving or disturbing your peace of mind.
Psychologist Rick Hanson suggests that we can witness a garden (let be), weed a garden (let go) or plant a garden (let in).
This season we encourage you to take a moment to pause, reflect, release and nurture the habits and rituals that nurture the garden of your life.
We invite you to carve out some time in your schedule when you will be uninterrupted and can enjoy some time alone. Perhaps, choose a beautiful sunny day when you can be outdoors and plant your feet in the soil.
Setting the Stage
Gathering a pen and paper or your favourite notebook, a cozy blanket and your favourite beverage, make yourself comfortable. Put on your favourite playlist, light a candle or incense, perhaps even some essential oils in your diffuser.
Make this time about you. Allow yourself to pause, deepening your inhale, and breathing deep into your lungs. Pause and hold for a few seconds. Slowly exhaling, releasing all of the stagnant air you may be holding onto.
Take in a few more breaths, and let your muscles relax. Notice if you are holding on to any tension in your body, release your jaw, bring your shoulders down from your ears, and unclench the muscles in your trunk.
Continue to breathe slowly, lengthening your inhales and exhales.
Take a moment to notice the sounds around you, any music or sounds in your environment (inside or outside). Continue to breathe deeply.
Now shifting your attention to noticing anything you can feel. Where you may be making contact with the ground, be it your device in hand or a pen. The feeling of the warm sun or slightly cool breeze as your settle in.
Next, noticing any smells or the sensation of cool air flowing through your nostrils and into your lungs. Noticing the warmth of the air as it leaves your body.
Take note of what you can see around you- looking around as if you’re a young child exploring their environments for the first time - absorbing all the details and beauty around you.
Lastly, take notice of your tongue and anything you can taste. Release your tongue from the roof of your mouth and unclenching your jaw.
When setting the stage, make sure to take as much time as you need, listening intently to your body and surroundings. Most importantly, make sure to thank yourself for taking this time for you.
Once your stage has been set, now it’s time to witness the garden in your life. Let BE
Now that you have set the stage and begun to unwind and relax, I invite you to take some time to witness the garden of your life. Imagine that you are standing back and viewing your life for the first time.
What areas of your life are serving you? What is the vision you have for your wellbeing? Please, be objective here (and kind). No judgement is necessary.
Pause & Reflect on the following areas of your life:
Mind-body Connection: What are you currently doing that supports your sense of happiness and wellbeing?
Movement, exercise and rest: In what ways are you supporting your physical wellbeing?
Nutrition: What are some habits that support your lifestyle?
Personal and Professional Development: How are you nurturing your growth personally and professionally? Perhaps you listen to podcasts, read books or have great conversations. Perhaps you’ve enrolled in a part time course. Anything goes here!
Physical Environment: What do you love about your home? What parts of your space allow you to relax? Or where can you be productive?
Relationships and Communication: Who are your people? Who do you know you can rely on if you’re having a tough day? Who do you celebrate successes with?
How do you nurture your sense of purpose and meaning?
Take a moment to take in the beauty of the landscape. You can jot these down, draw them or just visualize them in your mind’s eye.
Now, let's learn how to Let Go. Let GO
This year has been a unique year, full of challenges and restrictions. Take this time to acknowledge anything you’ve been holding on to that is hurting your sense of peace. What are the weeds in your life that you pull?
It is understandable and completely okay to acknowledge the pain this past year has caused many of us. The cancelled plans, cancelled vacations, restrictions on family time, socializing, shopping, all of it put on hold. It’s okay if this has been hard and frustrating. Allow yourself to feel the anger, disappointment or sadness if this has been a hard year.
Perhaps you picked up a habit or two during the past year that you’d like to leave in the dust … take a moment to mindfully and compassionately make note of a few things that you’d like to let go of moving forward.
My suggestion is: MOVE through it! Choosing a movement of your choice- running, biking, dancing, yoga, shaking - get it out!
The body hangs on to feelings of anger, sadness or despair- so I encourage you to make some time to move through those feelings.
You’ll be so glad you did. Let IN
Spring is a wonderful time to begin new habits + routines.
As the days lengthen and the sun shines bigger and brighter, we might naturally feel more motivated and energized.
Consider taking this season to introduce a new routine or two - such as adding an evening walk when you get home from work, or a morning meditation before you go in.
Perhaps you have an idea for a project or a business that you've been mulling over- now is the time to make your move!
Mindfully choose one or two new seeds to plant and nurture in your life.
Consider, how will you keep the momentum going? Who will be there to support you and cheer you on?
Reflective Prompts In your journal answer the following prompts:
One thing I love about my life is: One thing I will let go of is: One thing I will introduce into my life is: One person who will support me is:
I invite you to again pause. Inhale through your nose, pause and slowly exhale. Bring your hand to your heart and feel your pulse moving through your veins. Visualize your heart filling with warmth, love and self-compassion and with each pulse that warmth flows through your veins- filling your body. Thank yourself for taking time to do something that cares for you.
Thank-you for taking the time for you!
You deserve abundant peace, joy and happiness.