Spring is on its way.
And yet leading up to the actual Spring solstice on March 20,
you may have felt some kind of awakening.
You put it down to increased daylight that starts
even before you open your eyes.
But there are other signs.
You might experience some restlessness - the kind that
says “move more”.
Your personal space may feel stifling.
The heavy foods of winter start to feel all wrong.
A time when the body and mind senses demand
that you to get into the rhythm of it.
To embrace the new season of light,
with a complementary lightening of the spirit.
The “how” isn’t that hard as there tends to be some natural
inclination to move on out of the hibernative groove
of being inert and lying fallow and to
replace them with something that summons up
your natural vitality and well-being.
Here are some thoughts on how to get it going:
Breath – Stretch – Move - Reconnect
Even if you are not a die-hard yogista, or meditator, as the days lengthen you may experience an overwhelming need to stretch, to find focus. Give in. Whether you follow a yoga routine online, connect with your trainer through Zoom, or take quiet moments of studying the breath throughout the day, all help to brings a new awareness to the body. Once you rediscover the rising “chi” of spring and the re-connection to a vital, more vibrant, self that reflects in the “spring in your step”, there’s no going back…
You don’t have to go the full “Kondo” to create more space around you. But unstuffing your living space can create the sense of airiness and light. Store away some of your accessories, move on your books, organize your papers, so that there is more space for the light and you to dance. Even shuffling things around can alter the “feng shui” of your space – and you don’t even have to swallow that philosophy to recognize that the ornaments or piled up books on your window sill might be blocking some energy coming in!
April Fuel! Time to bring the juicer back onto the counter and head up to the health food store for some power boosts. Not into juice? Try trading morning coffee for hot water + lemon for a gentler, less jiggly start to the day. Exchanging winter fuels of starchy root vegs, fruity crumbles and comfort food, brings your body in synch with the season. The good news, of course, is that the offerings in our markets entice with something new… Spring asparagus, then fiddleheads… Even if not yet local, in spring, the salad greens look greener, the apples rosier, the oranges, juicier…because somehow, isn’t your body craving more of them?
While you are into thinking about food, diet, and “what’s for supper?”, why not explore some of the whole grains that are now grabbing attention - like amaranth, kamut, millet, teff, freekeh, farro, barley, sorghum, buckwheat, and enjoy the benefits from the increased fiber and energy these slightly off the radar whole grains bring to your diet!
SPROUT SOME NEW IDEAS – OR SOME GREENS
Things, feelings, even love, sprout in Spring. The word itself conjuring up something growing, emerging, becoming. But pausing, for a moment, the spiritual side of the metaphor, why not get busy growing some sprouts-in-a jar or planting some micro-greens to sprout in front of your kitchen window. Watching plants grow gives you a deeper appreciation for the science of plants and what you eat. Or, if using the word as a metaphor, envision “sprouting” new possibilities for self. Think skills, capabilities, new relationships, emotional balance… With some care, love and attention, both plants, and you, can grow.
YOU SPRINGING OUT…
Go Bloom!. Buy a bouquet of tulips or daffs for you and the favorite room in your home. Watch your happy spirits bloom.
Spring Scents: If your hygge includes home scents, then think about swapping out the warm musky, baccy, pumpkin spices of winter to something lighter florals like mimosa, lilac or lavender or citrus like a sugar lemon or something natural like sweet grass.
Be Nature Inspired. Nature has it rhythms and being aware of the changes in the season is part of being in synch with it. Look up and around you when out for strolls, American robin, Northern Flickers, Fox Sparrows, Red Winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, and Canada Goose will all be making return performances in March and April with songbirds coming along soon after, in May. Tweet your sightings!
Wake Up Calls. Early sunrises are your wake up calls! If the rising sun doesn’t wake you (or your cat), set the alarm to allow yourself extra time for an early morning power walk or cycle round the block and see how it adds energy and resiliency to the rest of your day.
Add Some Colour: While we don’t recommend jinxing the weather by putting the parka away until the weather has really warmed up, adding a cardinal-bright flash of colour to your outfit is a good way of saying spring is here.
Rediscover: If you’ve abandoned your at-home yoga or stretch sessions for hours on the couch, now is the time to remember how joyous (or maybe just virtuous) even ten minutes of stretching and breathing makes you feel.
Change your Playlist: Whether dusting the house, or running along the lake, a new playlist of bouncy, happy, music, will make it all the more enjoyable.
April Showers: Grab your rubber boots, your umbrella, and learn to love them. They cleanse the streets, nourish the earth, and help make our city green. You’re allowed to dance in them, too.
Smudge: Shoo away any bad vibes by giving your space a spring smudge. Grab a ready-made from your local health food store, or make your own by bundling some dried sage and wrapping it tightly with twine. For a more spring-like scent, create some floral notes by adding some dried roses, or lavender. After lighting, waft the smoke around the space in a counter-clockwise direction. And, of course, a window or door should be open to allow the bad vibes (and smoke) to depart!
Remember – the power of small acts. Spring – at least in Canada– doesn’t come in a day, and your spring self needs to warm up to the season too.