When asked what my favourite season is, I answered without hesitation, Spring!
For many of us, Spring is an eagerly anticipated time of year. It’s an opportunity to say goodbye to dark nights, cold weather and the anti-climax of Christmas, whilst welcoming a renewed sense of optimism in its place. For me, it’s no different.
There is something quite magical about Spring. I always feel it’s another chance to regroup and to refocus on my goals for the year ahead; picking up the slack from any January intentions or resolutions I might have missed.
From the sight of the first snowdrops peering above the morning frost to later enjoying abundant fields of dancing yellow daffodils, I have really started to appreciate the beautiful transition into this life-giving time of year.
On a recent walk with my little Audrey, I felt a sensory overload from the surrounding green landscapes and the sight and smell of newly emerging flowers and trees. It made me realise just how many opportunities for mindfulness this season brings.
Mindfulness seems to be the ‘buzz’ word again at the moment, but it’s quite simply an easily adopted act of gratitude and a way to be present. It’s even something you can get the kids to do!
It’s nothing more than a conscious decision to bring our wandering minds back to what is going on around us and to acknowledge the moment in all it’s witnessed beauty. It can be the simple decision to stop and smell the flowers, the awareness that we are feeling a strong emotion, the decision to walk with our head up and not down so that we may take in our surroundings, or the appreciative focus on the inhale and exhale. It is everyday tasks that so many of us take for granted, rush through or even suppress.
With the stresses and strains of modern day life, I quite often find myself slipping out of the present and either into the past or time-travelling to the future. This can be a very dangerous way to live as not only can it bring unnecessary worries, but it also stops me living and understanding what’s going on within and around me.
Unlike guided forms of meditation, albeit a similar exercise, mindfulness isn’t about escaping the mind or body in order to relax. We no longer want to imagine our feet in the sea or walking barefoot on lush grass, it’s now about doing those things in ‘real time’ and enjoying every bloomin’ minute of it…even the bits that seemingly go wrong!
During mindfulness practice we are encouraged to ‘check-in’ and to feel our pain within the body, note our feelings, ask our fleeting thoughts to come back to the here and now, and to really engage every one of our senses. It does take an element of effort and practice, and initially can even be frustrating as it’s human nature to allow our minds to wander too far without significant training.
Mindfulness has become an essential part of my self care routine. It is helping me to live more in the moment and in turn build abundance through acts of gratitude.
For me, I often find that I do my best thinking and feel more centred when in nature. Whether that be by the sea or in the countryside, I always try to take in my surroundings and appreciate the simple pleasures such as the changing seasons, a birds song, a dogs wagging tail or a butterfly resting on a leaf. Treating the experience with some effort in order to imagine I was using my eyes, ears and touch for the very first time, with the excitement and appreciation an infant would. I even enjoy using the process to bring awareness and rationality to my feelings and blocks within the body; as they say “when you feel it, you can heal it”.
The official start of Spring will vary from person to person. Some will see the 1st of March as the start of this abundant season, others witness the turning of the wheel to Imbolc as the seasonal marking, but for me I invite the upgrade with the celebration of the Equinox. This is when I change the altar within my home and when I feel confident I have fully released and integrated the lessons and blessings of the seasons predecessor.
Spring really is a cycle of liberation and exploration, which encourages us to try new things, to take leaps of faith and above all else to give thanks for our wholeness and our surroundings. It is the best time to practice mindfulness and gratitude. Whether that be appreciation for my senses, for my freedom or for the simple pleasure of walking with my best friend Audrey.
I encourage you all to try some mindfulness today by getting outside to take in all that this wonderful season has to offer or by simply laying in stillness as you concentrate on the life giving breath moving freely around the body.
Yours in love and Spring light,
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