gratitude,  mindfulness,  nature,  seasons of change,  spring

Here. Now.

Today is the first day of Spring. Only this day of new beginnings is like no other that I remember. We are in the middle of a global epidemic. The world is taken over by a crisis and we’re all trying to muddle through a situation we hardly understand.

There’s fear, anxiety, panic, and information overload. There’s also denial and indifference. Supermarket shelves are empty and human nature is laid bare for all to see. There’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I was in a store yesterday staring at empty shelves when a young employee came to see if I could find what I needed. No, I said, the shelves are empty but it’s okay, I’ll come back. He said his mother, who can only go shopping when she gets her paycheck, is not able to buy extra supplies. He’s worried about her. I didn’t know what to say. I felt sad.

I’ve been feeling increasingly sad and I know you are too. I’m thinking of the people whose livelihoods are being endangered as I write this. The business owners who depend on every day traffic and the people who did not have much to begin with. I worry about the younger generation and the burden we’re placing on them. I’m thinking of how no generation ever goes unscathed.

The more I think and reflect on this crisis, the more I grow still with awe as, once again, I realize that we’re all connected. The good, the bad, and the ugly; we’re all one and everything we do affects us all.

I usually wake up early and this morning was no exception. I like when the house, and the people in it, are still asleep and quiet. I can almost hear the house breathe.

I came downstairs, walked around doing my thing, straightening pillows and putting stray shoes away. I fed the animals, plugged the coffee pot, and lit a candle. I sat down to meditate.

Rain had been falling through the night. I sat quietly, breathing in and out, hearing the sound of rain. I was quiet, peaceful, and grateful to be sitting there.

The rain eventually stopped. When I walked outside, I could smell the rain-soaked ground. I looked around. Tiny shoots were peeking through the soil. Do they know we’re dealing with an epidemic? Do they even care? Not really. Nature will take its course like it always has.

The Seasons come and go, pointing the way to endings and new beginnings and everything in between, and this is a comforting thought.

I don’t know why we’re in this mess. We all have our theories but let’s face it. We’re not that smart or powerful. There are forces in place that we’ll never understand.

I want to believe that everything will be all right in the end. I want to believe that we’ll collectively rise to the occasion and put our best foot forward. I want to believe that we’ll learn what we’re supposed to learn and maybe not forget the lessons this time.

Either way, today is the first day of Spring and that’s something to celebrate. Rain is falling and the ground is working feverishly to bring life forth. We’re still here at the onset of a new day. Let’s make it count.

If you’re not feeling quite yourself or you’re feeling anxious or discouraged, do something to help yourself feel better. Just because you’re home, it doesn’t mean you can’t step outside and enjoy a short or a long walk. Take deep breaths and pay attention to your surroundings. Nature is a great healer.

Pick up that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand waiting for you to read. Enjoy the time with your loved ones, cook something fun and sit down with your family to eat, slowly. Enjoy the conversation.

Call a friend and ask them if there’s anything they need. While you’re at it, call the person that’s been on your mind for the past month.

Stand in front of a window and notice what’s out there. Be present, breathe, notice, and let it all in. You’re here, now.

Happy Spring.

Yota is a life coach and retreat leader who helps women navigate life’s inevitable changes mindfully and intentionally. Her approach is deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation. In addition to her work with individual clients, Yota speaks and writes on mindful living, overcoming self-doubt, and the art of letting go.

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