We’re well into April. For those of us in the North East, the cold still lingers but the daffodils are blooming and the days are getting longer. The skies are blue and sunny, more often than not.
It’s taking me longer to get going this year. My motivation feels sluggish . . . it’s been a dark, cold winter. My attention has been pulled in a myriad of directions and I can’t say I enjoyed them all. Some distractions can be more painful than others.
It’s not always easy to jump start the engine and gain momentum after a long winter. Many of us develop our rituals for moving through the seasons.
I remember vividly how my mother used to prepare the house for spring. Winter carpets would be rolled away and blankets would be stored until late fall. Heavy curtains would be replaced with lighter, airier ones and the furniture would be covered with lighter slipcovers. The house would be washed inside and out. Windows and doors would stay open to let the light and fresh air in.
Stepping out and moving forward after a long, cold winter, whether in our lives or along the normal succession of seasons, has to be a conscious, mindful process.
Make time to be with yourself and reflect on what needs to be done. Be gentle, patient and attentive to what comes up for you.
Look around you and take inventory. You can begin with your environment.
- How do you feel about your environment? Do you get a sense of peace and comfort or anxiety and breathlessness?
- What strikes you as clutter? Do you need all that’s there?
- What do you need to let go of?
- What have you been putting up with that you’re not willing to tolerate anymore?
Begin a list. Write down whatever comes to your mind. Make it a stream of consciousness list. Don’t stop to read it until there is nothing more to write.
If you begin to feel stressed or anxious, breathe deeply and maintain your perspective. Remain grounded in the present moment. You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
Start with what’s right in front of you and go from there. Check in with yourself often. Observe the effect this “clearing” is having on you.
If you don’t have big “chunks” of time for this process, don’t give up. Do a little every day. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in fifteen to thirty minutes. The important thing is to start. Don’t let your mind undermine your efforts.
Remember to give yourself time to acknowledge your progress. Be your own cheerleader. Reward yourself for a job well done. Go outside, breathe the fresh air, let the light come in. This is the season for new beginnings.
Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash