On any given Spring day, if you are so fortunate, you may spy upon a few sidewalk flowers as they break through concrete and ash…without even water or a gardener’s hand to nourish and enlighten.
You may also hear an orchestra of birds echo straight into your heart’s bone, awakening a part of your senses not felt since you were a babe lost in the woods.
This is suddenly found again now that you are wintered enough to understand.
Just yesterday, I awoke to the scent of dew gliding about my cheeks, and to the gentle rustling of my lover’s walk as he tip-toed about our house in a lighter way.
Author Gary Zukav writes:
“The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently.”
This particular Spring is more uplifting than others I can recall. I can feel a radiance that is ripe with the desire to breathe free, and an inspiration to renew only my soul’s greatest passions, inspired by anything that appears to be fresh and new.
My earliest searing Spring memory from childhood plays sweetly in Polaroid images of my father in his prime. During endless days after all chills of winter had steeped, he once ran to my bedroom window as he parted long, curtains made from white cotton muslin, and announced that we had “suddenly entered an enchanting season.”
“This was a season,” he said, “that would be embellished with fresh thoughts, wild beginnings, and an unspeakable drive to experience all adventures as fresh and unbridled—showered with winds and tides of tangible change in each changing and new moment.”
For my father who is an artist, this meant that new sizes of canvases were in the making, stretched and customized to symbolize the raw and sweet temperatures of April through June, when colors of burnt sienna and highlights of cadmium orange oil paint would seep lush into our family home nestled quietly by the sea.
Such fresh hues and fantasies have warmly bled into my own adulthood, leaving me breathless and seasoned myself for a rejuvenation of sorts, allowing me to wonder what the Spring holds for me now…as I await songs that may change everything that I have ever believed before.
As a young mother, when my children once adorned the only crowns of my self-love, Spring meant for me a hurried time of nesting and re-nesting. Like a busy and flustered bee, I buzzed about cleaning and sprucing, organizing and mending, and forever attempting to better my surroundings on a mere physical level.
But today I am claiming a new season of birth, a different and rebellious rhythm that will involve cleaning my spirit. All cleaning will now focus upon awakening my senses to a greater strength of purpose, as I will even let go of relationships and stories that no longer serve my aim of being mindful and present.
So, with the innocence of a wide-eyed and curious child, the fearless abandon of a teenager rebelling simply because they can, and with the hopeful wisdom of a humorous and ancient spry woman, I have laid out this season with the plans to Spring-Clean my inner spirit.
I am confident that the three following ideas will help to change your life as it has mine.
Tend to the Garden of Your Relationships
Just as you would clean out a closet, donating and discarding items that no longer fit you or may be useless, attempting to make room for only clothing and accessories that fit, make you feel attractive and elegant—we can do the same with friends and family.
For example, I have a few couple of confidants and some relatives I have realized that are not only negative, but destructive in a way that is toxic to my health. This does not mean that I plan to now get rid of these relationships entirely, or “divorce” them in some strange and final way.
It simply means that I will edit and prune these relationships in a way so that I will not be harmed or hurt any longer.
We can picture ourselves as beautiful, budding roses trying to blossom, but with sharp and dangerous thorns that keep cutting against our sides. If we could cut these back a bit, we would have the advantage of growing in a capacity that is more free, and without the fear of pain.
Likewise, with a few friends, I realized through deep meditation that one or two are keeping me from living the full spiritual life of my every intention. Weeding them from my Spring garden has allowed me to make room for new spirits and loved ones whose flowers bend more easily towards my awakened and enlightened path of prosperous peace.
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep the Spring from coming.” ~ Pablo Neruda
Replenish Your Physical Temple
While finally sorting through emotionally-charged items that have been stored in my garage for too many years, I had an epiphany that I could also “go through” my physical being and remodel my health and spirit, as well as every cell and atom within my body and without.
I asked myself, “If I can clean out an entire home and make it more beautiful and industrious, why not do the same for my health and physical well being as well?”
So far, I have managed to make small yet life-changing choices that have already improved the way that I feel, the way that I move, the way that I sleep and breathe, and even the way that I l connect and love.
For example, instead of eating unhealthy snacks while watching television, I now eat cold slices of apples while stretching and dancing about my living room. Rather than eating fried chicken from the market, I now enjoy large salads with as many colored vegetables that I can find.
In the love department, try to replace binge watching television with your mate over the weekend and run a few hot baths instead. May I suggest listening to the album “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles followed by French kisses and slippery massages.
If you’re single woman, why not put on a flirty and colorful dress while walking to and from a cafe? If you are a man, try whistling an upbeat song while you put a swing in your step?
“If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.” ~ Victor Hugo
Your Life’s Work and Soul
The depressed and angst-ridden drudgery of work and financial responsibilities is often suffered by those who simply “see it all wrong.” My father often said, “If you do what you love for a living, than you will never have to work a day in your life.”
What he meant by this was not that one should run from a well-paying or secure vocation and escape to Tahiti like the artist Gauguin did just to paint nude and exotic island women…although that sounds wonderful and immensely great right about now.
Rather, this philosophy was meant as an inspired ideology one should take with them and include while they are working on any project, or towards any higher or different goal, now matter how much of a distant dream it seems to be.
For yours truly, this means I will no longer seek the approval of others and live for the career and work expectations of others. This includes financial ideas, comments about my level of success, and any possible notion that I should work in any industry or capacity that does not sit well with my heart and soul.
Understandably, some people are not happy with these new changes I am displaying. One family member even told me that I was selfish to write a book, and that practicing yoga was for “those people” who inherit no value of common sense.
This person, by the way, has probably not stretched her neck or lifted up her leg for about 30 years.
A so-called friend of mine for many years suggested I seek therapy when I told her my dream of one living in Paris by myself while I write strange and beautifully written short novels that anyone can fit into the back pockets of their jeans.
For my dear friends reading this right now, I implore you to be more adventurous beginning this very day and moment, as you truly embrace an actualized intention of what Spring has to offer you.
The adventurous and saucy Mark Twain once wrote:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
This season, why not clean out your soul, decorate your community with brighter solutions, designate one evening a week to having only wonderful conversations with people you truly love and who truly love you, and dance in a free and childlike way throughout it all?
I often say to my youngest babe, “Life is too short, and you only live once.”
Yesterday, on a warmer than usual afternoon, I chanted this mantra for both her and my Maltese dog who leans on my every word, and she stopped in her young tracks and replied:
“You do not know this for certain,” she said with all of the hope that a fourteen-year-old can honestly possess. “Our lives may be very long, and you may live many more times than just once.”
I gleamed back at her, and then down at my happy puppy and took a breath.
What a fine Spring this is already turning out to be, I thought to myself.
After that, we shared a few laughs as we spilled out onto the grass.
“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” ~ Rainier Maria Rilke
Author: Francesca Biller
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Fuzzy Gerdes at Flickr