Springtime is approaching and we gain another hour of illumination. In a matter of weeks, we can begin to shed the winter hibernation that has provided us with hearty eating, an extra hour to stay warm underneath the covers, and layers of clothing. Although any day of the year gives us the choice to let go of our past ways that may be less beneficial to our well being, something about the spring equinox is hopeful, balanced, and nurturing. It marks a solid start date for positive growth as suggested by Mother Nature.
Early Renaissance artist, Sandro Botticelli’s “Primavera” comes to mind when I think of the excitement, possibilities, and new beginnings. This visual allegory so masterfully describes the magic of the season. “Primavera” which translates from Italian to English as “Spring” is depicted as a wholesome and delicate young woman who embodies ideal beauty. Her central position of the painting commands the viewer’s attention as we enter into a lush landscape with other male and female figures that are joyfully celebrating and surrounding her. We too can enjoy a “Renaissance”—a rebirth of our own.
1.) Extended sunlight and warmer temperatures is nature’s way of saying to get at least 20 minutes of fresh air daily.
By making it a point to carve out a few minutes to appreciate the outdoors whether it’s by taking a walk, playing a sport, lunch or coffee break, or simply talking to a friend, the sun’s energy will give you a required dose of Vitamin D to support health benefits and even a natural glow.
2.) Out with the old and in with the new.
There is a reason why our grandmothers and their grandmothers have been imparting the wisdom of spring-cleaning for ages. Whether it’s time to purge the closets, re-organize, or give the home a marathon scrub down, we are getting rid of what no longer serves us ranging from dust to material goods. In turn, we allow ourselves more space to breathe, grow, and expand within our personal living environments.
3.) Enjoyment of seasonal cuisine not only nourishes the body, but entices all five senses.
The colors, textures, tastes, smells, and sounds of carefully selecting fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, and/or fish at the market is the perfect Saturday afternoon activity. While making preparations of how to cook and serve up a feast for one or for many is a rewarding challenge, the prize of enjoying the culinary delight is worth it—bite by bite.
4.) Fill up the social calendar by spending quality time with loved ones for needed laughter, distraction, and relaxation.
After pulling long hours at work, studying, taking care of the family, and every other task that must be tended to, the balance of connecting with others and sharing stories replenishes all the expended energy from the week in a more pleasurable manner. By making a plan in advance, it is something to look forward to and when it arrives, it’s well deserved for all parties involved.
5.) Alone time is the best gift to one’s self for decompression and reflection.
Wouldn’t it be nice to every so often pull the plug and disconnect? Well it’s all within reach—it simply takes self-discipline. Just as we schedule activities, engagements, and appointments, we must do the same for the most important encounter of all—the one with ourselves. We deserve our time more than anyone else—take as much or as little as needed daily.
6.) Plan a day trip, cultural outing, weekend getaway or all of the above to step outside of the daily grind and experience something different.
Good travel deals, seasonal schedules of concerts, shows, exhibits, and the opening of new restaurants all arrive in time for the beautiful weather. Take advantage for what’s being offered. The amazement of seeing a new place, trying a new dish, and learning something for the first time are perfect reminders of why life is refreshing.
7.) Exercise and movement re-energizes the mind while keeping the body in good shape for both health and aesthetic benefits.
When one feels good on the inside, it’s reflected on the outside. By making proactive choices to find opportunities for a more active lifestyle, physical care and strength adds to one’s positive self-image.
8.) Creating a new habit and breaking an old one within a 21 days.
Whatever is causing more harm than good could be reversed within a short period. In turn, it can last a lifetime with commitment and maintenance. First, make the decision of accepting and changing an old way of thinking, being, and existing. Next, replace it with something that adds balance, positivity, and interest in the investment of healthy living.
9.) Give and receive, love and be loved, live and let live by honoring the natural progression of personal growth.
Too often we find ourselves out of balance and can’t seem to identify why it is we are this way. We may understand it on a deeper level within but on the surface we can’t seem to accept or see what it is that is throwing us off kilter. Once we recognize and evaluate the most basic areas of our life’s dynamics with ourselves and others, we’re on our way to realignment, healing, and wholeness.
10.) Create a new signature scent and look that will turn heads and cause a second glance in the mirror for self-recognition.
By all means, this is not meant to suggest something extreme, but rather a small encouragement of making a simple update. This could range from choosing a new perfume or cologne, a hairstyle, wardrobe addition, accessory, to simply making a more conscious effort to smile.
11.) Appreciation of nature’s beauty whether it’s seen vastly from the mountains and countryside or through the planted trees and flowers on city street corners.
New life, new growth, new blossoming. Stop and literally smell the roses—they deserve our attention and we deserve theirs as well.
12.) April showers bring May flowers just as a showering of self-love brings a heart in bloom.
With care, cure, patience, and delicate attention, the seeds get planted and roots begin to form. Transformations and growth start to happen more rapidly. It becomes second nature and there’s nothing left to do but bask in the sunlight of an internal glow once one is open.