As you catch glimpses of spring, those warmer days of thawing iciness and more sunshine, you may feel an inner stirring, an urge to get up and get moving. In this season, our natural impulse is to follow all of nature as it comes alive again.
In traditional Chinese medicine, spring is represented by the element of wood. Think about the rising of sap in the trees, new buds pushing through cold ground to find the sunlight, and new life emerging everywhere. Spring is the season of new beginnings.
Here’s what you can do to ride the energy of spring, and catalyze an emergence of the new within yourself.
Move your body
Springtime is when life is waking up from its long winter sleep. This is an excellent time to start moving.
Perhaps you want to explore a new exercise program you have read about during the winter but could not quite get the energy to start. As the weather becomes warmer, allow yourself time to bike, walk or run outdoors rather than retreating to the gym for exercise. Join friends or family for activities that take place in nature. Remember, if you have been hibernating all winter on your couch, let your movement activities start slowly and build up at a healthy pace.
If you are questioning how to begin this process in a way that works for your system, take a moment now and allow yourself to slow down and tune in to your inner wisdom by closing your eyes and following your breath. If it is comfortable, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, allowing your jaw to relax and drop open slightly. Sometimes a gentle sigh will come with your exhale. If it does, allow this to happen, as this enhances the natural relaxation effect. Practice this breathing method until you feel comfortable and centered.
Next, imagine yourself in the near future as the air warms and spring arrives. Ask yourself:
- What kind of movement or exercise does my body want?
- When I drop my awareness down into my legs, how do they feel?
- If my legs could have a voice, what kind of movement would they ask for in the coming months?
- How about my torso? How does it want to get moving?
Listen for any other parts of yourself that need to let you know something important about how they want to move. Allow yourself to imagine your schedule and what times you can make available for movement.
Move toward new things
Another element of spring is the internal quickening that occurs in all living beings. Winter gives the body the signal that we should hibernate and rest; spring, on the other hand, tells us to get up and start something new.
Spring is an incredible time to create, whether it’s a new business venture, new relationship or new chapter in your current relationship. It could mean revising your outlook on life or setting fresh goals. It is a time to dream and dare to expand who you are and how you see yourself.
As you did when you considered physical movement, take the time to slow down, breathe, drop inside yourself and listen. What does your heart say about your deepest inspirations? At certain points in my life, this time of year was when some big changes cracked open for me, and I had the energy to follow through and make them a reality. Allow yourself to dream, plan and ground your plans in your current reality, taking the steps to make them happen.
Just get moving
When you’re ready to harness the elements of nature and go with the natural flow of this time of year, think of initiating new movement in your life, creative thought, growth on all levels and the necessary steps you need to take.
Spring is a wonderful time to start—anything. Nature is with you. Notice the crocuses pushing through the cold, hard ground. These tender but sturdy shoots are like our dreams of growth and change. Nature reaches for the future in the spring—and you can, too.
Suzanne Scurlock-Durana, C.M.T., C.S.T.-D., author of Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom, is also the creator of the training and audio series, Healing From the Core: A Journey Home to Ourselves (healingfromthecore.com). She has taught CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release for the Upledger Institute since 1986, and for the past 20 years has been on faculty at the Esalen Institute.