Spring officially begins on March 20th..well for most of the world. Sometimes in Portland it can be deceiving as we tend to see the same weather patterns for a few more months. None the less, spring is here. Spring for me means a time of new growth. During winter we bundle up, we hibernate, in a sense we meditate on where we are, who we are, and what we are doing. The tendency is to go within. You feel like staying home perhaps and snuggling with a warm blanket. The darkness for me can allow some time to sit with myself and truly look in the mirror of what I am reflecting. Pruning ourselves back we can feel a bit empty in these cold, dark winter months. And then...spring arrives!~
Spring is a time when we can bud, bloom and expand. It can also be a time to clear out and do some spring cleaning. We almost naturally want to clean our homes and remove clutter. I think this is the same with the internal. I think of spring as a time to consider where we need to grow and to take those leaps into new things. Some of us made intentions for the new year and we have sat with those through the winter so how is it working for us? What needs to shift? What feels stagnant? What needs to be bloom that is held tightly in its bud?
"There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud is more painful than the risk it took to bloom" Anais Nin
Growth can be scary and hard as it most of the time asks that we put one foot forward into unknown territory. We have to look at our patterns of behavior and say..this is normal, routine, comfortable but does it work? I find so often that I have these things I do and sometimes when I really ask is it feeding my growth? What is is doing for me? I find that really my answers do not make sense. It is like the habit although comfortable and familiar is looked upon as good or normal even if the end effect is far away from where my soul wants to go. Changing those habits is hard because we are left with well only potential..
"All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience" Henry Miller
In order to grow we have to stick our necks out of the nest and go where we have not gone.
"We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are" Max Depree
We do not like risk. Most of us fear and avoid change at any cost. But isn't that is what life is about..it is about changing and growing..otherwise what is the point of stagnation? What is the fun of the slow steady ride when the roller coaster is ahead with its dips yet thrills and smiles.
"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we go through. Where people fail is that they wish to erect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death" Anais Nin
I think our yoga practice can be a venue for this time of growth. Looking in on the mat, where are you choosing to "play it safe and coast"? Where do you need to "shake things up"? How have you developed patterns of routine that no longer serve you? Are you really feeling each shape or are you going through the same movements without the connection?
"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." Ronald Osborn
So, I challenge you and myself this spring to take the time to examine where winter has left you and to take on the task of questioning where your next step lies. Make room for that growth by shedding that which is holding you into the darkness of winter.
Happy Spring my friends!