“O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
One of the wonderful things about life is the beauty that unfolds with the change of seasons. Everyone seems to have their favorite season or time of year. As we watch the natural world, it is easy to see the changes that occur throughout the year. As humans, we are affected by these changes, but often, we are less aware of the energetic shifts that occur in our own being.
Learning to connect with seasonal shifts happening in nature is a part of traditional healing practices. This can be seen in many indigenous cultures, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Also, if we were to consider the origin of many of our holidays, most likely they would be linked to some seasonal celebration. Living in a modern world with the ability to control our environment, our temperatures and limit our exposure to the elements can easily create a sense of disconnection from the seasonal flow of energy.
From this place of disconnection with nature and our own natural rhythms we may tend to experience discomfort and disease. Learning to connect with and harmonize with the energy of the seasons can support us in feeling a greater sense of ease and well-being. Making simple shifts in our seasonal routines through diet and self-care can make a big difference in our overall health.
I have found this time of year from late winter into early spring to be one that can be most challenging. It is time of year when many people experience depression or a sense of lethargy. Perhaps this is due to the darkness of winter but this is also a time of shifting energy. We are moving from a more yin/inner energy to a more yang/outer energy and that shift is increasing at this time. Although spring is not yet ready to show itself, there is a lot going on under the surface, both in nature and in our consciousness.
This can be a time people experience a sense of dis-ease which many manifest physically through sinus issues or colds or as a feeling of discontentment with life as it is. Often, lots of emotions which may have been more dormant during the winter months as our body, mind and spirit was drawn inward are beginning to percolate under the surface. It is not uncommon to feel a sense of unsettledness, edginess or impatience.
Just acknowledging that we are in a place of shifting energy is important as well as finding ways to create greater harmony for ourselves through this current transition. Also, recognizing that there’s no hurry – Spring will come in its own time and we can choose a rhythm that supports us in finding greater balance and ease, too.
Here are some ways to align with the seasonal shift as we move through late Winter and into early Spring:
1. Be gentle with yourself as you make changes and explore aligning with the natural energy around you. Be willing to go slow. As Spring approaches, we start to feel ready to jump forward but right now, our energy is not ready to move too fast. Be willing to honor what your body tells you in terms of rest and renewal. There will be plenty of time to play in Spring & Summer.
2. Stimulate your energy by moving your body first thing in the morning. Our bodies are still in a Winter mode and we want to wake up as Spring is almost here! Start with a few minutes of stretching, tai chi or yoga – sun salutations are great. Also, try a brisk walk or simply dance around you bedroom to get your energy moving. This literally awakens the body’s energy channels.
3. Try getting to bed earlier so you can wake up refreshed and ready for your day. Create an evening ritual to help you wind down such as a taking a hot bath, drinking a relaxing tea or doing an evening meditation to shift your energy toward sleep. Remember that this is still late Winter and we do need more rest.
4. Start spending more time outdoors. Even though the temperatures may still be cold, we are already experiencing noticeably longer days. The sun is rising earlier and setting later. The sun is also higher in the sky and beginning to warm up the atmosphere. Take a moment to close your eyes and feel the sunshine on your face. Take a midday walk directly in the sunshine between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Walk toward the south, directly into the sunshine for the greatest benefits.
5. Begin to add more greens to your diet. This is important all year round, but especially as the seasons shift into early spring. Nature provides us with spring shoots and leafy green vegetables. The bitter taste of the greens is nature’s way of helping us to lighten up and cleanse our system after the cold winter and the denser foods we’ve been eating. A great way to do this is to start your day with a green smoothie. Use parsley, swiss chard, dandelion greens, spinach or kale, blended with some fruit and almond milk. Add some soaked chia or flax seeds for healthy fat. Enjoying a smoothie at room temperature is best as ice-cold temperatures can be depleting to your digestion. As Spring sets in, it may be time to focus on a liver cleanse or detox, but for now just beginning to bring that green energy into your diet can give your energy a boost.
6. Take some time to journal. Reflect on feelings that arising and how you experience shifts in energy. Consider the coming of Spring and explore where you feel called to place your increased energy as the season arrives. Spring is a time of growth and rebirth; it is a wonderful time to start new things. Now is the perfect time to consider what new things you want to do come Spring.
I hope you’ll take some time this week to harmonize with nature’s energy and to explore creating greater balance and ease in your life.