By Sara Avant Stover ~~~
Be the rose that grows through a crack in the concrete
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Four thawing icicles hang like crystal stalagmites from the roof outside the window. Behind them, a squirrel scurries across a barren branch, leaving a quiver in its wake.
It’s that strange, in-between place between winter’s freeze and spring’s thaw. All that’s alive and pulsing feels confused, trying to find it’s rhythm — including me.
I place my hands on my belly, drawing my attention from the buzz in my head to the breath in my belly. My acupuncturist moves from head to feet and pulls off my wool socks. With the precision of both a painter and a surgeon, she aims her needle above the webbing between my left big and second toe.
“Your liver and gall bladder need some support today,” she offers. Her voice blends into the drips and hush.
“It’s that time of year,” she continues, “to take all the frustration and anger that has built up during the winter and to create something beautiful with it. Like a rose pushing through a sidewalk crack. There’s a lot of tenacity to this time of year. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, that’s the wood energy in this organ pair. But we have to work with it, to partner with it, otherwise we just stay angry.”
She gets that I know this alchemy, all too well. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need to hear it again. Every year spring comes again, and every year we have new lessons to learn, depending upon the cards that life has dealt us the previous year. Each death and rebirth is utterly unique and demands our curiosity and presence.
Whether you’re moving into spring, autumn, or living in a seasonless stretch of the world, this is the season of resurrection; and we can all use reminders for how to best work with it.
Here are three unconventional ways to navigate this seasonal shift with strength and grace:
● Pull an “Emily Dickinson”
(This is an allusion to her time in the spotlight in The Book of SHE.) When Emily suffered from heartbreak after separating from her beloved, she became near-suicidal. But instead of drowning in depression and galvanizing her own demise (as other literary grande dames like Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf did), she channeled her intensity into creativity. As a means to save her life, she committed to writing a poem a day for at least a year. And it’s the brilliance of those poems that made her famous.
What would pulling an “Emily Dickinson” look like for you this season? For me, I’m feeling the inklings of my next book and am going to resume my morning writing practice on Monday.
● Charge your battery all the way.
I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping my MacBook Air plugged in as often as possible. This helps preserve the battery, allowing the computer to keep its charge for longer stretches of time than would be possible if I didn’t do this.
The same is true for us, my acupuncturist also reminded me. As the euphoria of spring approaches, we need to ease into it slowly. If you didn’t get enough rest this winter, catch up as much as you can now. It’s time to let your batteries charge all the way. Catch up on sleep, up-level your self-care, keep Sundays (or whatever day you’d like) for rest. When the season fully blooms, it will be too late to do this. Let’s rest now, so we can fully synch up later and keep our charge through the summer.
● Say something more.
To creep out of hibernation, while also stretching new parts of your personality (especially if you’re an introvert like me!), practice having more quick, frequent conversations with people. Keep the bar low: look for the dude at the Whole Foods register, the UPS gal, the customer service wizard from Zappo’s.
If it’s an in-person encounter, look them in the eye and notice their eye color. This will drop you into deeper presence. Take your conversation a little further than you usually do. Ask them how their day is, what they’re most excited about right now, or when they get off work. Slowly ease into expansion through simple, thoughtful interactions.
And you? What are you focusing on to ease your transition into this new season? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear!
With my love and respect,
P.S. You know I have to say it! The best way to align with a new season is to….go on retreat. That’s why I’m soon offering my annual Spring Detox & Renewal retreat at the magical and serene Shambhala Mountain Center here in Colorado.
This self-care retreat puts us back into alignment with the seasons, starting with the flowering and growth of spring. As women, we are far more deeply tied to the seasons than most of us realize. This retreat will show us how to access and rejuvenate simply through women’s yoga, meditation, silence, sacred sisterhood, time in nature, and seasonal lifestyle rituals. Let go of old, debilitating baggage and come rest, rejuvenate, and revitalize.
This is a popular retreat, and we already have a full, dynamic circle of women joining us. But there’s still space for you, if you’d like to join. We’d love to have you!
Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Spring Detox & Renewal retreat with Sara Avant Stover, May 12-15 — click here to learn more and to register
About the Author
Sara Avant Stover is a yoga and meditation teacher, best-selling author of The Way of the Happy Woman, and The Book of SHE, and an inspirational leader to tens of thousands of women worldwide. The creator of The SHE School and the Women’s Yoga Teacher Training, Sara has been featured in Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post, and on ABC, NBC, and CBS. www.TheWayoftheHappyWoman.com