May 2nd, Walpole, New Hampshire
It is a glorious May morning and I'm just in from a walk. While I was out there I got inspired to offer up a few simple practices for harnessing the energy that spring offers. My hope is that you enjoy them, and they are helpful to you in some way.
Many of us are looking to further our intentionality, resourcefulness and the ability to enjoy life. Working with the cycles of nature can help us to understand how to sustain these capacities over time. The practices below are intended to build your capacity:
- To initiate more intentional communications with others
- To work actively with the cycles of the creative process that are inherent in nature
- To be more resourceful
Harnessing the Energy of Spring (A few practices)
Recent breakthroughs in the field of neurobiology are telling us just how connected we are to the natural world and to each other. The palpable uptick of spring is a gorgeous example of this truth. Our bodies and minds are attuned to the waking up energy at play in the natural world. This provides great support for initiating communication, moving up and out in purposeful ways.
Take a Daily Infusion: Carve out time on a daily basis for an infusion of spring. This could be just 7-10 minutes of your lunch break or a longer stretch if your schedule allows. The idea is to go outside and commune with spring as it bursts forth. Leave your mobile phone behind and refrain from engaging in conversation. Dedicate this time to being fully receptive and aware of what is occurring in the natural world — the rain falling, sun warming, buds swelling, ferns unfurling, sap rising. Let it all bring a smile to your face. Invite it infuse your energy level and mood as you go on with your day. Doing this on a daily basis will support the initiating practices outlined below
Reflection: Take note of how being receptive to the uptick of Spring actually shifts your well-being, how it changes your energy level and emotional state.
Look for Opportunities to Break out of Winter’s Grip: As you go through your day, look for ways to break out of the stasis of winter and to push forward into new possibility. The stasis of winter is something we often experience internally as a kind of inertia. When you are on the verge of breaking out of it you might feel euphoric (and a even a little reckless) from the uptick that spring is giving your limbic system. But it is just as likely that you will experience at least a twinge of anxiety and feel your courage quicken. At those times consciously attune yourself to the energy of spring, the “yes” energy of inspiration and yearning; go with that.
Two Ways to Break out of Winter’s Grip:
1. Start Something: Start a project (small or large) that is dear to your heart, one that you have been considering but that has been in the grip of winter's inertia. Initiate that new project at work. Make that recipe that appears daunting. Throw that dinner party. Send that letter of intent. Teach your child how to knit. Hurl yourself into preparing that garden bed.
Reflection: How much energy do you gain by applying your attention and energy to something that is meaningful to you?
2. Break Through and Melt Ice: Communicate intentionally by saying what you see and what you’d like to see. Tell someone what you notice is happening in the space between you. Begin with the data; describe what you observe in as objective and straight forward a way as you can. Then express your warmth and what you hope for, what you would really like to experience and perhaps why. (It could be that there is something you'd like to see more of, or something you’d like to have less of, or perhaps there is something you wish was different than it is.) Be as real as you can, be your authentic self, listen to their response, stand in your intention. This may feel risky at first and I encourage you to start with the small stuff. Sentence stems are a great help:
I notice that . . .
I see that . . .
What I’d really like to . . .
What is important to me is . . .
Here are some examples:
I notice that we don't have dinner as a family the way we used to . . . I really miss it and it is important to me that we get back on track by having dinner together at least three times a week.
I notice that when you ask me to make changes in the work I submit for approval, even though I value your input, I get defensive. . . . I'd really like to be able to accept criticism more gracefully and be open to feedback so that we can collaborate more effectively .
I notice that when you greet me at the end of the day with that quick little kiss on my cheek . . . that I really want you to linger there with me a little longer.
What does it take for you to say what you see and to offer your tender hopes to another?
What happens when you do?
How could you become more adept at these conversations?
Go ahead. The idea here is to work with the inherent full-bodied invitation of spring. Experience how spring works with you to support your intentions. Notice how spring invites us, by its very nature, to be restless in our frozen old habits, to envision new patterns and potential, and to move up and out into the fullness of life. I urge you to harness the energy it offers to do what really matters to you.
Feel free to let me know how it goes.
As a life and leadership coach I help my clients develop capacities they need to meet their objectives, and to fulfill their promise. Developing a new capacity is building a new muscle; it takes repeated effort and awareness through practice.
May spring bring be all that you hope for!