Today's world offers non-stop distractions and makes implicit cultural demands to move faster and harder. So many of us keep a tight and full schedule as a defense mechanism so that we can unconsciously be "lazy" and not create time to deal with the deeper and often difficult issues in our lives.
As soon as we pause and allow our frantic schedules to subside, the mind can begin to awaken to the deeper work of connecting to our heart. When we make time for meditation, yoga, daily practices or whatever connects us to the place of peace inside, true transformation can begin.
As nature moves out of the cold, damp, gloomy winter toward spring, the pulse of life quickens. Renewal is literally springing up from the ground and the natural world is going through a rebirth. Now is the ideal time to forge a connection to this awe-inspiring process.
During this season for revitalization, for new beginnings and for change, ask yourself, "Is my busyness really laziness? Am I distracting myself from being with myself?"
If so, weave these simple strategies into your life and experience an enriching and fulfilling spring:
1. Take time to relax in the evening. Listen to calming music, enjoy a slow walk in nature, go easy on the caffeine and alcohol and power down electronics at least an hour before bed.
2. Be here now. If your mind starts to race, bring your awareness to the sensation of your breath flowing in and out of your nose. Focus on the present moment to significantly lower your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
3. Keep good company. Anxiety and negativity can be as contagious as the common cold, so spend time with people whose energy you would like to emulate.
4. Eat mindfully. Make Mondays meatless. Eat whole foods. Slow down and chew each bite fully. Stay hydrated by drinking water mixed with lime. Eat light, easy-to-digest foods.
5. Practice an attitude of gratitude. Pause and acknowledge all of the blessings in your life.
6. Grow your own! Nurturing the earth is a powerfully therapeutic practice that teaches patience. Whether you grow your own food, herbs or even if you grow houseplants, connecting with nature creates intentional time to slow down and plug into the universe.
7. Get outdoors to a beautiful place and observe silence. Slow down to examine the buds and shoots peering out in your neighborhood. Visit them over several days and watch them bloom.
8. Spend more time to just do nothing. Don't let the above suggestions be one more item on your inexhaustible to-do list. Savor springtime by simplifying your life to include only those things that truly revitalize your body, mind and spirit.
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