Flower Power : An Ode and Reflection on Spring

flowergirl
My dear friends, Spring has arrived.
Of course, for those of us some parts of the US, this can seem like some cruel joke as we still are buttoning up coats and the skies are a blanket of grey.
The Spring Equinox of 2017 occurred on March 20th and marks the official start of Spring. Spring is “yang” energy, outward displays of power, a grand awakening from the slower, deeper rhythms of Fall and Winter.
I am an Aries baby*, so I kinda love Spring.
I get seasonal allergies, so I also kinda hate Spring.
Nevertheless, she is here in all her glory. I see the green buds starting to show themselves on the once naked branches outside my window, the temperatures are finally starting to heat up with some consistency, and there’s a more fast-paced energy snaking around the world.
I also love Spring because she represents new beginnings and a chance to acknowledge all the work we put in during the Winter season.
The sign of Aries coincides with the beginning of Spring for good reason. Aries of childlike wonder and leadership, of inspiring individuality, and the start of creative projects (not always good at finishing le sigh…)
So, the question is, how can we harness this energy of Spring and move with nature rather than against it?

Continue reading Flower Power : An Ode and Reflection on Spring

Spring Awakening (A Reflection)

How’s your Winter going, stardust?

Winter fading away...
Winter fading away…

We are about a full month away from the Spring Equinox (March 20th), though honestly, this week in Pittsburgh has had all the feeling of summer.

I didn’t have to wear my Michelin-Man winter jacket once.

I’m going to miss winter this year, a fact no doubt helped by the mild temperatures and limited amount of dirty snow accruing on the edges of sidewalks. Each year, I fall a little bit more in love with this slower, inward turning phase of the year. I truly believe we are meant to heed the seasons.

It doesn’t mean I go need to go into full-on hibernate mode in the Winter or race down the streets nude when Spring arrives (though, wouldn’t it be nice?) I just notice where energy is nudging and follow it’s flow in a way that makes sense for my life.

It’s actually quite fun.

Right now, I can feel the energy prickling the air as Spring approaches. I’m an Aries so Spring is kinda my time. Velvety green buds are appearing on trees. I want to run for no discernible reason. Creative ideas that I’ve spent all winter mulling over are starting to yawn and stretch awake.

This winter has been one of great inner awareness and healing for me. I send a hearty thank you to all who have made it possible.

As we head into Spring, I thought I would bring back the questions I introduced at the beginning of winter, a sort of mid-term check-in if you will.

The Questions:

How did I explicitly slow down (even just a little) this Winter?

In small and big ways. I curbed back some writing project goals. Focused on the slow curl of each rep during workout days. When my ten minute naps turned into two hour slumbers, I didn’t have a panic attack (this would’ve been my main mode last Winter, for sure). I went to restorative yoga sessions with my partner. I have started to actively pencil in daydream time into my calendar where I make weird art or lip sync to 90s alternative rock.

Slowing down made me feel more grounded and real. It reminded me that in a society that prides itself on depletion and busyness, it is okay to take a more human pace and let my body rest.

What is one thing I want to see born in the Spring and how did I use the Winter season to bring it about?

One thing I wanted to see in Spring was a deeper sense of self-love. I knew that I had my sticky places with food, money, and time management. I knew that it was going to take steady dedication to bring healing to these areas.

I’m not quite so good at doing “one thing”. It’s the Aries thing again…

For food, I enrolled in When Food Is Your Mother to learn more about my sticky own emotional eating habits as related to attachment theory. It sounds amazing and totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

For money, I extended my six-month clothing fast to a year, so now I have until August 15th. (Okay, I may have bought a beautiful burgundy vintage cape at a friend’s clothing swap for 50 cents, but other than that, no clothes shopping for this girl!)

And for time management, I look at my Happiness Planner (love, love, love it) each day and consistently remind myself, “I can balance my duties with ease.” Sometimes that is about all I can manage for time management BUT, I have been a lot less procrastinating than last Winter, so I’ll take it!

The light
The light

What is one daily or weekly practice of nurturing I practiced?

I spent a lot of my winter months solidifying my self-care morning regimen in a concrete way to show that I value myself. As of now, I meditate for ten minutes, say hello to my late grandmother, read affirmations aloud, and stretch for five minutes. It’s not much but it truly shapes my day in life-preserving ways.

I saw how easy it was to not take care of my Self. To put my to-do lists above it. To deem self- care frivolous and self-indulgent.

But, then I remind myself: My world and those in it benefit from my living my best life. And this includes the basics of self-care.

Sometimes I had to stretch at bedtime. Sometimes I read my affirmations in between classes via my phone. Sometimes I only got to meditate for five minutes.

Every little bit mattered. And I feel so much more steady in my self-care path because of the twenty minutes I spend each day tuning in and taking care.

How did I bring more fiery energy into my Winter?

Lotsa time in any hot tub I had the pleasure of being around. The weekly Burlesque Goddess class at Vitality Bellydance. Frequent visits to People’s Indian Food on Penn Ave for their lunchtime buffet.

How has your Winter been my friends? Is there anything you want to linger with before we greet the Spring Equinox on March 20th? What major things did you learn about yourself this season?

Onward to the light,

Hannah