‘Every day is a new beginning. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be’ – Marsha Petrie Sue
Spring is in the air!
Springtime, like sunrise, offers an abundance of opportunities. This is a time of birth, renewal and awakening. New plant life is pushing upwards, trees are blossoming and we witness greater movement and activity all around as winter recedes. The dark of night is now behind us and new beginnings emerge with the increasing light. It is a beautiful time of germination and growth, where nature is bursting with fresh life and vitality. Those things that have been resting over the cold months of the winter are slowly coming back to life…including us! As the sun intensifies in strength, we too begin to gain momentum and become more active.
The Spring Equinox this year falls on September 23. Equinoxes are a time of balance, where for a short time day and night are of equal length. After the Spring Equinox, the days will become longer than the nights as we continue the cycle of the seasons and head towards summer.
The coldest, darkest, most restful time of the year is now behind us and new life begins to come forth with the increasing light. The energy at this time is said to be rising, active and expansive. Everything in nature is coming alive and all of life’s energies are moving again after a period of dormancy. There is an underlying excitement and joy in the air as we feel the potential in each new day.
It is time for us to begin emerging from winter’s slumber and start reaching out for what we want for ourselves.
It is time to plant the seeds for our future harvest and set in motion plans and dreams conceived over the previous months. You may also have the urge to become more active and get outside to enjoy the increasing warmth and beauty arising all around you. Soak it in – it’s rejuvenating, invigorating, enlivening!
Spring and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
In TCM Spring is associated with the wood element, the colour green and the Liver and Gallbladder organs. The Liver is said to be responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the Liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. When the Liver is harmonious, stress or tension is minimal. If the Qi stagnates, the body becomes sluggish or stiff and emotions such as frustration, irritability, discontent and indecision can arise.
To keep your mind and body healthy this spring, get your Qi moving with gentle stretching activities such as yoga, Tai chi or Qi gong. Or get active any way you can – move around, dance, fly a kite! This can help disperse any of the above emotions and release stagnation built up over the more dormant time of winter.
Put some Spring in your step!
During Spring the appetite eases while the body reduces the need to store energy as it did over the colder months. Overeating makes the Liver sluggish, so reduce your meal size to help lighten the load and cleanse your digestive system. To improve the function of the Liver and the movement of Qi, focus on foods with rising qualities such as sprouts, young plants, raw foods and fresh greens. Including Sour foods, such as lemons, limes, vinegar and pickled foods, plus pungent foods and herbs such as onion and garlic, basil, rosemary, fennel, dill and bay leaf can also be beneficial.
As the energy of Spring is ascending, heavy foods which are greasy or highly processed, will tend to weigh us down. Reduce salty foods, fat, dairy and red meat, which promote a sinking energy. Avoid refined sugar, greasy and highly processed food, which easily cause stagnation.
‘Spring clean’ it!
Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenating – both physically and mentally. This could mean taking a dietary cleanse or clearing out some of the clutter in your surrounding environment. Holding on to things takes energy. It can keep you locked in the past or future and prevent you from fully experiencing all that the present has to offer. By having a clean out (physically and mentally) at this time, you lighten your load and create more space for the new to enter.
Seeds are germinating above the ground now and so with us. We feel empowered to take risks, strike out on our own, get on with things and make things happen.
What a wonderful time it is! Empower yourself by utilising these energies this Spring. Recognise that the cycles in nature also operate within us. This is the perfect time for taking action to create what you want in life and let go of what no longer serves you. The increasing energy allows for a clearer vision of the future toward which you proceed. Allow yourself to remain open physically and emotionally to prevent stagnation of energy and begin to stretch toward new possibilities that beckon you from the future.
- Keep your Qi moving with brisk walks in nature and activities such as yoga or tai chi .
- Allow some still time in nature too, breathing in the fresh spring air and enjoying the beauty of the spring colours. Marvel at the growth happening all around you.
- Help cleanse your liver by eating smaller meals with a focus on sprouts, young plants and fresh greens. Include some sour and pungent foods. Limit dairy, red-meat, greasy and refined foods.
- Start your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice.
- Spring clean your wardrobe and get rid of any items that no longer suit you.
- What old beliefs, behaviours or situations no longer serve you?
- Set an intention for what you wish to see bloom in the coming months.
- Reach for your dreams!
Be conscious of acceptance and gratitude during this season – they will help you adapt to change and recognise that sometimes there is a gift in the unexpected!