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“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” -Virgil
When spring arrives, it is custom to not only celebrate the arrival of the new season but the commencement of the Iranian or Persian new year known as Nowruz. And while January 1st will be the start of the Gregorian calendar widely used as the civil calendar (introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582), I couldn’t help but contemplate the worthwhile notion of beginning a new year when the season of rebirth kicks off in March.
After all, new beginnings in a wide swath of our lives both natural and man-made begin with spring’s arrival: the birth of animals (lambs, calves, etc. ), the reemerging of animals from hibernation, the return of birds from their winter retreat, the planting of seeds by farmers and gardeners, the return of farmers’ markets, the blossoms of cherry, dogwood, apple and many other deciduous trees display their brilliant pastel colors, the perennials begin to slowly rise from the earth, and the snow melts away with each falling rain drop.
Spring offers a rebirth after the frozen, stilled time during winter in which we bundled, sanctuaried and burrowed, only dreaming of the long anticipated sun-filled days and warmth to be outside without layer upon layer.
When spring arrives the layers can naturally be shed and much like the shedding of unnecessary layers, we too can and should begin to shed what no longer serves us, supports us and fulfills us.
So why not celebrate the new year when spring arrives? I must admit I am quite partial to this shift in mentalities. Especially after the long and daunting winter we experienced (and most certainly appreciated for all of the moisture we received and needed) here in Bend, this past winter in particular caused me to take note of the power of shifting seasons. Not only was the melting of the snow gradual and its final departure a near synchronization with March 20th’s arrival, but events in my personal life also brought to my attention the need to shed old ways of approaching love and relationships if I wanted to move forward and step into grander possibilities.
So indeed, spring’s arrival will be the start of my new year. How about for you as well?
Below is a list of tasks to enjoy, take part in and appreciate as you begin refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated for a most amazing next twelve months:
1. Assess your eating habits
What is working for you? What feeds your body well? What do you eat too much of out of habit, but isn’t necessarily contributing to better health? Check out episode #8 of the podcast, Love Food, Love Your Body to learn more about healthy, but delicious eating habits that will keep your body happy and healthy. Perhaps organize your weekly menu by creating a capsule menu which will help you eat healthy, but also delicious food while staying within your budget. Learn more here.
2. Clean out your cupboards
Speaking of helping yourself eat well, go through your cupboards, your pantry, your refrigerator and empty what you shouldn’t eat and assess what you do need to restock in order to be able to cook a delicious meal at a moment’s notice. Check out the items needed for your épicerie here.
3. Assess your beauty routine
How is your skin doing? Is your daily, weekly and monthly regimen working? I have been playing around with mine lately as I shared here, and have recently added back one of my favorite exfoliant masques from Eminence (learn more about it here). The feeling of healthy, fresh, cared for skin is a wonderful gift we can give ourselves, and while to many it may appear to be a luxury, it is anything but. When we literally feel good in our skin, we shine and walk a little more confident and shine a little brighter with what we do.
4. Update your travel tote and supplies
The vacation season has begun. As spring break arrives and the airports, train stations and highways begin to become more crowded with eager get-away seekers, knowing you have all the necessities and small luxuries you need when you travel is a simple peace of mind to give yourself. Take a look through your supplies and restock, add or eliminate as necessary. I recently added a new travel blow-dryer that had a bit more power than 1000 watts (this one has 1875) and stocked up on travel dry shampoo.
5. Clean the big everyday items: carpet, windows & garage
While each of these are big projects, setting the spring as an opportunity to tend to a deep clean of the carpets, windows and garage, once complete, feels like an additional breath of fresh air. Not only is more light able to enter your home, but you appreciate your home and living space all the more.
6. Reassess your budget
As tax season is about to wrap up, you’ve had an opportunity to see how the past year went. What worked? What needs to be tweaked, eliminated or added?
7. Plan your yard and/or garden (as well as the herb garden)
No matter how large or small your home, at the very minimum you can foster an herb garden. And while the temperatures may not allow you to plant right at this moment, March is a wonderful time to plan and dream. What do you want? I have my mind set on a few more lavender plants and hostas for the front walkway, and oh, how I cannot wait to replant my herb garden for spring and summer cooking projects.
8. Reassess your thinking
As I mentioned at the top of the post, sometimes what is getting in the way of striving out of the life we know no longer serves us and into the life we are seeking is how we think. What are our defaults? What assumptions do you cascade to unconsciously? Contemplate in what moments you were proud of how you handled yourself and in which could you have done better? Why were you not pleased in the latter and why were you proud of how you handled yourself in the former? Begin to assess the power of emotional intelligence, as well as these 22 things to be that will certainly shift your thinking into the right direction.
Over the course of the winter you may have had more time to think, contemplate and re-examine what you love, what you desire, what is working and what is not. Perhaps this list will help give you the courage to let go of a few of those things you know you should be rid of but they make it hard to let go. When you do eventually unburden yourself, you will truly have shed unnecessary layers and opened yourself up to unexpected possibilities.
Conscious living, reveling in the opportunity of a new start. As we take the lessons from the past year and apply them to the new, just imagine the beautiful world that might unfold before us as we journey along our way. I have a feeling it will be beautiful, I have a feeling it will be quite memorable (so don’t forget to journal about it so you can savor it in hindsight as well ;)). And while we may or may not know exactly what spring has in store, we ache for the revelation that it beholds. Here we go!
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
— Mark Twain
~Spring Posts from the Archives You Might Enjoy: