Each spring, as shoots, leaves and blossoms burst forth from bare branches and barren earth, I can’t help but think of the possibilities that lie within me waiting to be unearthed. Seeds I can’t see – ideas, wisdom, or clarity – that are indeed there, planted in the ground of my being. In my March blog I wrote about how I was keeping the door ajar to spring and to my gradual transition to public book signings. My first appearance for Twelve Mindful Months was a success and to my surprise, an enjoyable experience. I realize now that what I needed was already inside me. Just as the seeds planted in the earth can’t visualize they will become beautiful flowers, we are often unaware of our true potential.
Maybe because I’m an April baby and an Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, this month rather than January, has always felt like the beginning of the year. Fifteen years ago I made a drastic life change uprooting myself and moving across the country from New England to California. It may never have happened had it not been April or the Easter holy week, which is symbolic of rebirth, or if my mind was not open. Some people assumed I was having a mid-life crisis, when in fact it was a mid-life reawakening. My spirit felt dead; my soul cried out and called me to a journey to live a more authentic life. Like animals shed their winter coat in spring, I was shedding the skin of my former existence. For someone who was used to pleasing others, the hardest part was the pain I caused to others. As I look back now, it seems like a miraculous feat, but a necessary calling to save myself. Sometimes drastic is necessary to resurrect yourself, but it doesn’t have to be. The smallest change can open the way to a new vision.
And before my big move, what did I do? I spring cleaned my home and garden. Don’t you agree that when your nest is tidy you can think more clearly? But, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of organizing your home and workspace to avoid feelings – as I did that year so I wouldn’t have to face my fears and lose my courage – or to procrastinate doing something else – as I did this April. I’m posting the blog late because I had continuing troubles saving my word file and lost most of my work. Instead of writing, I was cleaning out files and stacks of paperwork, to avoid the task of dealing with my frustrating computer problem. My solution? I got off the adrenaline rush of completing check lists of “to-dos” and took more time to de-clutter my mind so I could face the task at hand. With so much going on the past month, I’d let my mind be full, instead of being mindful. When we’re busy, it’s easy to lose our awareness. (Even if you’ve written a book on it.) Yes, no one is perfect. : -) So, back to more pauses to take breaths of the sweet spring air throughout my days, to tide me over to my next session on the mat or cushions. It still amazes me how a good yoga or meditation practice can “power-wash” the cobwebs out of my mind – getting into all the nooks and crannies – and making “my home” feel more spacious and beautiful.
At the spa, the orange trees are in blossom once again, even as some of last year’s fruit still hang on its branches. As I walk by the grove each day from the employee parking lot, their sticky sweet scent nearly knocks me over, as if to remind me that I, too, can continue to evolve towards loftier goals even as I go about my daily tasks. This April, as you witness the vibrant flowers that spring forth like miracles from the darkness of winter, let each blossom be a reminder to keep hope and faith alive – even when you can’t see the light. Clear the clutter from your desk and your mind and you will find new ways to flourish.