The frozen earth thaws. The snow turns to water nourishing the budding trees and sprouting crocus. The first signs of spring emerge. A renewed energy bursts forth. The spring warmth comes, albeit overdue.
It’s been a long, cold winter in New York City. If you’re anything like me, you’re longing for the sunny, carefree days ahead.
Oh, but wait – we have a tons of work to do. That mountain high to-do list is staring us in the face like the one-eyed-one-horned-flying-purple-people-eater! It seems monstrous, right? Well, even that purple people eater made his wish come true, according to Sheb Wooley.
Most of us are results-driven-future-seekers. We fast-forward to the end. Our long term goal is crystal clear – whether its earning more money, losing weight, or living a healthier lifestyle. That vision of our future-self lingers in our minds eye like a hologram, sometimes changing but always an ideal. Attainment looks fantastical. We wonder when and how it could ever happen. When we notice the baby steps required between beginning a task, and completing it, we make steady progress. Celebrate those accomplishments!
But first, rewind. Hit the pause button. Take a breath. Focus on now. The only moment in time that we can influence – is this one. Where are you? Have you wiggled your toes? Are you in your body? Do you ache? Have you noticed your surroundings? Be present. As I look out my NYC apartment window I see taxis, cement trucks, doormen, pedestrians, and construction cones. The trees are stretching toward the sky, fulfilling their purpose – beautifying this asphalt jungle and cleaning the air. They’re waking up from dormancy. It’s time for us to do the same.
So get out of your head. Write down everything you want to accomplish, free association style – everything from laundry and groceries to world peace. Turn off your censure. It’s not the time to judge. Be creative and free. The moment you stop judging yourself, you will open up a universe of possibilities. Grab a pen and paper. Indulge yourself. Take five minutes to explore what you really want. Group those items into three month, 1 year, 5 year, and lifetime goals. What can you do today to serve one of those dreams? Take action.
All the while, honor yourself. If you need to rest, then rest. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need exercise, then go for a walk or bike ride. Fighting our emotions and basic needs only feeds them and makes them stronger. Just like us, they need acknowledgment. When we stop being afraid of being afraid, regretting feeling sad, or “shoulding” ourselves out of grieving what was lost, we can be present and accept the reality of now. Then, we lift the wet blanket of stuck-ness and focus on what’s next. Trust that you can handle your feelings & experiences. Just allow them to exist. They will pass and you will move on to better things.
Back to spring… Be that budding tree. Imagine your roots spread deep and wide in the earth. You are strong. You are grounded. You are purposeful. Allow the earth and your environment to nourish you. Breathe. Stretch. Allow your inner beauty to spring forth. Your future is now. Embrace the power and courage to slow down, focus, be. Growth happens when you accept and welcome the now. The future evolves from this moment. This moment is that from which change happens. What do you see in your hologram?
“Inside your body there are flowers. One flower has a thousand petals. That will do for a place to sit. Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty inside the body and out of it, before gardens and after gardens.” – Kabir
Photos courtesy of Aleksa D, Gualberto107, and dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.