“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
‘Winter is dead’.”
~ A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
Listen to today’s post on the go or continue reading below …
Today is the first day of spring, a day that often stirs up feelings of change and renewal within me. The ground is still brown here in Alberta, and visions of green grass and colourful flowers still seem far away. However, we are now in a state of anticipation for blooming and growth – a great time to look inwards for the same.
Yesterday, my husband and I were involved in a panel discussion at a conference, around the concept of ‘the emotional wellness of physicians across their career’. The people who attended the session were very engaged and interested in sharing their thoughts and stories. Once again, it really struck both my husband and I the true power of a shared experience. The energy from others really seemed to unearth what lay inside the audience in the room. Looking inwards became an organic process by sharing authentic pieces of one another with one another.
If you were to look inside yourself, what would you find?
As it turns out, most of us have some level of fear of looking inside ourselves. Just look at our ‘busy’ lives and you will find some level of avoidance. The interesting thing is that we are often avoiding ourself – not someone else – the person that needs us the most. In the New York Times article The Busy Trap, author Tim Kreider quite astutely says:
“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
As harsh as it may sound, so much truth exists in this excerpt. And quite ironically, the busier most of us get, the more discontent we seem to become – the very culture we have created ends up being the underlying reason we are not living life as we should or want to.
What can you do to help yourself unleash renewal and growth?
1. Give yourself permission to slow down: Do you almost feel guilty when you are not being busy? This used to be a shame trigger for me. If I wasn’t trying to be productive in some way then I was ‘wasting’ time. Over the course of time when life became truly busy beyond my control with medical training/work, young children, and household responsibilities, I became very task driven and removed from calmer endeavors such as pleasure reading. In fact, reading (and it could be anything from a blog post, to a book, to a journal) is a great way to slow down. It actually is productive – for calming your mind – a great segue into allowing your self to just ‘be’. Just being, or mindfulness, is an extremely effective way to allow the natural process of looking within.
2. Bloom where you are planted: I love this expression because I think we can often become discouraged by our circumstances, and in turn, avoid steps toward growth. If we develop and foster a level of resilience, we can often move past the points where we get stuck. For example, before starting this blog/website 3 years ago, I had a couple of years of very little momentum. The less progress I made, the more stuck I seemed to feel. I am very grateful for the constant encouragement I received from my husband because the weekly blogging really has helped me bloom. Having a creative process that excites you is a direct path toward getting to know ‘you’ better.
As we celebrate this first day of spring, I wish you a renewed sense of purpose that can only come from looking within. Perhaps a mindful walk outside is the perfect way to get started.