Ghanian writer Lailah Gifty Akita said, “Spring is a season for the soul to regain its strength.” There is something about the coming of spring that is always inspirational, reminding us that life can start anew. Often our mood lifts as we move into spring and witness the warmth and colors of the season. If we let it, spring can stir us to think about our own development and change.
During the winter months we find ourselves hunkering down and maybe turning inward- the spring invites us to open ourselves to what’s new. It poses an opportunity for us to consider all the ways we want to grow and what we want to leave behind.
The past few years have been tumultuous and we only have to turn on the news to see that the world continues to turn in ways that can be frightening to us and lead us to despair. However, we can look to nature bursting with life to know that beauty and light are also part of our world and let that bring us comfort.
As we reflect upon what has brought us challenges, spring is a time to let go of what has burdened us. We can always choose how much any tragedy or circumstance will affect us. We can experience sadness, anger and resentment if that’s what the situation arouses in us, but we can choose to let it go when those feelings are no longer serving us. We can choose to let go of what is weighing us down, and seek to make ourselves light.
What do you want to let go of, and what are you reaching for for yourself and your family?
Try this exercise with your family or on your own as a bit of “spring cleaning” for the soul:
Write down or draw all the ways you want to be “made new”. What are the things you want for yourself that will bring you greater happiness? Is it to become more healthy, or to save money? Is it to spend more time with your children or reconnect with loved ones you may have grown distant from? Is there a new skill you want to learn or ways you want to grow and change as a parent?
Next write a list of everything that has been burdening you or weighing you down. Write down all you want to let go of- are you holding on to anger or hurt? Is there someone you need to forgive to make yourself feel better? Are there things outside of your control that are causing you frustration? Is it time to accept the reality that you can’t change a situation- but maybe you can change how you are responding to it? This can bring you some emotional relief. Ask yourself how can you unburden yourself and make space for something better?
Take the list of what’s weighing you down and tear it into little pieces. Imagine yourself free of it.
Each week revisit the first list. Remind yourself of all the positive growth you’re seeking. Imagine yourself there.