Mindfulness: A Practice for Early Spring
Let’s be honest, of all the spring months, March may be the hardest. The transition from winter to spring can feel rough especially in a northern climate. One day it will be sunny and 50-degrees and the next it is cloudy, blizzarding, and 10 degrees. When we moved back to Michigan I promised myself I would find ways to make this time of year less torturous. Do you know the old saying, a watched pot never boils? Well, the same thing goes for our agonizing wait for spring’s full arrival and for those days when we can plant our garden and enjoy fresh air as we make coffee in the morning. I get it. I have struggled this year even with focusing on other things including a trip to a warmer climate. I won’t lie that my favorite season is summer in Northern Michigan, but I have learned my love and appreciation for summer comes from the days spent learning to live and thrive in the hardest months of winter and spring.
With all that said, I have focused this new year on becoming more present and mindful of what is happening around me. I struggle with anxiety quite often especially since having Hayes. I have found the most powerful tool I have is to get ahead of my anxiety by focusing on what is happening right in the moment and season I am in. Taking 15-30 minutes a day to wake before the sun and become aware of the world around me has both helped me lower my anxiety, find calm in my journey and seasons. I plan to share one mindfulness practice a month on TFE because I strongly believe that much of our unhappiness stems from a disconnection with the present. A lifestyle with technology and social media can feel cluttered, fast-paced, and leave us looking for immediate satisfaction. Living a seasonal life is all about becoming present and finding the beauty in things taking time to come to be, but having a practice of mindfulness established for each month keeps us on track so we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. I am excited to share these practices with you each month as we walk through season after season over the years.
For this month we will be focusing on awakening, of course. This means we will be becoming aware of both the world outside our window and the world happening within ourselves. I pulled together a few simple questions that you can find in this month’s Mindfulness Worksheet you can DOWNLOAD HERE. Here is how I suggest you do this practice:
- Set your alarm to wake you up with the sun. Since we are awakening this month we need to make sure we are getting as much sun as possible. So wake up with the sun whenever possible.
- Make coffee or tea and then find a cozy and comfy place in your home.
- Make sure wherever you are it is quiet so you can be aware of sounds and everything happening around you. You also want to do this during a time you know you will not be disturbed by anything. (aka as a mom when someone else is on duty, or before the little one wakes if possible)
- Remove all distractions such as your phone during this time. You won’t need it.
- Have your worksheet handy with a pen. You can also write the answers in a notebook as I have been doing since as I practiced I hadn’t created this worksheet.
- Walk through each question and write your answer as it comes to you instantly. Don’t overthink anything. There is no game or perfect way to answer it. Be honest and fair with yourself.
Now you may struggle with the first few times you do this or even through this season altogether. It’s natural, especially if you aren’t used to practicing something like this. With practice, it will become easier. You will find yourself feeling more positive and it will be easier to hear the truth from yourself.
The goal for this practice is to become aware of the signs of spring more than anything. This is far more external than internal, but I know it has helped me make it through a blizzard in March by recognizing this is part of spring as the birds chirp in white out conditions.
You will also use this practice this month to start to become aware of what is changing for you as a new season is beginning. It may be that you are starting a new job, starting something new, moving, or having a baby. All are important shifts in our life and indicate seasons for us. Being aware of these things is important so we can set proper expectations and connect with how these seasons in our life change us.
Finally, the last question I ask is: What is one thing you can do today that will make you feel you stepped closer to your dreams? This is a very important question you should answer every day regardless of this practice. It will bring a sense of accomplishment even on a rough day. I have found this question quickly and easily lowers my stress when I focus on this thing and name it at the beginning of the day. If you can’t answer any other questions in this practice, make sure you answer this one.
I am so excited to hear how these mindfulness practices go for you. If you have suggestions, thoughts or more please let me know in the comments! I would love to hear. I want to make these practices an important piece of each season so I would love to hear ways you think this can be even better or how it goes for you. Of course, if you do make this a regular thing share about it on Instagram and tag us and use #IntentionalSeasons in your image so we can check it out and even share it!
Make sure to DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET if you missed the link above!