It looks like we may be turning the corner on winter, Spring is finally springing. And with that, we encourage you to keep your eyes, ears and heart open to the changes all around you- daffodils and crocuses begin to peak out from their underground hideaways, the geese make their way back to Mill Pond and the sun whispers good night later and later. Delight in the sounds, the smells, the scenery, the Spring.
“We can never have enough of Nature.”
– From Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Spring is in the air…In the spirit of birth and renewal, we invite you to bring freshness, a new perspective and a sense of wonder to your practice and for that matter, your life. Imagine seeing through new eyes, walking with new feet, breathing as if it was for the first time. When we can bring a beginner’s mind to our everyday life, the mundane, the things we take for granted, are nothing short of miraculous!
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
– from the poem “Sweet Darkness” by David Whyte
Spring has returned, filling our days with rebirth, rejuvenation and renewal. A chance to wake up from our long winter’s nap and see the world come alive in front of our eyes. It can have a movie like quality, a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s real and that makes it all the better. In that vein, some of us use this time of year to produce our own movie, New Year’s Resolution II. This new or resurrected batch of resolutions and undertakings can range from a thorough spring cleaning to major life changes and everything in between. To accomplish our task, many of us adopt the mantra “Make it happen!”
To “Make it happen!” we throw ourselves headlong into whatever we are trying to achieve, but much like a supernova, we cannot keep up the intensity. We burn ourselves out over a matter of days or weeks. Projects end half-completed and we find ourselves too discouraged or exhausted to continue on. In our mad rush to “Make it happen!,” we don’t “let it happen.”
“Let it happen” is “Make it happen’s” perfect complement. It gives our actions time to cultivate the desired result. It permits us to do the best we can on a given day, even if it’s “less” than what we were able to do the day before. It’s constant and determined practice balanced by non-attachment to the end result, what Patanjali referred to as abhyasa and vairagya, respectively, in the Yoga Sutras.
The curtain lifts– the sun shines brightly in the spring sky. It penetrates the fertile soil down to the seeds you’ve planted and taken care to water each day. Do your work, then step back.* Watch your garden grow.
*Do your work, then step back” appears in Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao Te Ching.
With one note the nightingale
Indicates the rose.
Again, the season of Spring has come
And a spring-source rises under everything,
A moon sliding from the shadows.
“I don’t get upset over things I can’t control,
because if I can’t control them there’s no use getting upset.
And I don’t get upset over the things I can control,
because if I can control them there’s no use in getting upset.”
– Mickey Rivers, former centerfielder, NY Yankees
Wishing you fullness— of breath and of life…
Pink flower and budding tree images above from Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park,
Long Island’s premier public arboretum and historic site located in Oyster Bay, New York