Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth, and growth. A time to assess who we have been and begin to plan for who we are becoming. We must be brave enough to look at our trajectory and reroute in order to move in the direction we truly desire.
We must uncover the patterns that we may have become accustomed to. Patterns can develop in our physical bodies (what we are eating and how we are digesting), our mental habits (our thinking patterns and self-talk), our emotional reactions (being swept away by emotion before thinking of how we want to respond), and our use of vital energy throughout the day (things like rest and movement). Our future depends on our ability to recognize if the patterns we are immersed in are taking us toward who we want to be and how we want to feel or if they are keeping us stuck.
Over time, our patterns can become an inefficient use of our energy. Perhaps the habit served us at one time, but has not been reassessed for efficiency or applicability in the present. We may fall into doing things that seem convenient or that delay the inevitable. Or maybe we do things simply because that’s how we have “always done them”. Using our energy in this way often sets us up to have to go back later and undo what we have done as it has taken us way off course.
In yoga, one of the ethical teachings is called Brahmacharya (bra-mah-CHAR-ya) and it is all about allocation of resources. Brahmacharya calls us to assess how we are using our energy throughout the day and if that use of energy is taking us down the path toward who we want to become. As we assess, if we determine that our energy is not being used in ways to increase health and happiness, it’s time for some spring cleaning.
As we move into warmer weather and have the need for fewer layers,
we become acutely aware of the extra weight we may have packed on in the colder months. That extra insulation did its job when we needed it, but when our clothes from last summer are tighter than we had hoped, we can see the need to make a change. In Ayurveda, we recommend a cleanse in the spring to help the body let go of the excess that has been stored up and to prepare for the next season of our life and then a shift in what we are eating to support the season.
But, why stop at the physical body? Let’s take a deeper look.
Our mental patterns can get in the way of change on every level if we allow them. If we are highlighting past failures, expecting the worst, or using mantras of how we are unworthy of love or acceptance, success and happiness will be hard to come by. It’s time to become aware of what is going on in our thoughts and to evaluate the usefulness of the patterns we find there. The stories we are telling ourselves are controlling our behaviors.
Next, we must become aware of emotional patterns that may be keeping us stuck. When something challenging occurs in our life, our emotions step up first and when we allow our emotions to take over, we can get swept away from our values and make choices that we aren’t proud of. Awareness is key here. We have to recognize the signs our body is sending us- how the emotion feels in the body- in order to see the emotion coming on and choose how to move forward.
And finally, we must address patterns in our daily habits where we are using our energy inefficiently. What time we do things throughout the day is very important as different energies rule within our bodies at different times of the day. If we are eating a heavy, late dinner or staying up until midnight or neglecting to make time to either move the body or to find calm and stillness, we will feel the repercussions. We can experience shifts in the physical, mental, and emotional realms when we align our daily habits with what our body needs to function its best.
Take some time this week to assess your own patterns; to determine where you could shift from being stuck in the same old rut to opening yourself for growth. There is a start up cost of time and effort, but I promise, it is worth it.
Hit me up if you need someone to chat with about the changes you are wanting to make. And I will be spring cleaning right along with you.
Chat again soon,