For most of us, fall means getting back to the day-to-day: we come home from vacation, the kids go back to school and work projects pick up. Carefree summer flip-flops and warm breezes are replaced with leather boots and crisp air. Autumn is a natural new year, and the turning of the season brings a promise of abundance.
My latest spring bedroom update: A breath of fresh air!
Hurray, we made it! With the vernal equinox today, spring is finally here — and I’m in my element! I adore a big spring clean in every sense of the word … breathing fresh new life into everything from my bedroom to my outlook.
People have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years with cultural rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. The early Egyptians oriented the Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox. While I can’t top that, I am quite happy to bid farewell to winter; I feel like one of the little buds on the trees aching for the sun! So I usher it in very consciously with my own spring equinox rituals …
Oftentimes people come to me and state that their intention is to heal. The definition of healing is to restore to health and soundness; to set right; restoration of that which is damaged to its normal function; regeneration (spiritual, revival, rebirth); and renewal of any lost part.
“The renewal of any lost part” caught my attention. During challenging times people are often seeking parts of themselves that they think have been lost, stolen or damaged. I believe that we are, inherently, whole, and that at the core of our being, beauty and peace exist. When my clients speak about wanting to heal, we explore the deep desire to remember that they are not broken or damaged goods. We talk about the fact that in every situation there is good and it is leading us back to a state of wholeness. When the Japanese mend broken objects, they fill the cracks with gold. They believe that when something is damaged and has a history, it is more beautiful. What if that were true of us? What if each and every aspect of our life stories was an essential ingredient that made us stronger and more beautiful?
Happy Chinese New Year, new moon in Aquarius, Candlemas (which is the midway point between winter solstice and spring equinox), Imbolic (which honors Brigid, the goddess of creative inspiration and fertility) … and all New Beginnings!
I love mythology and ritual, especially when they honor and align us with the natural world. With spring approaching, it makes sense that many traditions consider this time the true beginning of the year, a time of rebirth and renewal.
In Wayne Muller’s book Sabbath, he speaks about the fact that dormancy is an important part of nature. The time of dormancy is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Without this time, many species cannot bear fruit, or they simply die. He also points out that human beings seem to be the only species that does not honor stillness and downtime as an essential part of living. He describes this time as Sabbath, a time of taking refuge and opening to the stillness that lives within us.
The inauguration of Barrack Obama represents a turn toward our better selves. Humility. Mindfulness. Compassion. Honor. Respect. Service. Giving back. Making a difference. It is the fulfillment of Yes We Can. But it is only the beginning.
The following quote is taped to the inside of my medicine cabinet; it reminds me that everyday is a new day to connect with something greater than myself.