After much snowfall and some pretty tumultuous weather here in the UK, Spring has finally arrived along with the snowdrops and daffodils. However, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to come out of hibernation. I’ve got so used to getting cosy by the fire, comfort food, warm jumpers and wintry strolls wrapped up in hats and scarves.
However, since moving to the countryside almost four years ago, I notice the seasons more than ever, and increasingly take my cues for living from nature. I believe we also have our own life cycles, and seasonal living is a way to tune in to this and take more time to appreciate where we’re at. At this time of year there are swathes of purple appearing in the trees, as buds start to open, magnolia trees begin to bloom, and wild garlic appears in places…life is bursting forth all around us.
Nature’s rhythms can teach us so much about living life. The natural world does not rush, and even though Winter has now turned to Spring, it is taking its time and unfurling slowly and beautifully. The forecast is April showers one minute and blue skies the next; just like our own inner ‘weather’ it changes from moment to moment. I am learning to be kinder and more patient with myself as I go through this stage of my own life. I am trying to go with the flow a little more, and nurture myself along the way. I too am coming into my own, personal ‘season’ of reawakening.
Most of us want the rain to cease and the sun to appear so we can enjoy more outdoor pursuits, yet, nature works at it’s own pace and we cannot control the weather. So, the lesson I’m learning more and more the older I get is being more in flow with ‘what is’. I sometimes get frustrated with myself and think ‘surely my creativity and energy should be firing up ready for the year ahead’…but it’s not as yet, and that’s OK. I’ve been fighting that and getting frustrated with myself. But, wait, do the snowdrops get frustrated when the snow falls and they’re not growing quite as they should be? Of course not, so why should we be any different?
We can put so much pressure on ourselves to feel a certain way by a certain time, to heal more quickly than we are, to have completed projects we’ve set our own deadlines for. It’s exhausting. So rather than meticulously plan or get frustrated with myself, I am going to try and let go, and see what each day brings. I have lots of projects I want to work on including my blog, writing, developing my photography skills, drawing/painting, reading the many books I haven’t got to yet, foraging for wild flowers and herbs, learning herbalism…the list goes on. But, I am going to see what I fancy doing moment by moment without being so hard on myself when I haven’t got as far as I’d hoped. I’m going to take my cue from nature and slow down a little…and incorporate more rest and quiet into my day so I can rejuvenate.
When I worked at Pukka Herbs in my 30s I learnt about Ayurveda, the Indian philosophy of health. The ancient Ayurvedic teachings guide us to adapt our lifestyle in accordance with the seasons. “The entire point of an Ayurvedic seasonal routine is to align ourselves with the dynamic rhythms of the natural world. Mother nature moves in a fluid and organic way and Spring is a season of transition, so a springtime routine is not intended to be rigid or static”. Click here for an Ayurvedic Spring guide to living.
Also in my 30s I attended several yoga classes specifically for women, and at the beginning of each class we’d talk about where we were in our cycle and how we were feeling that day. My teachers Rachel & Marinella would talk about a woman’s cycle as being seasonal…so throughout the month there would be phases of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. This really resonated with me, as at different times of the month I’d be more energetic, inspired, creative, and at others I’d slow down and want to retreat from the world for a bit. Again, it’s useful to observe our own cyclical phases of life. Click here to read more about this from Alexandra Pope, a women’s leadership coach and educator; an incredible woman leading the way in understanding more about women’s health and wellbeing.
Although I am going to take things a bit more gently as the seasons change, and in general, I do have a few things lined up for the next couple of months that I wanted to share. I am not going to put pressure on myself to do it all in the next few months, but I’m looking forward to seeing how I get on as I transition into Spring and try to build my energy. Some are events that I’ve booked to nurture myself, including quality time with people I love, and some are interests that I want to pursue and immerse myself in. I’ve included links so that if any of the events or books etc are of interest, you can find out more and book for yourself.
- Reading: Finding Sisu: In search of courage, strength and happiness the Finnish way and The Year of Less
- Business Development: Out of the Woods workshop with Kayte Ferris of Simple and Season
- Creativity: Kathy Hutton botanical print workshop, Emma Bridgewater pottery day, create a Spring wreath with inspiration from the new ‘Wreath book‘
- Nurturing: Yoga & Ayurveda workshop
- Food: Make pesto from locally foraged wild garlic
- Nature: Plant a tub of herbs or flowers in the garden, Herbal Academy Herbalism course
- Movement: Walk everyday, practice yoga more often and get back on my bike and explore!
I’d love to hear what you’ve got in mind for Spring and any of your own tips and advice for moving into the new season.
Spring blessings to you all!