For me, spring is synonymous with blossoming. Everything that has been dormant in me all winter is now ready to burst forth in the form of new projects, new goals or simply new inspirations. Spring energy is associated with transformation, and that encourages change. We feel nature awakening outside us and inside, as our “Yang” side (the sun) expands and our “Yin” side (the moon) retreats.
The transition from spring to summer is an ideal time for major housecleaning in all aspects of your life, automatically making room for new ideas, both physically and energetically. Here are my tips for making the most of this blossoming of newness within and without:
Take the time to go through everything around you and ask yourself whether these objects still resonate with your essence. Personally, I spring clean every year and I love it, because my intention is always to pass things forward. For example, I love filling up big bags with books, clothing and knick-knacks to give to friends in need or non-profit organizations.
This annual activity has become a necessity for me, because it liberates me from all the stagnant energy associated with objects I no longer need. The process automatically makes me feel alive and recharges my energy. Remember, though, that the purpose of shedding stuff is not to buy new stuff, but rather to make space for newness in your life in general.
Since this time of the year is closely associated in Chinese medicine with the liver functions, there is always lots of talk about spring detoxing. But think before you leap! The decision to detox is very personal, and every body reacts differently, so you need to consider carefully before setting off on any major changes that could affect your health.
It’s important to adjust slowly to the rise from the spring element of “earth” to the summer element of “fire” in your body by making small changes in your diet and in your level of physical activity. These new actions must absolutely make sense and resonate positively with that little voice inside.
I recommend starting with gentle solutions that will tone the liver gradually, such as getting up early, exercising outside to absorb the vitality of spring and taking the time to really stretch your body every day. As for diet, let yourself be guided by nature. Seasonal food is the right thing to eat: as much fruit as you can, and green vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, spinach, kale, green beans, fennel… They are all packed with chlorophyll and excellent for cleansing your liver!
Did you know that anger and irritability are associated with the liver in Chinese medicine? If our organs are balanced, our emotions will be too, so meditation can be your best tool for cultivating that balance.
Here is a meditation you can practise every day to let go and create interior calm: Sit comfortably with your back straight. RESPIRATORY RHYTHM AND VISUALIZATION: Concentrate on the flow of your breath. Consciously observe each part of your breath. Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. Then, keeping the lungs full, raise your chest. Hold your breath for as long as possible. Then gently exhale, gradually and fully. At the end of your exhalation, keep your lungs empty for as long as possible. TIME: Continue this long, deep respiratory rhythm for 3, 6 or 11 minutes.
This is a perfect meditation for beginners because it helps you become aware of your breath and conditions the lungs. ***When you are holding your breath by keeping your lungs full or empty “as long as possible,” do not strain or go too far and do not gasp when you inhale again. Do the exercise gently, with love and respect for your limitations.