March has arrived and for me, this is the tipping point toward more daylight. Warming of temperatures. I look forward to spring and summer, bringing a lightness from the winter. But as I look out my window, the snow is falling fast and piling up in deep drifts in the driveway and on the rock outside my house. At least here in Colorado, we celebrate the snow for we know that moisture is essential for spring growth. For the plants to wake up, they need the nurturing moisture of the snow. Our rivers are also fed by the melting snow in the high mountains.
Still, we can look at some of these events as obstacles. I might moan about getting out for my daily walk or having to scrape the snow off the car. I might skip the things that bring me joy, like going to yoga or the gym because it seems like too much effort to bundle up and lace up my snow boots!
These last dark days required renewed strength on my part. I have to dive deep into negative patterns and thoughts and trudge forward. For example, yesterday I had planned to go for a hike or a snowshoe ( yep, you have to be prepared for whatever nature brings you!) but when I pulled into the parking space by the lake trailhead it was snowing. The wind was whistling around the car, sounding like a banshee screaming at me to go home where it was warm. I sat in my seat staring out at the limited view, the mountains shrouded in a snow mist. I almost restarted the car and drove off. Instead, I took some deep breaths and let the breath out with a sigh. I noticed the look of softness across the frozen lake. I imagined the wind wiping clean my negative thoughts. I smiled because the view from the car was indeed a gift. My sheer will kicked in and I jammed my feet into my boots, layered up in my warm coat, and donned my snowshoes.
I started slow and then fell into a rhythm. I climbed a small hill where the snow, even with my snowshoes was up to my knees. I laughed. I noticed footprints crossing the path going off into the forest. I paused. I trudged off the path to make a path through the forest and semi-skied down the hills. I realized how fun it was to play. To try new paths and be grateful for what this journey offered.
I arrived back at the car feeling renewed. My thoughts had lighted up, and my body responded to the work of being out on a hike. I could feel the sensation of joy in both the mind and the body. After loading the gear into the car, I paused and did a slow 360 turn, appreciating all this day had offered and the beauty that was right in front of me. This had been one of the best hikes that I had had this winter and I had almost missed out on the experience. I felt joyful and light in my heart.
I challenge you to look around your environment with fresh eyes. What can you see or do that will bring you joy? What can you be grateful for that maybe you have ignored in the past? What has the darkness obscured from you, that you can now see with a clearer vision?
As you ponder this, either while walking outside on a cold snowy day or sitting y a window, looking out at the world, you might journal, free write or draw and see what you notice. As you feel complete with this practice, take a deep breath and let it out with a “ha” sound. This “ha” is the bija or seed sound of the heart. Drop into the heart, placing your interlaced fingers over this heart space, and notice “joy”. What is bringing you joy and gratitude at this moment? Smile.
If you have kids, try something playful with them.
- Snuggle and read a book.
- Go outside for a nature walk and then make a college of your collection when you arrive back home.
- Plant some seeds to grow for your spring garden.
- Color mandalas together. After your activity together, talk about what makes you happy.
Repeat this mantra, “I am light and joy. Peace.”
Spring is just around the corner.
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