Though it’s snowing in Toronto , it is technically spring and this is the season when everything comes to life, including you!
Here are 12 ways to slough off winter’s remains and ignite the aliveness within!
Clear & Close
1. Finish Off and Let Go
Are winter projects and to-dos hanging over you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by how much is dragging on and on and on? Give yourself the gift of a fresh start by making that final push to completion. Write a list of outstanding projects, calls and commitments. Where can you call it quits, say ‘good enough’ and/or consider yourself done? Are there items with flagging interest, unrealistic expectations or fuzzy priorities? Let them go. Are there items that are sticky, messy and/or uncomfortable but that are also important? Do what you can to make it easier – ask for help, delegate, write a script, bring a buddy – and then get it done. You will feel so much better on the other side. Have a project so big that it’s going to continue through to spring? Acknowledge all that you have done and draw that ‘winter chapter’ to a close. Build on those successes this spring.
2. Clear Away What’s Done
With the fast pace of life today, we often dive into the next thing without completing what has gone before. We rush into the future, piling the new onto the old or unceremoniously pushing the done to the side, leaving piles of unfinished business and stuff all around. It’s chaotic and overwhelming! Instead, enjoy the beautiful ritual of clearing or putting away the complete. Wrapping up an art day by washing your brushes and bringing order to your space is a meditative gift. Tucking away heavy duvets, winter jackets and boots helps shift the energy from one season to the next. Clearing the garden and your life of all that is dead and dying gives the chance for the new and vibrant to take hold.
3. Get Fresh & Clean
When I was a kid, I never would have believed it but there is magic in cleaning and this is especially so in spring. Wash winter’s grime off those windows so you can see the world with a fresh view. Sweep last year’s dust from your doorstep and welcome in the new. Have a long, long shower, imagining all that is unneeded swirling down the drain as you emerge naked, fresh and clean, ready for what lies ahead. Sparkle up your mirror and see today’s you.
4. Make Mental Space
As your schedule and space get free and clear, don’t forget to make space inside too. Journal out the load that is sitting on your shoulders and weighing on your heart. Take some time to chair and stare. Breathe. Meditate. Leave white space on your calendar. Close your eyes. Rest. Sleep.
Engage with Now
5. Get Outside
There is something about this time of year that is contagious – and I don’t mean the spring flu! When you are out in the world you can’t help but feel the earth coming to life all around you. I’m a city girl and still I can see the trees showing the hint of leaves and the foliage of crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips bursting through the ground. The air is different. We don’t have to be super outdoorsy types to feel the way nature is coming alive. It’s wired into us. Step outside and she will help wake you up too!
6. Eat Good Food
One of the best things you can do to wake up your vitality is to feed that inner fire great fuel! What that means precisely is different for each of us but most of us can benefit from an infusion of nutrition-rich foods. I know my energy rises and falls in tandem with how many veggies I have on my plate! Pay attention to what foods bring you to life. Why not find one new nourishing meal to add to your meal plan this spring?
7. Move Your Body
Our bodies love to move, that’s why they get so frustrated with creaks and groans and aches! They also sometimes forget! The less we’ve moved, the more they complain when we try to get started again. If you have had this conversation with your body, be gentle but persistent. It’s important that we each learn our own body’s way, that we find what works best for our health and well-being. It might be gentle stretches. It might be power walking. It might be dancing. It might be training for a triathalon. Explore what is right for you. Be informed, get support and make movement a part of your spring.
8. Develop a Creative Practice
Creativity is by its very nature aliveness! This spring develop a creative practice that nourishes you, something that will become a regular part of your life. Write or journal for 15 minutes a day. Give yourself an hour to paint each week. Start your day with a dance or a poem. End your day with a song. More and more as your creativity comes to life, you will find yourself coming alive also.
9. Try Something New
Experimenting is a great way to wake up! It shakes up our habits and takes us out of our comfort zone. Even that nervous adrenaline that comes with trying something new gives us a little zing! Learning, growing and change are great reminders that we are alive with possibility. We have not fossilized and do not need to stay stuck in the way things are or have been. As long as we are alive, new things are possible.
10. Inspiration Practice
Develop an active practice of looking for inspiration all around you. Open your eyes and heart to the seeds of possibilities that exist everywhere. Let this practice draw you out into the world like an explorer looking to discover new vistas and to go on wild adventures. Explore a new neighbourhood. Try new foods. Attend a concert. Go to a gallery. Read a book on a topic you know nothing about. Listen closely to the people around you. Savour words. Look for colour, composition and beauty.
11. Refresh Your Look
Sometimes it feels like way too much effort (not to mention feeling too painful) to think about our personal style. Shopping is anything but fun and fashion seems to be focused on everyone but us. But remember, fashion isn’t the same as style. Expressing who you are (or want to be) right now through your clothes can lift you up. No clothing is neutral and the tired, the ratty and the “not you” block your energy instead of release it. Let those things go and start to build a wardrobe that feels better. Start simple. What’s a colour you love to wear? Do you like clothes that have a sense of humour? That are edgy? Romantic? What about accessories? Are you a minimalist or a maximalist? Find one way each day to say, “This is me” with what you wear.
12. Commit to a Seasonal Creative Project
We’ve talked about creating a practice, something you do on a regular basis to bring the aliveness of creativity into your life. Let me also encourage you to take on a creative project this season, a tangible expression of your creative heart. Choose something that challenges you a bit but that also feels doable, something you will enjoy creating and look forward to completing. What if this spring you made a zine? Threw a party? Started a blog? Sewed an apron? Made a jewellery collection? When you pour yourself into a creative project, you undeniably affirm your creative capacity – and what could be more alive than that!
Focusing on bringing yourself to life is a beautiful way to connect to the natural energies of spring. Please don’t feel like you have to take on all of these suggestions at once in order to do that. The point is for you to come alive not for you to become overburdened! Pick one suggestion that has resonance and give it a try. Once you’re rocking that, try another and then another. Enjoy the process and let yourself experience the magic of spring.
Join the Studio
If you’ve been looking for a place to fill your creative well, to discover your creative self, to stretch your creative wings, Jamie Ridler Studios is here for you.
When you sign up, you will get a 10% discount on all classes and access to abundant free resources such as Studio Forum recordings on topics such as Journaling, Creative Habits & Challenges! Plus you will receive a weekly email love letter and occasional announcements for courses and offerings.