As spring arrives this week, many people in the northern hemisphere are performing rituals that help to welcome the energy of spring and the inherent abundance of the season.
Rituals do not have to be complicated or religious in nature–rituals can be as simple as mindfully appreciating the energy of the season and doing something creatively joyful to celebrate it.
Spring is energetically associated with the creative energy of the wood element (according to Chinese medicine theories). Thus, as trees reach towards the skies and bud new leaves, we too can stretch our branches to the sky and embrace our creative selves.
Here are a few ideas to jump start the process.
(1) Buy a new journal and try your had at creatively describing something that is close to your heart.
For instance, one client, who does not consider himself a writer, gave it a try and wrote:
“It wasn’t just the amazing shade of green of the golf course that made me sigh and feel like all my stress melted away. It was also the feel of the wind, and the laughter of my grown son, who created this father and son experience although his passion is not golf. This is the Zen of Golf–that state where you really do achieve this sense of oneness with all that is around you–and feel that bond with the people who have joined you not just in the game of golf but in the game of life.”
Not bad for a person who said, “Me a writer–no way…” Yes, way!
(2) Try your hand at collage. Collage is a wonderful way of expressing yourself. Collage allows you to choose textures and materials that appeal and encourage you to simply arrange the materials in an abstract way. It is the art of flowing and seeing where creation takes you. No special techniques are needed to have fun and play with this form of art.
(3) Make some sound! Whether it is picking up a recorder and tooting some notes, drumming on a plastic 5 gallon bucket turned upside down, grabbing a tambourine and imaging that you are Jack Ashford of the famous Funk Brothers, the band that fueled the Motown Sound with songs like the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” or the Temptations’ “I’ll be There,” take a moment to find the musician within and let loose. There’s something about the frequency of music that liberates the spirit and expands possibilities.
(4) Take a photo journey, and use your phone camera to shoot some images of favorite places–these can be the fodder for collage work or simply an album (electronic or traditional print) that captures the beauty of the spaces that you enjoy in the world. Our board member and co-founder Deborah Healy often takes photos for her Facebook that give creative glimpses of the city and various aspects of her life.
(5) Reinvent yourself with new colors. One of my clients welcomed spring with a shirt that had vibrant hues of red, yellow, purple, and orange–it absolutely made her glow with vitality and communicated an earthy sassiness that said, “Yes, I am divine, beautiful and whole.” Many of us become comfortable with a monochrome approach to life –take a step out of that comfort zone and jazz up your life with color, whether it is a new outfit that sparkles with rainbow hues, a new color for your walls, or a zippy new lap top, mobile phone or tablet case in vibrant shades.
(6) Learn something new. Challenge yourself to learn some qi gong or other forms of movement. Click here for more info about the class.
It doesn’t take a lot to create a tradition of making spring the time to awaken your creative self in simple ways that affirm our ability to embrace life, stretch out of comfort zones, nourish the people we love, while increasing our sense of hope, joy and light.