I am reminded of this, as the 21 March is ‘officially’ the first day of spring yet we have seen temperatures plummet, heavy snow fall and relentless wind. Like the weather, life can often be unpredictable and unexpected.
Sometimes we need reminding that we have it within us to find the solutions to the challenges that we are facing. By harnessing our strengths, our inner resources and drawing on our past experiences we can get through such events. Have self belief.
“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” (Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind)
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer” (Albert Camus)
The snow will melt, the buds will emerge, the grass will grow, the sun will bring warm sunshine. The bulbs which have laid dormant, endured the hard ground and the freezing temperatures will burst forth showing their vibrant colourful flowers.
Likewise, this can be a time for new beginnings, so show yourself some compassion, forgive yourself and others and move on. You have weathered the worst. The best is yet to come.
“And I, what fountain of fire am I among, This leaping combustion of spring?” (D. H. Lawrence, The Enkindled Spring)
As we come out of our hibernation and slumber, spring brings renewed energy into our lives. Soon the trees and flowers will be blossoming, the dawn chorus will be heard and the summer migrant birds will be returning.
Likewise, use some of your energy to develop, grow and let your authentic colours shine through. You will blossom.
6 simple ways to blossom
1. Slow down and be mindful
Declutter the mind from information overload and take a few minutes each day to sit and stare into space blankly, watch the sky, dream, listen to the silence / your breathing… Go outside, look up at the sky, marvel at what’s out there, listen to the birds….
You are part of something much bigger. Be mindful of what is around you: touch it, feel it, taste it, listen to it, experience it…
2. Do something different as often as possible
Come out of auto pilot and break that pattern. According to Alejandro Lleras, our brains register constant stimulation as unimportant, to the point where the brain erases it from our awareness.
Why not try something new for lunch/ dinner, take a different route home, walk down a different street, watch something else on TV, read a book that you would never dream of reading….
3. Stretch yourself
Take a small step outside your comfort zone and stretch yourself. It may be difficult, uncomfortable and you may not succeed or get it right first. Have self belief, persevere and keep going.
It is often through undertaking such acts and learning from failure that we develop resilience, grow and achieve some our greatest accomplishments. It helps to build our inner strength and resourcefulness to enable further positive coping.
4. Find new perspectives
In the words of Milton Erickson, “each person’s map of the world is as unique as their thumbprint.There are no two people alike…no two people who understand the same sentence the same way…so in dealing with people try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be”
Try to see things from other people’s perspectives. Put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are coming from and gain an insight into worlds. Strike up a conversation with someone who you don’t know that well and listen to their perspective and expand your worldview.
5. Take a break
Giving your mind and body a rest and time to recharge your mental batteries which will improve your productivity, creativity and focus. Taking time out from a familiar environment can help to bring new perspectives on everyday life.
Perhaps get away from where you live and spend some time at a place that you have not visited before. You are more likely to view your life back home with an objective, outsider’s perspective.
Take time out to reflect, gain clarity, examine your priorities and commitments and to connect with family and friends and those who matter to you.
6. Be generous and grateful
Reach out and help others – whether it is a listening ear, volunteering your time, getting involved in your local community… The more we do for others, the more rewarding, enriching and fulfilling our lives become. It also helps to build a network of connections, friendship and support – all of which will increase your well being.
Be grateful for what is present in your life. Take time out each day to appreciate what you have. It will bring you joy and you will begin to appreciate the simple things in life and those that matter to you.
What has helped you to blossom ? What tips can you share?
What small changes are you committed to making?
I will be following my own tips and returning to Guyana, where I spent the first decade of my life. Located on the north-eastern shoulder of South America, Guyana is the continent’s only English-speaking nation. It occupies an area the size of the UK but with a population of .75m.
It is part of the ‘Guiana Shield’ which with the Amazon Basin forms the largest equatorial forest in the world. It has 4 mountain ranges, over 100 waterfalls, more than 1500 rivers, 18 lakes, home to more than 800 species of birds, 200 types of mammals…some of which I aim to see and explore!