Spring Cleaning, Greening, & Blossoming
by Suzanne E. Sky, MTOM, Life Resilience Coach
As I first wrote this article, I was celebrating the procession of leaves unfurling and flowers blossoming. Today, as I edit this, I’m celebrating the richness of rain blessing the earth, plants, and all of us.
The luscious soft pink purple plum flowers have come and gone. Now the bright white almond flowers are here, yellow daffodils and small purple hyacinths abound. Lilac leaves, Maple leaves, and red green Rose leaves are unfurling. I’m excited that the leaves on my Birch trees are about to burst forth to create some shade for nearby plants. And the weeds, well, the weeds too are abounding. I’ve been balancing lots of weeding with tending my garden and my work with clients, writing, and projects. My sweet dog, Ginger, makes sure I leave enough Dandelion greens for her to munch on. She is a forager!
As the temperatures are warming, I’m lightening my diet, getting ready to do a little cleanse once it’s warm. Weeding, lightening up, cleansing, and spring cleaning my house. Along with planting and planning what I’ll plant this season to add delight and harmony to my garden. To continue our exploration of living in harmony with the seasons, I'd love to share a few practices I love to engage as spring warms the earth and flowers return giving color to our lives.
• Lighten up my meals. I take a break from heavier foods like dairy and even from my delicious homemade bread for a while. And continue with enjoying fresh, organic vegetables gently steamed or in soups. Asparagus, beets, radishes, and all greens are great spring foods to gently support and tone our system after a long winter. Leeks and onions are high in quercetin, supporting our immune system.
• Gently cooked foods. There’s still a chill in the air as the nights dip into the 30s. Cold, raw foods can cause digestive discomfort and metabolic issues. Until it’s steadily warm both night and day, continuing to eat gently cooked foods and vegetable soups are ideal for early to mid-spring. I love kichari or red lentil vegetable soups. To take care of my digestive system, I won’t do my cleanse until it’s consistently warm, though eating lighter feels good now.
• Spring is liver season in Chinese medicine. Since the liver does so much work in the body, it’s great to give it some extra support and love in the spring. Eating a lighter diet gives the liver and digestive system a break. All the cruciferous vegetables are great for the liver, supporting it’s detoxification and other pathways. I especially love broccolini, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
• Change up or start your daily movement program. Include outdoor activities. Fresh air invigorates, oxygenates, and supports the health of our lungs, liver, immune system. Movement and fresh air help clear cobwebs, stuck energy, and stress from our mind, emotions, and whole system. They help relax and reset our nervous system. Since Chinese medicine correlates spring season with the health of the tendons and ligaments, focus on building flexibility and resilience to complement strengthening practices.
• Spring cleaning! I started my spring cleaning at home early this year. It feels great to clear out things I’m no longer using, rearrange an area so it supports my practices or just feels fresh and inviting. Throw out, recycle, or give away unused items to simplify or make room for new energy in your life!
• Clear out and release any negative issues or holding patterns. Let the sunshine in! Plant seeds of intention for the coming seasons. Consciously cultivating gratitude creates harmony in our being, opens our heart, and engages our higher brain centers. Be the smile and radiate your gift into the world.
• Enjoy being outside in nature daily. Great time for gardening, walking in your neighborhood, getting out on the trails in the green forests, or walking by the ocean on the enlivening coast. As if we need it, there’s so many studies showing the multiple tangible benefits of connecting and communing with nature on a regular basis. It’s good for our body and soul. We are part of the earth, air, water, and wood.
• Take time to simply Be..... To simply enjoy and appreciate the beauty all around and the peace within us. Sit outside and watch the clouds pass by. Sit near a stream in the forest and savor the sounds, sensations, and fragrance of earth, air, water, trees, and greenery. Just 15 minutes a day of simply BE-ing resets and relaxes our nervous system, heart, and outlook on life. It engages our physiological ‘relaxation mode’ where restorative healing occurs. Jack Kornfield’s teacher Ajahn Chah calls rest “food for the heart”.
From my heart to yours, Suzanne Sky - Life Resilience Coach
As a Life Resilience Coach, I love working with purpose-driven women, like yourself, ready to deepen in your knowing and expression. You may be a life coach, wellness practitioner, or creative solopreneur; for whatever reason, change is the air. You're ready to deepen in your growth, change direction, or grow your impact.
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