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Wellness column: Harness the energy of spring

All around us birds begin to sing, rabbits come out from their burrows, the osprey return, and the sun’s warmth slowly brings to life the first flowers of the season. It’s spring!

With the return of the light, plus warmer and longer days, plans and projects are readily executed with less resistance. Yet it’s so easy to get stuck within the stagnation of winter and resist the winds of springtime gently guiding us forward.

Spring takes us from inside ourselves back outward. However, new possibilities can only be harnessed when we exhibit courage, flexibility, the ability to change, the capacity to move forward and patience. These actions require us to maintain a balanced rhythm within our own lives and that of nature.

Add some spring in your step. Walk with intention and move through your daily activities with purpose. Ask yourself before you start your day: Just for today, what do I choose? And find a feeling/emotion to go along with it.

Today I choose to be happy and smile or today I choose to find reasons to laugh more. Look for these opportunities in everything you do and speak. 

Jot down your desired goals. And include a list of perceived obstacles preventing you from moving toward those goals. Ask yourself: What can I do now? We tend to procrastinate or resist, yet there’s always something we can do that will lead us toward our bigger picture. Small steps with consistency lead to big results.

Adopt a pioneer spirit. Find creativity and enthusiasm in the mundane. Try adding new foods to your meal planning. See what is available locally that’s in season or that you can even forage yourself, which is fun for the whole family.

Fiddle ferns, early spring nettle (good for spring allergies dried as a tea and mixed with early mint from your garden for a powerful duo), dandelions, wild garlic, garlic mustard and chickweed are all easily identifiable, abundant and simple to add into salads, omelets or sauté. (Note about foraging — always harvest in areas that are away from the road and have not been sprayed with pesticides.)

Spring clean with passion. This inclination dates to pre-electric times when we relied on the rhythmic cycles of nature to inspire us. Cleaning, de-cluttering and organizing makes room for other possibilities. The more space we have the clearer our minds can think, execute plans, and enjoy what’s around us. Add your electronic devices to this list as they are big source of energetic clutter that we are always attached to.

Volunteer. Even an hour a week of your time spent toward something you value will reap big rewards. Get your whole family involved if you can and have fun. Research suggests the benefits of volunteering offers improved physical and mental health. This is especially true for those older than 60. I’d call this a win-win.

Catch the wind and dance in the rain. Spring is the season of both wind and rain.  We tend to feel uneasy when the winds of change come blowing in and the spring rains bring with them gray, solemn days. Be whimsical like a child and take a moment to feel and be grateful for the rain drops. Fly a kite and watch the winds blow or the waves come in on the water.

Get outside, experience the elements and you might just find a new friendship, a new part of yourself or a reawakening of your inner child. It’s within this upward movement of spring that our emotions rise, and we gather a new sense of purpose, courage and the desire to create new experiences. All things are possible if you allow nature to be your guide.