Opening up to spring: blossoming into a higher version of yourself

Editor's Note: Liana Naima is a Reiki, breath work, and sacred sound practitioner based in Brooklyn, NY. 

     Winter is over. A season of deep introspection and hibernation has come to an end. Winter calls forth silence and stillness with a dash of passivity. If winter caused us to stand still and turn inward, spring signals expansion and growth. Spring welcomes the possibility of change and new commitments to self-discovery. With more daylight on our side, the energy inside of us is ready to assert itself. Donna Eden states in Energy Medicine,  “In nature, the energy that has been accumulating beneath the ground in winter explodes forth above the Earth in spring. Ideas or opinions that take root in winter now grow and expand until they ferociously burst forth.” It is time to sift through the dreamy, imaginative air of winter and ground our self in a deeper connection with Earth. As nature begins to blossom, it only makes sense that we do as well. Let’s do a quick self-care check in: How was your self-care practice this winter? How did you treat your mind, body, and spirit? What is the ideal relationship with yourself that you’re seeking? What habits or thoughts are preventing you from growth? What are you ready to embrace? Before moving forward, take however long you’d like to reflect on those questions by writing out your responses or mindfully reflecting. A season change is a transition. Grant yourself time to process growth and where you are in your journey.

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    Spring craves a connection to Earth and a rebirth of self through discovery. Caroline Shola Arewa reflects in Opening to Spirit, “When an individual is grounded [on Earth] she can choose to move in any direction. In a difficult situation, a well-grounded person acts mindful and doesn’t simply react. There are two primary modes of action we can take when times are hard – acceptance or change. We either surrender or shift.” Now that the season has changed, the choice is yours to either accept your reality as it is or ignite change. You have the power to direct your life in any direction you deem fit. Instead of playing small, play big this spring, by allowing yourself to express your passions, find inspiration every day, and share your beauty and truth with the world. Allow yourself to blossom by coming out of your shell and building a deeper connection with Earth by walking slower, taking in fresh air, looking at the sky, exploring parks, and being present with the rhythms of each day. Challenge yourself to attend social events and build a community. What are you interested in exploring and learning about? You can find community events like women’s conferences, wellness centers, or workshops through a quick online search. If you want to build your existing community, invite your girlfriends over for a movie night. Relationships are only as intimate as you allow them to be. Step out of your comfort zone by feeding your soul through nourishing experiences and connecting with your tribe and Earth.

    As we are expanding through self-reflection, by saying YES to change and community, we have to remain grounded and connected to the sacredness of our bodies through movement and mindfulness. Anodea Judith reminds us in Eastern Body, Western Mind, “Movement and change stimulate consciousness. They stir the watery essence of feelings that flow through the body… By moving the body, we build muscle tissue, increase circulation, stimulate nerve endings, and generally enhance the body’s flexibility and aliveness. The flow of pleasure and excitement through the nervous system bathes the organism in sensation and awareness. Movement has its own pleasure.” Being connected to the body means being connected to our own aliveness. To find pleasure in movement, we have to determine what our body is seeking. By being mindful of the sensations of our bodies, we can then respond accurately to its desires. If you’re seeking a gentler way to connect with your body, try Kundalini Yoga, Qi Gong, Acupuncture, Reiki, breath work, or get a massage. If you’re seeking a more intense connection to your body, try a dance class, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Bikram Yoga, or a high intensity workout. The beauty of the Internet is that you can find workouts and yoga classes for free, but there is nothing quite like feeling supported by a room full of people motivating you to expand. The magic of community spaces is interconnectedness and camaraderie. Checkout what your local studio or gym is offering. Begin to communicate to your body through pleasurable movement. Be present and open to the information in your body coming to the surface through movement. It’s time to spring into action mentally, physically, and spiritually.

    Meditation is the gateway into our holistic health. Through meditation we make sacred space to listen to our internal shifts and act with our highest good in mind. The act of just being with life requires slowing down to take in the sacredness of every moment. As spring may be pushing you to rush forward, move at your own pace, and come to meditation as a direct path of understanding your internal landscape. There are many different types of meditation. Find a practice that works for you.  A simple meditative practice I recommend is observing your natural breath more. When your breath is shallow, slow down and initiate a sacred pause by visualizing your entire body breathing. Inhale through your nose, allowing your stomach to expand, and exhale through your nose, allowing your stomach to shrink. The deeper, slower, and quieter you breathe, the more your body will recognize that it is safe to remain in a state of relaxation. Cheers to spring! Let’s blossom into a higher version of ourselves.