March 16, 2020

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

- Margaret Atwood

 

Spring is a season of transformation. An expression of the delicate dance between what was and what will be. As new life breaks free from winter’s restraints, the earth continues its voyage around the sun, bringing longer days and warmer nights. This changing landscape harbours a certain rawness that can leave us feeling exposed, yet filled with possibility. It encourages

us to reflect, to learn from the perfection that is all around us, and to find inner presence amidst inevitable change.    

Many of us have grown accustomed to our seasonal self-care routines. First and foremost, we designate a weekend for spring cleaning, to cleanse ourselves of those unwanted guests that accumulated during the winter months. We gather our cleaning supplies, designate a thrift store box, and fix, mend, sweep, mop and dust the dirt and cobwebs from our lives. Why do we do this? Are we simply motivated by the knowledge that a clean house is easier to maintain a busy lifestyle? Or are we so resistant to our own, internal ‘dirt’ that we feel the need to do everything we can to remove it from all aspects of our life?  

This year I invite you to defy the urge to spring clean (at least temporarily!) and spend the season learning to accept your ‘dirt’ just as it is. As humans, we often instinctively resist our naturally changing landscapes and try to force our realities into specific, pre-determined moulds. Like a chainsaw slicing into an old Oak tree, this only disturbs the natural flow of life and creates imbalance within us. In order to heal, we must learn how to accept the undisturbed reality of our landscapes and truly inhabit a quiet inner presence. With no judgement or resistance, without first hiding the uncomfortable parts or putting on glasses to distort the picture, let’s simply grow very still then acknowledge and accept the roots that ground us and the branches that set us free.    

The natural environment provides a perfect guide for our seasonal self-care journey. It effortlessly illustrates the interconnectedness of life and reveals to us our shared ability to endure despite external challenges. Unlike many humans, trees do not wait until a storm is brewing to firmly spread their roots nor does a drop of rain water choose to hydrate only plants of a certain colour. Through quiet observation of nature, we can learn how to embrace the seasons of our life, allowing them to move through us without resistance.

Now, set aside your habitual springtime routines and allow the dust to settle with these seasonal self-care tips: 

  • Go out into nature by discovering a new hiking or walking trail. With no goal of making it to the top before anyone else and with the sole intention of learning from the life that surrounds you, try slowing down your pace and taking regular breaks to simply observe.  
    • “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” - John Muir
  • Put out bird seed or fill your hummingbird feeder, then sit back and watch the birds’ natural habits and interactions. Consider what they can teach you about living in the present moment, or about communicating without words.   
  • Dig in the dirt, plant some vegetable or herb seeds, or pull weeds in your neighbour’s garden. Stop to watch an earth worm’s meandering journey or an army of ants’ quest to bring home food for dinner. Allow the dirt and mud to settle under your fingernails and into your skin without running to the bathroom sink for soap. 
  • Learn how to identify and harvest wild plants and roots, then truly connect with the circle of life by bringing them into your home for dinner. Choose recipes that preserve the plants’ medicinal properties and prepare the food with presence and love.   
  • Pick something in your life that is causing you stress, then sit quietly in nature and bring it to mind. Breathe in deeply, exhale, and visualize the stress just as it is, letting go of the emotion and habitual attachment surrounding it. 
  • If the weather is preventing you from leaving your home, bring nature and seasonal self-care inside:
    • Put a few drops of Back to Earth’s At Peace Synergy Oil Blend into your diffuser or onto the tips of your ears, then find a comfortable place to sit and breathe in nature’s fragrance.   
    • Turn off your phone, lock the front door, and feel nature’s comforting embrace in a warm bath filled with BTE’s Clarity Muscle and Joint Bath Salts .  

Written By: Zoë Tomichich


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