As part of our Spring Attunement, we’ve rounded up some of our on-call wellbeing experts to share their tips on aligning body, mind and spirit in time for Spring. One of them is Naturopath and wellbeing expert Jane Kersel, who shows us how we can 'Spring clean' and clear the mind with an introspective practice, which can help us embrace renewal . Read on for her Springtime ritual...
Mother Nature is always such a beautiful woman to follow, she knows exactly how to balance and take care of herself, whatever we humans seem to throw at her. The 20th of March 2015, sees the arrival of The Spring Equinox - a time where the sun is at right angles to the Equator, which creates a poignant balance of equal hours of light and dark. From that day forward we move fully into Spring and gradually increasing hours of daylight. Hooray! Who doesn’t feel better when the sun is high and the sky is blue?
Energetically this natural occurrence has a profound effect on us - the planet literally creates a huge surge of energy for renewal: buds start to abundantly blossom, shoots start to grow and nature begins to unfold from her wintery sleep. In turn, that creative planetary energy has a huge impact on our own energetic field (prana, chi, life force - whatever term you like to call it): without getting too scientific, there’s an upsurge in photon activity (light) which literally encourages our cells to shed their heavy wintery load and release. So essentially, it’s the very best time of the year to detoxify on all levels: physically, mentally and emotionally.
If you are an energy sensitive you might even feel the change in direction in your own energetic field, as now the energy moves up our fronts and down our backs, creating an expansive feeling about us. Stagnation is an expression of dis-ease and discomfort. If we want health and vitality, we need to get stagnation moving on all levels - whether it be in our lymph, our digestive system, our limbs, or in our heads and thinking - because a closed negative mindset is contracted and cuts itself off from all the good stuff in the universe that is waiting to be unfolded. So, how do we best help ourselves to slough off the old ways of thinking and open ourselves to all the new that is waiting to come in?
One of the best ways is to begin to shine a light of awareness on the thoughts we think over the course of our day. What judgments do we make on ourselves and on others? What do we make things mean? We are all very much like Pavlov’s dog: we get into a groove that’s unconscious and often not very healthy for us, and we just keep thinking and doing the same things expecting something to change. Spring is an invitation to awaken, just as Einstein said:
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
So here’s a profound little practice. Remember that the only person who can make these changes is you, so commit for a month and see how it goes.
Work-In and Meet your Inner Judge
Inside our psyche is a part of us that likes to judge - it judges us, other people, situations, events, things we think, others think, things we do, others do. When we are in balance, our inner judge gives us a fantastic discerning compass, but when it’s out of whack, it can become our harshest critic. This part of our personality is an energetic in its own right: it’s contracted, keeps us small, likes to beat us up and everyone else, but in a weird way, it thinks it’s protecting us. It judges to keep us safe: for instance, if we judge ourselves harshly internally, no one in the outer world can judge us more. Or if we judge out at someone else, again, it thinks it’s protecting us from getting hurt by someone in the outer world. The problem is that this part of us has been lurking deep in the recesses and shadows of our psyches from early on and it’s still repeating the same old judgments to protect us from feeling sad or negative. The problem with this is we are no longer the young children we were when we unconsciously developed this part of ourselves.
So here’s the thing: as you go about your day bring awareness, begin to watch what you judge and why, and look to see what’s underneath the judgement and does it serve you to think such judgmental thoughts? An example of this might be, catching the inner voice that says something like ‘That was a stupid thing to do”, “ You’ll never be able to do that”, “They can - you can’t”. Or with situations and people, watch what your mind judges about others - notice the negative default it can switch so easily to. A good question to ask yourself as you go about your day is:
“In loving myself in all my radiance and beauty, how do I choose to interpret this? And, “What other ways could I begin to see this?”
The only thing we can truly control in the world is our inner world: how we choose to interpret something, how we choose to think, what we choose to feel and say.
So, think of your mind as a garden and Springtime is the perfect moment to take a rake and begin to pull out the old stones, dead wood, knotted roots and to begin to get light and air into that fertile soil. Then we take some new life, in the form of spring bulbs and we sink them softly into the earth, we lovingly tuck them up, give them a splash of water and watch for the magic to unfold. So, be just as kind to yourself as you go about this simple practice and remember it’s not about chasing perfection, it’s about getting real to the strategies you deploy that keeps out the light and stops you growing into a more abundant loving life.
Jane is launching a library of on-line self-practices called "Work-Ins”. Each practice contains a filmed yoga/meditation sequence and PDF booklet that encourages and teaches women, in particular, to take pristine self-care not only of their outer worlds but more importantly their inner worlds - as Jane comments “Work-in and it will work-out”. Some of the practices feature naturopathic techniques on how to move lymph and create more light in the cells; how to create a deepening emotional stability such as building courage when we feel fear; and how to channel a deeper feminine intuitive energetic. For more info, click here.