People love spring because it represents birth, a new start, potential, right? Babies are being born, dormant plants come to life, we see new growth. We also come out of our winter dens wearing our shorts, sandals and t-shirts baring our skin to the sunshine and elements.
This uncovering is not just physical but it can be psychological, emotional, spiritual and professional. I think pausing for active reflection while savoring the spring can be a reinvigorating and insightful experience. Take advantage of this time to really give yourself an opportunity to discover your own rebirth:
- Physical – You’re revealing your body to the world once again as you leave your coat behind. If you could take an objective look at your body viewing it inside and out with the standards of a person your age, what would your body be asking from you? Consider both health and aesthetics. Can you make a change to improve your body this spring?
- Cognitive – So many people around me have Learner as a top strength. You’re probably a sponge, soaking up information and knowledge about the world around you. Stop and reflect about your work/learning/education. What can you do to change and improve your learning and mental activity? What would be the intellectual equivalent to traveling to a foreign country or writing with your non-dominant hand? Maybe pick up a magazine or book you would not otherwise read. Take a routine at work and work on it from a different angle.
- Financial – Just like our thoughts are habits, so is our spending. You’ve just done your taxes hopefully, so you have a current perspective on where you are financially. What assumptions are you making about your money? Do you need to revisit your goals or your choices about money? What can you do with your money that will improve your overall sense of well-being? Is your money serving you well in this area? If not, make a new plan!
- Professional – Is your work feeling in need of a Maury Povich-type makeover? Perhaps you’ve been in your role or organization too long. How many days of the week do you feel joy, inspiration, satisfaction or love at work? How many do you feel frustration, bitterness, resentment or anger? Calculate the ratio. Does that number work for you? If you want to improve it, what small changes can you make to improve your well-being at work?
- Relational – Relationships are what makes our lives meaningful. If you were to die tomorrow, what relationship issues would you regret as you’re lying on your deathbed? What would you want to say to people? Who have you been having friction with, and what is your conscience telling you to do? Alternatively, what relationships are going well but that could get even better? What small ways can you create rebirth in a relationship, starting today?
- Psychological/emotional – I’ve learned over the years that the relationship that we most abuse/ignore is the one we have with ourselves. Imagine that you are your own spouse. Do you keep your promises to yourself? Do you always talk to yourself with kindness, love, and compassion? Do you give yourself what you need? Now consider the person who loves you more than anyone else in the world and they were talking about you (in your hypothetical role as your own spouse). Would they say it’s a good marriage or that you need to ditch that loser who is abusing you? What boundaries would they say that you need to set with your partner? How would you set and enforce them?
- Community – Many of us return to our homes as if we were long-term renters, never really engaging with the community around us. What are the needs of your community? Or, how can you contribute to your community to make it better? It might not be your neighborhood directly, but you are probably a member of many communities (spiritual, educational, geographical, professional). How might you deepen your engagement and relationship with those people?
Like those flowering trees and plants, you depend on having sufficient nourishment to thrive in any particular area. Are you getting enough water and sunshine, good quality soil and sufficient pruning? Or are you being choked by weeds? Tend to your garden this spring and see what grows.