20 March 2017

10 WAYS TO EMBRACE SPRING EQUINOX

Today is the first day of Spring. Here in Paris, it feels more like the first day of winter, all the blooms which had brightly lit the path during last week’s reign of sunshine seem dull under the gray and heavy clouds that have set themselves stubbornly over the past week. But what today's vernal equinox offers is a promise that from this day of equal day and night, we'll be blessed with longer days of light. 

Spring’s arrival has been celebrated for centuries as a time of renewal and rebirth. When I was a kid, we celebrated the cycles of the earth and her seasons, honouring and acknowledging these changes and what they meant to ourselves, other species, and the planet as a whole. In Canada (where I grew up), there would still be snow on the ground more often than not when spring announced its arrival, so we would learn about the stirring of hibernating animals and talk about which flowers and leaves might be first to bloom around us. 

Over the years I’ve developed a few rituals I try to uphold during the week of Spring Equinox which allow me to celebrate the changing season and in turn, connect to myself, my partner, and the world around me.

- 10 Ways To Embrace Spring Equinox -
One. | REFLECT / MEDITATE
Meditate, practice yoga, or pull out a notebook and begin to reflect on yourself (and the world). Today is one of the few days in the year when night and day are equal so focus on your own personal balance, make a list of changes and growths you’d like to make to aid in creating further balance in your life. Journaling your goals for the year will help you to connect with where you are and where you’d like to go. It’s a great way to embrace a season’s change by checking in and connecting to yourself and encouraging personal growth.

Two. | GET OUTSIDE
I saw the most magnificent magnolia blossoms while biking around Paris this weekend. It was a grey day but somehow amidst the noise and litter of the city this whimsical tree, petals floating and falling around it, with the warm limestone buildings Paris is so popular for behind it. It’s important to have those moments, especially in the confines of city life, to find that fairytale bloom that lifts your soul, even on the dreariest of days. Get outside today for as much time as you can spare, leaving your phone and other visual distractions at home, so you might find and embrace the smallest details of seasonal change. Connecting to the visual side of our season’s changes will connect you to your surroundings, making room for new growth and positive change within you, and beyond you. 

Three. | EAT AND BE MERRY
Make yourself a meal using foods seasonally sourced from your local environment. Eating in season helps you to reconnect with, and be grateful for, the gradual and rewarding process springs blooming and budding brings, helping you to feel at one with nature amidst the craziness life brings. Gather some local seasonal veggies and try this GREEN GODDESS SPRING VEGGIE BOWL or SUSTAINING LIFE’S VEGGIE SOUP or something wholesome and hearty along those lines. 
Four. | CLEANSE  
New seasons are the perfect time to reset and refresh everything around you. Reducing clutter and cleansing your space to create balance. Survey your stuff as you begin tidying up your home, reducing clutter, organizing your objects and donating rid of ‘stuff’ you don’t need. Once you’ve tidied up, put about 13 lemons mixed with water in a big bucket which you use to wash all the walls, doorknobs, taps, floors and surfaces. Once each room is refreshed, light some sage, incense or palo santo and walk through each room making blessings in each one, this will help create balance in your home and offer new opportunities and hopes let it lift your soul. Try CHLOE’s CHEMICAL FREE DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS to get rid of grit before the lemon refresh. 

Five. | BEGIN
About two weeks ago I felt a sudden panic when I saw this day, the sign we are a quarter of the way through the year, was fast approaching. There are things on my ‘to do’ list from January which I’ve yet to follow through on, and habits I promised myself I would create or adjust which I’ve yet to give attention to. Spring is a time to begin anew and there is no better, nor inspiring time, than the present to let those hopes and wishes blossom and bloom.

Six. | FIND YOUR RHYTHM 
As Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth, establishing a new healthy rhythm will help you to create more balance in your life. Write out a schedule for your ideal day during the week which includes all the habits and doings you need or wish to do on a daily basis. Stick to that schedule as best you can for two weeks, after that the new routine will become a habit in itself which will make it more likely to stay. For the past week I’ve managed to follow through on one hour of exercise, thirty minutes of meditation, thirty minutes of French and an hour of reading daily, while still maintaining my regular work day. It’s increased my happiness tenfold and made me feel significantly healthier and more balanced.  
Seven. | BURN
Make a list of all the changes and hopes you have for the rest of the year and meditate / pray on them, allowing the words of hope and promises of the future to resonate within you. Light a candle and set those words on fire, catching the ashes in a pot. Gather the ashes and keep them in teh jar, you can take them to your favourite spot in nature and release them into the winds, or plant them into the soil of a plant you keep at home or in your garden so you can watch it bloom as you do. 

Eight. | PLANT
Bring the outdoors a little closer by planting some seeds in your garden, or if you don’t have a garden, buying some plants in, is a great way to welcome spring. Check what bulbs and seeds are ready to be planted in your local environment. If planting outdoors and find out what plants will best survive indoors if that's where your new blooming buddies might live. Check out this diagram which helps you choose your indoor plants based on access to light. 

Nine. | GET CRAFTY
I have a closet full of art supplies that I rarely use, and I often regret this. Take some time to create one of those projects you’ve been meaning to do, ideally something for the home which will act as a daily reminder of the healthy habits the equinox brought you. Even something as simple as painting a little rock will do. 

Ten. | START A NEW BOOK
The wisdoms of others are sometimes all you need to spark growth within you, so use today as an excuse to find a book to read which resonates with you. I have a collection of my favourite books HERE, but you should also ask friends and family for a list of their favourites too. It could very well be the best thing you do.

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