It’s the first day of Spring! Across the world many people look at this time of year as the perfect opportunity for both letting go of the old and of bringing in the new. What a glorious time of year! Things start to blossom, the days become longer, and an overall optimistic energy seems to fill the air. But first lets all officially give a warm goodbye to winter…
GOOD BYE WINTER!!!
Yesterday I officially became a Catholic. Why? … and what does this have to do with Spring renewal?
I decided to attach myself to Catholicism for a few reasons. The first being my heritage, I am half Italian and my father Eugene Raymond Pauline a.k.a. “Geno” is a devote Italian Catholic, he goes to mass every day. I love him more then anything and want to create this special connection with him to add more value to the time we have together as “earthlings”. I will write more about this later but this is the primary reason. Additionally, Ross and I plan to get married in January 2014 in a beautiful Catholic Cathedral in Mexico, one of us needs to be Catholic, so it’s going to be me. Lastly, I love ritual. Love it. My morning practice consists of it, my special bed time consists of it and now I am ready to make it a part of the changing seasons in my life. Combining ritual with the changing of seasons is a great way to connect your spiritual core with that of the planet.
The one thing constant in life is change. Nothing stays the same and life becomes more full when we not only meet the changes but assist them with willingness.
Here are five beautiful Spring rituals to assist with letting go of the old and bringing in the new. None of these five rituals are original. All of them have been shared with me by my own gurus to whom I am eternally grateful. I am happy to share them with you and I hope you try some and experience the wonderful sensations of lightness of being and cleanliness. By practicing these rituals we can assist the powers that be with welcoming in change, change that will help us become closer to our creator.
1: LET GO
Make a list of BEHAVIORS or FEELINGS that you want to be rid of.
*Resentment or frustration towards a co-worker
*Jealously or comparison
*Judgment towards the self/negative self-talk “I shouldn’t have eaten that… I should have done XYZ…ect… ”
*Gossiping or incessant meaningless rambling
*ALL pre-conceived ideas of the self both good and bad. Simply live as yourself in this moment
2: CLEAN OUT
Get into your closet and get rid of anything that no longer suits you or better yet, anything you haven’t touched in a year. One idea is to organize a clothing swop with your friends. Everyone brings old shoes, clothes, bags, and books and have a party! You will leave with some treasures from your friends. We did this a number of times in Beijing and I still wear things that were once my dear friends in China, it makes me feel so good. 😉 All of the left over goods can be donated to a local charity. Next head to the kitchen and do the same!
After cleaning out your emotions and your closet, lets get into the body! The digestive system is constantly working and could use a break once in a while. Try one of many versions of fasting.
*Don’t consume anything but water one day out of the week or one out of every eleven days, as they commonly practice in India (according to Natwar our lovely guru from Rishikesh Yog Peeth)
*Only consume veggies or fruits for one full day, or even for a full week
There are endless variations of fasting worthy of another whole post. After the fast begin to contemplate bigger dietary changes that you can make to sustain positive energy and nutrition through out this incredibly powerful season.
Make yourself a gratitude list. Get a piece of paper and some colorful pens. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
Make it a long, full list, and as you write it constantly thank your God for all the blessings you have received. No matter what you believe in… just show some gratitude for your life. This attitude of gratitude at the start of Spring will set you up to approach life with a healthy pair of eyes. Our perspective and attitude towards our life makes a huge impact towards what comes into it. By being positive and grateful, we are welcoming positive changes. Remember that, “the seeds we water are the seeds that grow”. By starting Spring with gratitude for all we have been given, we show the universe we are willing to work with it and that we are ready for more.
Make a vision board. Spring is the perfect time to get busy on projects you have always wanted to take part in. Get a large piece of foam board and some magazines. Cut out pictures and affirmations of things you want to bring into your life. “I am happy” “I am wealthy” “I am healthy” are some GREAT things to include. What ever it is you would like, include it! Want a big comfortable bed? Find a picture and glue it down. Want to find yourself in hand stand? (I do…) Put it on!
There are so many success stories of people who have put together vision boards, that it is certainly worth trying. If you are a believer in any variation of the “supreme universal power” and would like it to be more powerful in your life, perhaps start an “Artists Way” group. Getting meetings started with fellow writers, artists and yogis, so that you can support each other with all of your creative endeavors.
These five rituals are a great beginning. I have a lot of work to do today… and I look forward to it! I hope you do too. Now, returning to my desire to become Catholic…I purposely went to Saint Thomas Moore, my dad’s Catholic church, on the last day of winter because I am ready for change. Regardless of if I believe in all the intricacies of the Catholic faith, I don’t think it matters. The point is that I have a willingness to go deeper spiritually. Father Doug told me that God takes us as we are, and I fully believe this. I also know that God hears our desires and our intentions. My main objective this season and hopefully every other I have the pleasure of living is to become closer to my creator. Ritual is an important factor in this, simply because of PRACTICE. Enough practice of anything can make anything possible. So lets all let go of the old, and welcome in the new, with a positive attitude, and then see what miracles abound in Spring 2013.