Happy Spring

Little chicks on a flower meadow

Spring is a time of rebirth. As we transition from the cold dark shadows of winter to the bright fresh days of spring it often instills an optimistic feeling. The days begin to lengthen, trees bud, and flowers bloom. With the time changes and extra daylight, many people begin exercising more and spending additional time in nature. Some may take up a new hobby or join a group activity. What do you plan to do with your extra daylight?

Plant A Seed

Time to plant

I have heard it said that when you think times are the darkest, when there seems to be no hope, you may think you have been buried; however, you will undoubtably find that you have not been buried but planted. If you are going through a rough period and things are not flowing the way you think it should, consider this thought. Maybe you have been planted and are in an incubation period.

It takes time for seedlings to sprout and bloom. In order to nurture and protect the seedling we need to provide nourishment, water, and food from the soil. As it begins to sprout it is fragile and may need shelter from the wind or storms.

Storms with lightening

Perhaps your talents and skills are not being recognized at this time. It might be because “those in charge” are blind and unable to recognize your greatness. It could be because you have a little more development to do before you are “ready” for the task. The trick is to realize that what appears to be a horrible, dark, and miserable time may be exactly what you need to transform into the “fully blossomed” you.

Are there aspects of yourself you would like to change?

How might you improve your relationships, finances, health, or occupational skills?

Nurture, protect, and feed your seedling self so that you can develop into that fully actualized individual you want to become.

Can you think of ways in which you can take better care of yourself?

Relax

Maybe it is time to change the way you eat or get more sleep. It might be helpful to take a look at your sleep patterns and sleep hygiene. You might want to begin new habits of healthy living, or simply take time out for thinking, journaling, or meditating. Is this a good time to begin learning something new?

Take Time for Yourself

Set Goals

Consider what kind of blossom you want to become. If you do not know what kind of seed to plant this would be a good time to take inventory of your aspirations. What do you want? What does it look like? What does it take to get there? Create clear goals that are actionable. Think about how you can take steps toward your goal. Remember this is just planting a seed, not time to harvest the fruit. What steps will start you off toward the goal?

Visualize the Final Product

After you have planted the seed set your sights on your goal and begin to visualize yourself as fully developed. This is great incubation time.

What will you do differently?

How will you act?

Who will you be with?

After you get a clear picture of the actionable steps you want to take that will move you toward your goal, begin. Take those first steps. Once you start taking those steps, you will feel the sun on your face as you begin to emerge from the dark damp soil. Continue to nurture, protect, and feed your seedling self as you move into the sunlight.

Spring is an exciting season. Plant something worthy of your time and enjoy the fruits of your efforts when the time comes to harvest.

Reflections on Love

The week of Valentine’s Day seems to be a nice time to reflect on love. If you are in a romantic relationship you may have certain expectations regarding Valentine’s Day.

St. Valentine  was reportedly imprisoned and sentenced to death for marrying soldiers who were forbidden to marry. He also is said to have healed the sight of his judge’s daughter, whom he wrote on the day of his execution and signed “Your Valentine.” Thus, the first Valentine card was a farewell note according to Wikapedia.

Love comes in many sizes

Today we think of Valentine’s Day as a romantic day full of flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, and candle lit dinners. However, there are many types of love and relationships that should be celebrated, whether on Valentine’s Day or your day of choosing.

Platonic Love

One of the mainstream types of love is of course platonic love. Platonic Love is a strong yet unromantic relationship. The love between  best friends and the love of a “bromance” are thought of as platonic relationships. This type of love is often celebrated and acknowledged as one tends to cherish the relationship and makes attempts to nurture it.

Love of Community and Culture

Another type of love is that of one’s community or culture. We are proud of our heritage and “where we are from”. We celebrate our ethnicity with special events, dressing in traditional garb, and eating foods associated with our countries of origin. Love of our community or culture helps us feel a part of something. We belong to this group, this tribe. If you are ever feeling lonely, this is a good way to find people with whom you can bond on a broad basis.

Love for Material Things

Often we find ourselves enamored with the pursuit of money, wealth, big houses, fine clothing, jewelry, or vehicles. While these things bring joy, they sometimes lack the substance we seek and even with success one may feel empty. It is a good idea to review your relationship with “things” every now and then. This is an area that can cause stress and anxiety.

Familial Love

Another type of love is that of Family. You are born with a network of people with whom you are supposed to feel bonded due to blood and often being “stuck” with them for your first X number of years. Whether you like them or not, they are your family and you “love them”. You do certain things because of those relationships…because “they’re family.” Usually those relationships are unbalanced for whatever reason. The relationships of Family members is often the cause of much happiness and much pain. Most families are messed up and have problems of one type or another. So be happy with the love you have and receive from your family, but do not let it be the only support system or  the only love you seek.

Spiritual  / Unconditional Love

Spiritual Love or Unconditional Love is the type of love we see in those who are altruistic or charitable in life. The person who “takes care” of their elderly neighbor or a homeless person without any expectation of recognition. The compassionate, giving moments of one’s day when we smile at a stranger or open the door for someone, are generally unconditional expressions of love.  Some people seem to have a tremendous ability to express unconditional love, yet other’s seem to be so wrapped up in their own lives. Sometimes we are not able to show unconditional love because we have little of the last type of love I am going to discuss today…

Self Love

All the love in the world does one no good if he / she does not have self love. This is the key to having a full enough heart that you can share yourself and your assets with others. If you are afraid of not having enough or you do not feel love yourself it is often because there is a lack of self love.

There are many reasons why one may not have self love. It could be from a perception that one was treated poorly growing up or that other’s have done things that are abhorrible, which leads to poor self-worth. If this sounds familiar to you, it might be time to start taking care of yourself and start believing that you deserve love.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a good place to start if you feel you do not deserve love. Find a professional who can help you work through this because you do deserve love. We all deserve to celebrate our selves, our community, friends, family, success as well as failures, and of course our significant others.

Celebrate Love This  Week

Happy Valentines Day!