Vegetables, fruits, flowers AND your health do not just happen without some serious effort. How can we cultivate the seeds of our well-being in this season of growth and renewal? Here are 7 suggestions:
Find out what moves you from your core: It might not be your job, but that is O.K. My neighbor is starting a small garden in her New York apartment. Perhaps volunteering your time and talent for an hour each week is a good place to begin. Start a memoir, a collection or a scrapbook. Whether it seems big or small to the world, it is very big if it can stir your spirit. All great things start right there.
Engage in your community: All people need to feel as if they are an integral part of a group of people. Expand into some new ones by taking an art or exercise class, joining a gym or having a dinner party with an unusual mix of guests. Or perhaps it might just be taking the time to really listen to someone who is close to you.
Let your feelings flow: Moving through hurt, anger, frustration and all of our emotions is a key to health. The poet Rumi says it best in his poem “The Guest House” when he describes each emotion as a guest that comes to visit. “Welcome and entertain them all…. because they may be clearing you out for some new delight.” The important thing is that, like a guest, they should not stay too long! Let it be, then let it go. If you have trouble letting emotions go, get some help by talking with a trusted friend and/or a professional.
Be grateful for the beauty in your life: Beauty can be found anywhere if we look with a discerning eye. Notice it and give thanks for it. What we focus on grows.
Explore exercise and nutrition: The food combinations and exercise that are right for you are highly individual. Finding them may require some exploration. Have fun on your journey of discovery and research. Try tai chi or ballroom dancing. Gather a friend or two and go for a weekly hike. Take out some books on food from the library, or see a qualified nutritionist.
Sit in silence: The world is noisy. Without stillness, it can be tough to ‘hear’ where, when and how to move in our day to day lives. Try ten minutes of quiet stillness today.
Consider complementary wellness: Establish a relationship with an acupuncturist. You can ask your doctor if he or she knows of someone. Mine refers out regularly to complementary caregivers if he feels it will help. Acupuncture helps to relieve stress, which is the cause of so many diseases as well as a host of other symptoms and syndromes. You will discover a new perspective on your health.
Just like the seeds that are beginning to sprout, your health and well-being need some serious care to flourish. This first month of spring is a good time to start. You will thank yourself in later seasons!