The budding and blossoming of life at this time of year is a reminder, not only of impermanence, but of the storehouse of resilience that exists in nature and in us. Indeed, it would prove hard not to notice the birdsong and the new life unfolding all around us and stirring within us at this time of year. We are consistently moving forward in our lives, even unknown to ourselves, turning with the seasons. I’m writing this as I look out the window on a rainy Sunday, the soft weather an invitation to rest. My lovely little dog is resting beside me, diligently licking her paws. I notice a sense of being happy for no reason writing this, life feels quiet and spacious in this moment, nothing to do, nowhere to go.
I deliberately pay attention to moments of simple, everyday contentment when I notice them and feel in every part of my being, a felt sense of gratitude washing through me. I fully appreciate such moments now, as it is never too far from my mind or heart, how challenging grief, loss, and change is. Yet slowly, over time, these experiences get woven into us and, perhaps like the new buds and blossoms, we emerge as newer versions of ourselves, in many ways the same as before, but wearing life a bit differently now. A little more fragile and vulnerable but with an inner resilience, still able to plant seeds, to nurture ourselves, grow, bud and blossom and more inclined to foster what really matters in life.
Nature really matters, and it is a real joy at this time of year to notice life renewing itself, offering us amazing displays of new growth and colour everywhere. Looking out the bay window at Myross Wood House the other day, I spotted some fresh Spring flowers that had just blossomed lowdown on the ground outside. They were different shades of purple, with mottled, quite delicate looking petals. My mind immediately leapt into the future, and I felt a sense of panic inside at the thought that they will soon be gone again! Aware of this panic, a kind of bittersweet reminder of the seasons of life, I paused, gathered my attention back to the present moment, and, using my senses, slowly and consciously took in this beautiful sight before me, savouring these surprise gifts from nature that will certainly soon be gone.
My panic over the beautiful flowers not lasting long, I view with a sense of humour now, but it reminded me of a powerful lesson in mindfulness, to appreciate things while they are still here with us, now, in this moment. How often are our minds in the future or the past, instead of enjoying what is right here in front of us? There is a simple wellbeing practice called ‘mental subtraction of positive events’ which encourages us to appreciate the positive things in life by imagining our lives without them. Soaking up the goodness of people, places and the life going on around us now, helps us, not only to enjoy our present moment experience but to build a storehouse of long-term memories to fall back on.
And it’s no harm to remind ourselves that things don’t last forever if it means we can take time to slow down and appreciate all that we have a little more. So, no matter how busy life is, try to take every opportunity you can to spend time with and savour what is good in your life, including yourself. We can tap into our own internal resources, our inner spring of goodness as we journey through our days. And whether we’re moving a little tentatively or bursting forth in our full power, just like the nature that we embody and that surrounds us, we can integrate all the changes each season brings, renew ourselves and begin afresh in every moment.
It is the loveliest time of year for new beginnings, monthly ‘Simplicity and Ease’ workshops are on at Myross Wood. The next workshop is on Sunday, April 23, from 2-5pm and offers a gentle introduction to compassion-based mindfulness, using indoor and outdoor settings.
Drop-in compassion-based mindfulness sessions at Myross Wood House, Leap (CECAS.ie) on Tuesday mornings from 10am-11am. €10. All welcome.For more information: www.mindhaven.ie. Phone: 087 2700572 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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