By Tania Tyler
Spring Equinox – March 20th – the day when day and night are of equal length, light and dark; nature in perfect balance. A day to celebrate the return of longer days of sunshine and warmth.
Spring can also be so much more if we observe how nature changes with the seasons. Spring is a time of new beginnings, new growth, planting seeds, purification, and for clearing out the old. Following the rhythms of nature and developing harmony with the ways in which nature cares for itself, we can also create balance within our own lives.
Trees, plants, grasses and seeds that have laid still throughout the winter slowly emerge from their dormancy. Buds develop and grow into new leaves and flowers, plants and grasses emerge through the ground from their resting roots, and seeds sprout; all from the extended sunlight, warmth, rains, and fall’s nourishment. Birds and animals are more active, returning to their daily routines. Try to take some time on the next spring-like day to notice all the new growth that nature provides us. Smell the freshness in the air. Listen to the song birds that have returned. Nature provides us with the hope and promise of new beginnings and growth after winter.
Winter was a time of rest, a time to replenish energy for the start of the “growing” season – Spring. Now that spring is just about upon us, it is time to listen to nature and utilize this energy, this potential for new growth. Seize this energy and blossom!
Spring cleaning is actually an old ritual that was performed to remove any negativity from the previous year and to prepare the home to allow for the new to come in. Spring cleaning can be thought of on many levels, from physically cleaning your home to purifying your body, mind and spirit. We all hold onto “stuff” – useless, outdated or worn-out items we’ve collected over the years, maybe a couple extra pounds, and chances are; old emotions, hurts and pains. Spring is a great time to release ourselves from the past. Change allows us to grow. We all need to grow and develop, to explore possibilities. Living with the past keeps us in the past, missing the present – missing what we are now, what we can be. Breaking free from the past allows us room for the present – be it closet, attic or emotional space. Once we release ourselves from the past, the present is free to enter into our lives. We are free to continue on with our journey, to experience life fully as it is meant to be. Open the windows, let the fresh air in. Try not to look upon the cleaning as a chore but as a chance to let “the new” into your life.
Spring is also a good time to cleanse our bodies after the sluggish winter. Our energy levels are high, and fresh foods and herbs are more available. A rest from the heavier, warming foods of winter will work wonders to rejuvenate and remove toxins from the body. Eating only fresh fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas, lots of water and steamed or raw vegetables for several days will start you on your way to better health and nutrition. There are many methods of cleansing diets and two books that provide a wealth of information are “ Staying Healthy with the Seasons” by Elson Haas and “ The Ancient Cookfire” by Carrie L’Esperance. Several useful and abundant herbs for spring cleansing include: dandelion root and leaves, stinging nettle, chicory, parsley and peppermint. A brief overview of these spring herbs will get you started. Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A and can be used in salads or as a tea. Dandelion roots can be made into a bitter tea (don’t sweeten it, the bitterness is how it works – you’ll get use to it) as an excellent tonic for the liver and blood purifier. Dandelion roots are very high in vitamins and minerals. Nettle is high in chlorophyll to provide energy and acts as a very good blood builder. Chicory and parsley have some of the same properties as the dandelion greens. A strong peppermint tea freshens the breath and body odors as well as relieves headaches. During a cleansing diet, the toxins you have stored in your body are released back into your blood stream to be released. It is vital to consume lots of water, with lemon is ideal, and get fresh air to flush these toxins out of your system.
Plant your “seeds”. What are your goals, dreams, aspirations? What do you want to harvest?
Start your groundwork now, the lazy days of summer will be here before you know!
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