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Spring: A Time of rebirth
by Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 While January 1st may signal the beginning of a new year for those that follow the Gregorian calendar (most of the Western world), Spring (the Vernal Equinox) signals a rebirth. Whether we live in the Northern hemisphere or Southern hemisphere, Spring still has the same meaning, it just comes at different times on the calendar.

 Rebirth is more than just a new beginning as is the first of the year. It is a renewal of all that slept or lay dormant during the long winter months. Seeds are planted literally and metaphorically ready to burst forth in the months that follow. If our lives follow the changes of season, we reap the benefit of those changes just as nature does year after year. A plant, a tree, a forest grows a little each year expanding its branches and height as the seasons change. We do the same if we are but aware of it.

 Just as a tree can’t decide to stop growing, neither can we. What we can do is focus on where that growth will take place. If sunlight only is available to a tree on one side, then that side will grow toward it; the other sides will grow less due to the lack of sunlight. If we focus on only one area of our lives then that is the area that will grow, leaving the others nearly dormant. For example, if all you focus on is your job, your growth will only occur in that area. But even that growth will be small unless you decide to expand your view of your potential there.

 The growth area of our lives that affects all of the other areas is spiritual growth. The spiritual in your life is the macro area while all the other areas are the micro. For example, the sun is the macro area of our solar system while the planets and all that is on each one are the micro areas. Similarly our relationships, jobs, finances, family, health, and all the other areas of our lives fall within the spiritual. While each of the areas may interact with each other, they all depend on where we are consciously or spiritually.

 I hope that from what I have said above, you get that your spiritual growth is the most important aspect of your life you can focus on. Now I know that many of you will disagree and look only at the appearances that take place each day. But behind what appears to be is something you did that has some basis spiritually. Let’s say you got a raise at work. What caused that to happen? You must have improved what you do in some way to have earned the raise. What caused you to improve so that you got the raise? However it looked on the outside, it was some conscious desire within to do better, to improve how you do something on your job.

 Notice I underlined the word, desire, above. It is the desire for something that sparks the onset of growth in that area. It comes from within, and if it comes from within, it is spiritually related. By ‘within’ I don’t mean your thoughts. I mean insight, a feeling, something you can’t quite put your finger on, but it is there. This is the spark, the catalyst that begins rebirth; a change toward something new.

 Like plants and trees that burst forth with new life each Spring, we too can use the metaphor of rebirth to foster a new direction or path in our lives. If we don’t we are doomed to keep repeating that which came before – this is not growth; it is death. “An unexamined life is not worth living”- Socrates. We are given millions of examples every Spring of what new growth brings forth. How can we ignore that?

 How is your life different today than it was last spring? If you are doing pretty much the same things and feel the same way about your life, you have not grown much. Where do you see yourself this time next spring? Growth is not about planning, but keeping a consistent focus on change. Not change just for change sake, but making little shifts in the area(s) of your life that you feel need it the most. When you make shifts in your spiritual life everything else will adjust accordingly; it has to.

 What does he mean by spiritual I hear you ask? Good question for it means different things to everyone. How we see ourselves in relationship to a ‘higher power’ and the world around us is a place to start. But mostly, it is how we use the meaning of that relationship in our everyday lives. Instilling peace, unconditional love, gratitude, and harmony with all of life in all that we think, say, and do seems to me the highest way of expressing who we are. This is at least a broad definition of what I mean by ‘spiritual’; the use of it is the important part.

 Awareness and shifts might look like this example. Let’s say I am tired of being tired all the time, so I look into what might be causing loss of energy in my lifestyle. What foods am I eating? How much exercise am I getting? How’s my sleep? And so on. I might experiment in changing my eating habits by adding whole foods and reducing energy-robbing foods. I might find that my exercise routine has gone flat. These are the kinds of actions you take in order to make life-enhancing changes to your everyday life.

While you can indulge what and where to tweak on a daily basis, and eventually will, spring is certainly the time to review what is working and what is not. It is a time when all of nature is making its yearly shifts all around you, thus helping to motivate you to do the same. Life is not stagnant; it is ever changing even if you don’t notice it. Join the crowd (nature) and make a shift in an important aspect of your life. Plant a seed and watch it or feel it grow within. Wow! Your life just got better.

 

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