Ah, it’s March – a time that symbolizes to many of us, renewal. With the arrival of spring and longer days ahead, it’s a time of anticipation and relief.
I love this season, perhaps more than others because it represents a time of hope and energy. We leave gray days and colder weather behind and the start of things coming to life fills us with greater joy.
Spring can come and go so quickly if we are not present to its every stage. I like thinking of it as a metaphor for life. There are so many aspects of our lives that come and go in the blink of an eye and that require us to be consciously aware in order to enjoy them fully.
I pause every spring to think about the next season of my life, what I want it to look like and how I want to engage in it. I do this with many of my clients as well. It’s like spring cleaning for your spirit and relationships.
Here’s a simple exercise to do that takes very little time, but can bring a deliberation to your life that will ensure greater happiness.
Think of one thing that you would like to leave behind, like winter passing. Write it down. And then write down at least two things you need to do in order for you to be successful in letting it go.
An example might be your tendency to complain about a coworker or your boss. If you’re not careful, these thoughts and conversations can fill you with anger, negativity and resentment…all of which will absolutely steal your joy…and the joy of others.
When I’m working to overcome a habit, I like to take two approaches: one very practical and the other, mental or emotional. Here’s what that would look like in this example.
Mental…On your way home from work, before you greet your special person, kids, friends, etc. take a moment to think about how you would like to experience your evening with them. First, think about what it would be like to share time with them when you are distracted, preoccupied and self-consumed. And then imagine the contrast. See yourself making a conscious decision to let go of the day that drained you in the first place. Visualize yourself being fully present with them, listening to them, sharing in the positive things in their day. Take your attention off of yourself and your challenges and meet them in their world. You are sure to feel better…and so will they.
Practical…We all do better with accountability, there’s no doubt about that. It holds us to a higher standard; it forces us to show up. Let your special person (friend, kids, etc) know that you are making a commitment to focus on more positive things about your boss or coworkers. What might that look like? NOT talking about them at the end of your day. This is your time to claim your evening and how you’d like to shape it. Once they know you’ve made that commitment, you now have their support. Let them know you’d like their gentle reminder that when you go into a negative space, they have your permission to point it out and redirect you.
I invite you to approach all the things in your life that need to be left behind in the same way. I have seen over and over again how deliberate living can change a person’s life in such a positive way.
Here’s to the start of a new season!