We see the signs of spring all around us... the robins return and flowers are popping. People exchange the snow blower for the lawn mower. I find myself wiping my dog's muddy, wet paws after a walk. Yes, this is how spring appears around us, but what does spring look like within us?
As spring unfolds, we have that urge to get up, get out, get moving, and get going. But, on the inside of our life, how does spring show up. After a long winter, spring can be the time of epiphany. Perhaps we are ready to clean our garage or declutter the basement. The chore is tiring work, but "feels good" when we see what we have accomplished. All these tasks are about making room or space in our house.
Likewise, I encourage all of us to take stock of what we have boxed up or put in storage in our lives that no longer serves us, things that take up space. At this time, what could we be making room for both personally and professionally? Maybe you have been contemplating a career move for a few months, a few years, yet, nothing changes. Perhaps you are thinking about starting your own small business or an entrepreneurial venture. What holds you back? Or, your children are at an age where you could take classes or enroll in college. You've been thinking about this for some time, but have not acted on it. What gets in the way?
Many people answer these questions with the quick response of money, time, or children. These are broad-brush, default answers that generally produce a sense of "why bother" or defeat. What would it be like to really ponder the questions and scratch beneath the surface to find out?
Just like useless, outdated, or unopened cartons of stuff piles up in our basement, we can accumulate unproductive habits and a sense of feeling blocked. As a result, we tend to have a feeling of being stuck and overwhelmed with ourselves. From time to time, we might shift the emotional boxes around, but still feel a sense of being blocked by our tendency to gather and inability to let go.
- Action starts with inflection. Do personal housecleaning. Do an inventory of your goals and yearnings. Look inside, what emotional baggage are you carrying? What unfinished business is weighing you down? Write it down.
- Examine the inventory. Sort out the old items from the new. What stumbling blocks have held you back from accomplishing your goal. Most of us are tempted to say, money or time. Be more specific. Dissect the issue. Get curious, after all, this is about you.
- Check in with your emotions. Fear can be a good motivator and a good inhibitor. Most of us prefer to be in the driver's seat of our life, yet sometimes we let fear overtake us and lose perspective on what we can accomplish. Scratch beneath the surface of fear and you will find other emotions can provide insight and internal motivation. Take some private time to be with the feelings. Go for a walk, sit at the park or take your pad of paper to the coffee shop. Be with the uncomfortable rather than avoid it.
- Prepare for momentum. Now that you have made space, what are you ready for? With more room to focus on a goal, you will be more likely to accomplish it and have an intention to succeed.
Spring is a time of rebirth. Use the metaphor of spring to find new energy, new focus, new clarity and new rewards in life. Excavate goals and dreams that are buried or toss them out and create something fresh. Spring is a season of change and action.
...and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin