My daughters have started craving more outside time, and I’ve enjoyed watching them play. The weather is warming up and we’re shedding our layers. We’ve taken to sniffing the rosebush along our sidewalk.
During one recent walk around the block, I saw my girls blowing on dandelions and heard the voice of Ralph Waldo Emerson in my mind: “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
Questions followed, I thought to myself:
Could that be the message spring is trying to send me this season?
After a lockdown winter, was that why vernal sights and fragrances seemed so magnetic?
For many years, I gravitated towards perfectionism and did not know the benefits of patience or how to be patient. But, with time and willingness I have learned. My greatest teachers in patience have been my recovery, the teaching of yoga, motherhood, and nature. Perfectionist tendencies like to convince us that everything needs to be just so. Nature, however, contains an endless well of patience with no worry of perfectionism. Nature is devoted to the experience of life, not the outcome of it. And witness the fruits of her wise labor: radiant blossoms, sun-kissed fruit.
During those cold, short days of winter, my muscles had tightened with anxious worry about life during a pandemic. In springtime, I get to make space to step back from the tendency to control, and detach from these worries. Now is the time to notice my children’s joyful attitude, to open our windows wide and let the light in. Maybe my mindset can mirror some of this energy in the air for the bright, extended days of spring and summer. How? By holding it lightly, meaning, loosening my grip on controlling the outcome of things, while staying present to the experience of each moment unfolding right in front of my eyes.
At night, while laying in bed preparing to sleep, I follow my breath in and out as a way to soothe and bring ease to my mind and body. In this way, I’m practicing the part of me that acknowledges recovery, like nature and all of life, is ebb and flow.
When I say, “hold it lightly,” what does that mean to you? Does it mean releasing the outcome of your efforts and what you can control? Does it mean doing your best and letting that be enough? If you’re curious to read more, keep your eyes open for the publication of my upcoming book, The Courageous Path to Healing.