It is hard to describe to you all of the feelings that I have felt over the last few weeks as the world around me has changed from a dark, dull monochrome into a sparkling, iridescent landscape.
I don’t think I really acknowledged how difficult winter was. Because it was a mild one. And because I had a lovely long break in South Africa.
But now I can see that between January and March I withered a little – a flower starved of light and moisture.
So when those first shoots of spring started to appear, when the first blossoms broke out, and when the winds of change brought warmth and colour into my world again, I have to tell you, it was remarkable!
With renewed energy and quite literally a spring in my step, I had to face the fact that I had been a little blue. It’s not that I was depressed (although I can see how that is possible) but I wasn’t exactly happy either.
So why is this? How is it that this seasonal change can cause such happiness? I’ve been trying to figure it out and so far this is what I can share with you.
The obvious one. If you think about my recent post about Italy, you will remember how much I emphasise getting in touch with your five senses. Visually, spring is just so pleasing! Everyday I marvel at the full, green trees that were only months ago completely bare and skeletal. Each day the flowers in my apartment block’s communal garden seem to multiply like magic. It’s as if they just appeared out of nowhere, like the universe is playing a trick on my delayed mind. I honestly can’t keep up with the changes in my visual field. And so I drink it in, and say thank you.
What is it about colour that is so visually pleasing? The vibrancy! The light! It’s like eating for the eyes! And what of this? Can we learn to be more colourful in our daily lives? I think so. Spring has taught me that I am happiest and the world responds most favourably to me when I am bursting with colour. So whether it’s literally about getting dressed in more colours or whether it’s about using more colourful language, I encourage you to express yourself more vibrantly, with more vitality and more light.
A part of me enjoys bundling up in lots of layers and wearing knits and beanies and scarves. I can humour winter for a bit because I like the fashion but after a while it starts to really get me down. The constant layering up and layering down, the heavy coats that constrict, and the genuine discomfort while being outside is enough to make this warm-blooded South African go mad.
The spring weather here is similar to a Cape Town winter (between 10-20 degrees Celsius) and yet to me it feels like heaven on earth compared to what we had. At first it’s a celebration when you get to leave the house without gloves on but lately I’ve been in t-shirts and just the other week I wore flip-flops! My good mood swells proportionately to the increasingly warm weather.
So what is it about warmth? Well for one, as mentioned before, it’s the opportunity to wear less clothes! I’ve spoken before about getting naked and how the more in touch you are with your own skin (again, the sense of touch is a biggy here) the more you can feel connection with the world around you. Now, I look down at my bare arms and truly relish the fact that I can feel the breeze on my skin.
Well probably the lesson is to live in a warm climate. But in terms of cultivating warmth internally, I would say there are a few things you can do. We are living, vital beings and we create and use energy constantly. If you can get in touch with yourself, with your fundamental human nature you can tap into a source of energy and warmth that is life-giving. Breathe, stretch, take it all in. You’re a warm-bodied, physical manifestation of human potential. Now go and inspire that in someone else.
One of the things that I have been acutely aware of recently is the sound of birds. It’s one of the most distinct changes in my environment. From about 4am every day their noises fill the air, and they are loud! When I think about the birds and their incessant chirping I imagine that they’re having a really good time. I think about how they’ve arrived in springtime with the intention to party. And their behaviour is very similar to my own when I’m at a party. They talk a lot! And they wanna meet and chat to everybody!
Spring has this really joyous feel to it, like the feeling you get when you first arrive on the dance floor at the start of an epic festival. There is a feeling of excitement and anticipation in the air and this fun, frivolous energy starts to bubble from within. I hope that you realise, though, that wherever you are in the world and whatever the season, you can tap into this magic feeling. I am a big proponent of fun. Hedonism for the sake of joy and sharing is a noble cause in my opinion. Work should have meaning but let’s never forget that life must also make you giddy with excitement sometimes. So, take yourself out dancing this weekend. Go run around with some children in a park. Take your dog to the beach and run through the waves. Have a dance party in your living room. Play board games. Whatever. Just make it fun!
Those birds aren’t just talking, let me tell you! Everything about spring speaks of sex. The birds are doing it. And the people too. It might have something to do with the layers coming off, because I can tell you I’m suddenly noticing people on the street a lot more than in winter when everyone looks like everyone else, bundled up with very little flesh showing.
It is a common notion that spring is the “mating season” for many mammals including humans. People often break up in spring and I think it might have something to do with the promise of summer and the idea that there will be fresh new options available for mating with.
Whether you’re with a partner or not, I think that spring is a good a time as any to get in touch with your sexuality. It’s not like you actually even have to act on it (although that’s always nice). Sexual energy resides in all of us and can be a wonderful bridge to accessing creativity and inspiration. Allow yourself to be seduced by your surroundings, get excited by the world around you, and feel yourself grow to meet the needs of the moment. And flirt! Flirt with yourself, with the parts of you that are sometimes hidden. Allow those parts to have a moment out in the sun. And flirt with the possibility of realising your dreams and those of others. Go out into the world with a desire to connect, with the intention to embrace, and with the longing to engage with passion.
All of the above contribute to something that I think is the most important symbol of spring: hope. Spring is the season of hope. It brings with it whispered promises of summer. It stirs in us a sense of something approaching, a sense of growth, of potential, and a sense of all that glorious hedonistic revelry that summer brings. What once seemed lost now returns. Nature explodes with colour and sound after being so quiet and dull. And the feeling is contagious. Suddenly dreams and aspirations seem attainable. And there is a sense of wonder and amazement in the world again.
Hope should be something that exists in all of us and should be accessed on the daily! Hope is what gets us up in the morning and what keeps us going when life knocks the wind out of us. Even during my most excruciating heartbreaks, I knew there would always still be that flicker of hope that allowed me to believe in love again. Even when I felt entirely incapable in a role and I thought I was doomed to failure, I got up and tried harder the next day because hope said it could be done. So…please let hope in. Let it rise from within and speak sweet nothings to your cynical mind. Let it seduce your senses, just like spring has mine. There is so much to be hopeful for. What a beautiful life this is <3