Welcome Spring with a Ritual

Rituals are a great way to transition from one phase to another.  In my acupuncture practice I often recommend them to my patients who may struggle with a loss or a life change.  Rituals are also helpful for solidifying our intentions, expressing gratitude and appreciation, building community and supporting the connection between head/heart and promote forward movement.

While we celebrate the New Year in the heart of the winter season I always feel more inclined to do so when spring emerges.  To me it marks the true end of a cycle and beginning of another.  In addition, the energy of spring is intimately connected to our own ability to create a vision, set goals and act on them.  It has a very dynamic and creative quality fueled by direction, momentum and precision.  When we align with these qualities we can become in tune with the energetic movement of the season and in harmony with nature.  When we are in harmony with nature we not only feel balance, but we become deeper expressions of nature itself by consciously expanding our own liveliness.

Below is a suggested ritual to help you welcome spring and set your intentions:

–          Plan ahead for your ritual.  Set aside a day and time to hold your ritual.  Consider if you want to invite others to participate or if you want to hold it just on your own.

–          Set your intention.  Think about what you want your ritual to represent.  Some hold a ritual as a means to find more clarity, direction, and guidance.  You could also hold a ritual to mark the end of one year and beginning of another.  You can hold one to simply welcome spring.  You can focus on releasing old emotions, grief, or habits and make room for a new experiences to land.  Whatever your purpose of setting a ritual for this spring, be clear about it in your own mind.

–          Decide what components you want to have be included in your ritual.  For example, you may want to have candles to represent the beginning and ending of something.  Or you may want to have a bowl of water to dip your hands in and represent cleansing and releasing.  Or, appropriate for spring, you may want to pot a plant, representing the rooting of new beginnings.  Some rituals contain more reading or writing.

–          Enter your ritual with mindfulness.  Our mind is a powerful tool.  Few fail when they truly set their mind to something.  This means the more we consciously engage with our experience the more likely we are to get the result we want.  When it comes to experiencing your ritual, let yourself immerse in it.  Feel connected to why you’re doing it and what result you want from it.  Trust in your effort to have the experience and effect you desire.

–          Give thanks.  Gratitude is one of the most effective ways to acknowledge receiving.  If we don’t open ourselves to really receive our experiences we will feel disconnected from our efforts and likely disconnected from others or a sense of purpose.  Connection and gratitude are necessary for well-being.  Give yourself the gift of feeling thankful.