Coach’s Challenge for 4/8/12 “Spring”
Good day, team.
This past weekend, all of the daffodils finally bloomed out at our property in the Columbia River Gorge. It makes me so happy to see them. Although the weather changes frequently at this time of year — light snow, hail, rain, sun — once all the daffodils are in bloom, I know that spring has finally announced itself.
This season of growth and fertility is a great time for new beginnings. Just as we watch nature transform itself from dormancy to activity, we also are encouraged to wake up and fully engage in our own endeavors. The coming of spring, reminds me of something I often tell my clients, “When the light is green — go!” The arrival of spring is very much like a stoplight turning green. Everything around us tells us to emerge, become, initiate, flower. Beginning new endeavors when the time is right can be critical to their success.
On the other hand, trying to get something accomplished when the time isn’t quite right — when the light is red or yellow — can be frustrating. No matter how hard you try to make something happen when the light is red, it’s not going to happen. Sometimes we are unsure whether it’s a good time to begin something new — the light is yellow. We proceed with caution knowing that we may be stopped along the way and often experience a slow down of events and accomplishments.
Many of my clients and friends are motivated by achievement and have a strong desire to keep going at maximum speed throughout the year, regardless of whether the time is right for various activities. They are frustrated by others who are not as motivated by achievement and blame them for blocking their desire to get stuff done. In fact, this desire for constant achievement can become an obstacle in itself. If you keep trying to go when the light is red — or when your own nature is calling for you to slow down — you end up crashing sooner or later.
Sometimes it’s difficult to tune into the shifts and changes of your own nature. It can be helpful to tune into the nature around you as the seasons change. For example, no matter how hard I may want my tulips to bloom in November, they won’t until spring arrives. So perhaps I should listen to nature’s message. Why not shift down into a slower gear in winter, while nature sleeps and gathers energy? Then allow myself to grow and blossom during spring along with nature’s budding flowers and trees. How about allowing myself to glow in the fires of joy and happiness in the heat of summer? And then harvest the fruits of my own labors along with the cornucopia of Indian summer and autumn.
Tuning into the flow of nature is not a new idea. Many Native American cultures observed the ways of nature and celebrated it with their foods, traditions and ceremonies. The Chinese Five Element Theory helps form the basis of Chinese medicine, feng shui design principles and many seasonal foods, acknowledging the five seasons: winter, spring, summer, Indian summer and autumn. Many native tribes around the world still use the seasons as hallmarks for their annual excursions and sacred ceremonies as a way of honoring nature with their tribal traditions. Going with the flow of nature — that of the earth and of our own true selves — just makes good sense. When I do this in my own life, I experience much less resistance.
This week, notice if you’re trying to make something happen when the time truly isn’t right, when the light is red. Do you feel like you keep hitting a brick wall? What kind of resistance is making it difficult to achieve your goal? Conversely, notice when your endeavors just fall into place with very little effort. If so, then the light is probably green, and it may seem like you can barely go fast enough to keep up. Or maybe you are just feeling your way, with a yellow light, and it’s a bit slow going with plenty of confusing messages along the way.
Whatever the case, try to tune into spring and see whether it can influence you with its growth and promise. See if by realigning yourself with nature, you can find the green light you need to proceed with a new idea or venture.
“The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other,”
wrote the famous concert pianist, Arthur Rubenstein.
This week, see whether you’re in harmony with nature and the changes it brings. What is nature encouraging you to do?
Have a good week!
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