Spring is one of my favorite seasons because it is the time of year when nature is reborn. Fresh green grass starts to peek out from the brown grass of winter, the streams and lakes are full of fresh water from the melted snow, and tiny green leaves begin to unfurl on the tree branches. This rebirth reminds me of everything I want to renew and rejuvenate in my own life—new habits, goals, and motivation. Looking around at the natural world and matching its patterns to our own brings us closer to coexisting with it—to being in harmony with the natural flow of life. When I see winter turning to spring, I think about five messages spring sends us about life and our purpose in this world. I'd like to share them with you.
, spring is about growth. Looking around the natural world during spring, you will see things growing all around you. Plants that were dormant and leafless during winter will suddenly turn green and begin to grow rapidly. This change should signal that your time for growth has also come as well. Of course, this does not mean growing bigger or taller. Instead, it means growing spiritually and mentally as you commit to greater emotional maturity and strive to achieve your goals.
, spring is about balance. The spring equinox, which usually occurs sometime around March 21, is when daylight and night occur in equal length. This fact reminds me of the yin-yang symbol, where masculine and feminine energies are perfectly balanced. Likewise, spring allows you to balance your body, mind, and spirit. Take this time to create a better balance in your lifestyle, your diet, and your sleeping habits. Balance your working life with play and relaxation, bring more fresh foods into your diet, and make sure you’re moving your body regularly if you spend a lot of time sitting during the day. Also, work to create equilibrium of mind, keeping your mind calm and positive in the face of whatever challenges that life brings.
, spring is about cleaning. Many people use springtime for “spring cleaning” in their homes. This tradition is a wise idea and a great way to keep the energy flowing in your living space. Remember to do the same for your mind and body. During the long winter months, we tend to be less active, so begin to stretch and move your body more as the weather grows warmer, taking more walks and planning more adventures outdoors. And don’t forget to do a “spring cleaning” for your mind, examining and removing whatever negative thinking patterns may be holding you back from the growth and accomplishments you desire.
, spring is about rejuvenation. In addition to the new leaves and flowers that pop up during the spring, you will probably see many baby animals running around outside during this time of year. Baby birds chirp in nests, little ducklings follow their mother to the pond, and caterpillars emerge from their cocoon as new butterflies. Regardless of your current age, springtime can be a time to rejuvenate yourself and feel young once again. I recommend doing lots of gentle stretches to help your muscles and joints feel supple and youthful, and remember to breathe deeply since this will bring energy to every part of your body. Also, now is the time to recommit yourself to your goals and visions in life as you take one step at a time toward completion.
, and perhaps most importantly, spring is about life. As new life springs forth in the natural world, it is a beautiful time to look around at your own life and to feel gratitude for this immense gift you have been given, this thing we call “life.” It is all a grand, wonderful mystery to live here on this planet in the middle of this vast universe, and every moment of it should be regarded as precious. So, give a little prayer of thanksgiving to Mother Earth, who provides everything you need to sustain your life—air, water, and food.
We are lucky to live on a planet with seasons, a feature that only occurs because of a slight tilt and the axis of our planet’s poles. All four seasons are beautiful, and they all carry their own gifts, helping plants, animals, and humans travel through the cycle of life. But springtime is special for many reasons, offering us a unique time to grow and renew our commitment to life.
Editor's Note: To learn more about coexisting with nature and all life, please see Ilchi Lee's new book The Art of Coexistence, which he wrote in collaboration with Steve Kim.