Isaiah 43:18-21 “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
With the season of Spring, we begin to see the signs of new life around us...the snow has disappeared, the birds are returning, the days are longer, and the plants are beginning to peak their heads out of the ground. We feel the freshness of new life and new beginnings all around us.
For some people, winter has felt long and dark. Several found it difficult to move through the long season and hung on to resentments: feeling stuck inside due to COVID or cold temperatures, feeling stifled due to lack of socializing, feeling restless from limited activity. In our minds, we think we want something different than what we are experiencing, causing the effects of winter to drag on and on.
This year, I chose a different path. I chose to embrace each day and live in a place of acceptance as much as possible. I engaged in an online global community making new friendships and connections worldwide. I signed up for multiple opportunities to learn and grow. I found new ways to keep my body physically active. Yes, I missed the in-person connections, but I found gratitude for what I did have available to me and held onto the mantra, this too shall pass.
However, I had an unexpected sigh of relief after receiving my first vaccine for COVID. My body had been holding onto tension, unbeknown to me. Even though I was surrendering to the flow of life, my body had taken on the fight or flight mode. I recently heard an interview with clinical psychologist Christine Runyan who explained the physiological effects of a year of pandemic and social isolation. She explained what has happened at the level of stress response and the nervous system, the literal mind-body connection. Some of the symptoms include: memory problems, short fuses, fractured productivity, sudden drops into despair. I had been experiencing some of those symptoms but didn't make the connection to stress response, as I really didn't feel as if I was stressed. If you would like to hear more about her simple strategies, I encourage you to listen to the full podcast: https://onbeing.org/series/podcast/
Be gentle with yourself. Find grace for the moments when you fall back into the darkness. Hold onto hope as your new life springs forth. And in the words of Valarie Kaur, see the darkness as the darkness of the womb, not the darkness of the tomb, bringing new life, new beginnings each and every day.
May you be blessed as you co-create your new life turning to the Source of all!