March is one of those months where we haven’t left winter (at least in this part of the world), nor have we stepped into the smells and sounds of spring. It’s the time of living in the ‘betwixt and between’, a time of transition.
Transitions, I find, can be challenging because we are leaving what is familiar to us – at the same time the ‘new’ is not yet fully present and solidly anchored in our lives. In Chinese Medicine, March represents a predomination of the Liver system which means we are in a biochemical time of cleansing and purification. So too, numerous faith and spiritual traditions espouse to this theme of letting go or giving something up, of taking stock of one’s spiritual life as necessary for purification of the heart and mind. These natural cycles and rhythms of body, nature, and spirit promote multidimensional purification and cleansing and seem to be hard-wired within us to sustain good health.
Purification is frequently a process of cleansing, of letting go, of elimination. Our bodies, our closets, our souls, our budgets all need a quarterly cleanse and tune-up. Probably even our relationships need a time of purification. It fascinates me how often natural purification processes are built into our lives so the ‘new’ can come to life with greater ease, harmony and simplicity. Purification rituals cleanse and detox our pathways, whether they are our communication habits, our limiting beliefs, our liver or our heart and spirit’s connection with the Sacred, which may be cluttered with spiritual guilt and fear.
Transition and purification frequently come hand in hand. If we are not letting go of something once valuable, then we are taking action to launch or birth the ‘new’ or the more valuable. Where do we ground and centre ourselves when our bodies and spirits and lives are purifying, but the new has not yet materialized? I daresay we are meant to ground and centre in the richness of self love and in the abundance of Divine Love.
One of the gifts Carlie brings to me is her zest for cultivating a learning mind which help her build new skills to deal with ‘scary things’. As I watch her make great strides and put in effort to learn as a way to build confidence in herself, I realize this is one way she expresses self love. She is not a puppy, nor is she yet an adult with emotional maturity. She grounds and centres herself in play and love of learning in her transition from puppy to adolescence to adulthood.
I’m still taking advantage of the winter weather to get in more snowshoeing and playing with Carlie. Carlie completely delights in winter games and there is no time to be depressed about the inevitable transition from winter to spring. There is so much joy that can be awakened playing ‘snow jumping’. Every day she invites me to play, a way to ground and centre in loving myself. We play; we laugh; we make up games. My mind relaxes, my heart is delighted and my body is invigorated as the winter air reminds me the snow and winds are yet here to help me nourish myself with love.
In times of transitions and of purification, how do you nurture self love? When life around you is in transition, when the old must give way to birth the new or the ‘more valuable’ , what helps you to ground and centre yourself?
Life is full and overflowing with the new. But it is necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter. – Eileen Caddy