My gut reaction to this question is that the best time for a new beginning is—Now! Whenever you feel the urge to take action or create a change…make a start. Even if it’s only a series of baby steps, they can quickly add up to a remarkable transformation.
Recently, I traveled from the snow-covered grounds of New England to visit my family in the Midwest. While driving to my parents’ home, which is several hours away from the nearest airport, I was awestruck by the difference in weather conditions…
Trees were budding. Green grass surrounded the roads. Fields had already been planted. Spring had arrived, and throughout this small town, magnolia trees—my favorite sign of new life—blossomed overnight. After spending a week enjoying the warmer temperatures, I flew back home to discover our snow had finally melted. Spring wasn’t too far away for us either.
All these rapid climate shifts got me thinking, though, about how much this season tends to invite change. The concept is even reflected in our language: spring cleaning, a spring fling, and having a spring in your step. This time of year is all about movement and experiencing something new.
So this week, I’d like to reflect on the season of Spring, and how we can mirror its qualities to encourage our own abilities to change and transform.
Historically, things really did get started in the Spring. The early Roman calendar consisted of only 10 months, and began during the month of March. But there are also many other aspects of this time of year that lend it to being the perfect season for new beginnings.
Though Spring officially spans the same length of time as the other seasons, it seems to squeeze in an unprecedented amount of changes in just a few short weeks. As the weather transitions away from winter towards milder temperatures, barren landscapes begin to come alive.
It’s no wonder that our senses start to awaken at the same time. We’re drawn to Nature’s stirring, and looking for ways to mimic those outer changes within our personal lives and relationships.
During this time of year, plants are putting forth new shoots, flowers are blossoming, and trees are budding with leaves. Animals are birthing new life as well, and their young grow and develop rapidly.
We often experience an urge to emulate this growth by overhauling some aspect of our own lives. Maybe we pursue a new relationship or a deeper connection in an established one. There could be a project, hobby, or trip that calls us to push past our familiar boundaries. Physical transformations might be in the works for those of us who are eagerly dreaming of summer vacations. And on a more spiritual note, several religions and meditative traditions focus their teachings on this topic as well.
No one can deny the much anticipated loveliness of Spring. After a long, dreary winter, it’s a relief to witness the plants and flowers that are exploding into bloom. The sudden riot of colors, smells, and activity entices us to follow along in the joy of creation. Is it any wonder that we want to bring some of this beauty closer?
For some, this might be as simple as a bouquet of tulips or daffodils to brighten up a room. Or it could be a massive spring cleaning attempt… searching for a fresh start by arranging the objects and decor of our homes to reflect the beauty we see welling up around us. Going deeper, some of us are inspired by the simplicity and clarity of Spring, and regard this season as a time to renew our personal growth and beautify our inner landscape.
Spring is also a season that demands presence, as one change swiftly overtakes the last. Barren ground is broken by tender young shoots, which soon are blooming, and then fade as the days go by. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact time when the grass turns green, or when pale, young leaves deepen to the verdant greens of summer. If you don’t pause for a moment and notice the transformation occurring all around you, you’ll also miss the chance to witness your inner beauty and seek your own personal growth.
Being present to ourselves during this season is how we learn to value each moment for the gift that it is. Spring is a time of rapid change, and as such, we must be willing to slow down in order to appreciate its ephemeral charms. It is only when we pause, and acknowledge where we are in life, that we become truly ready to make a new beginning.
To take advantage of this season of growth, you must grasp how to apply the lessons of spring to your daily life. Plants have been fertilizing and procreating this way effortlessly for thousands of years. With a little reflection, we too can follow their natural rhythms and make a fresh start within our lives.
Spring is usually heralded by the uncovering of bare ground, dormant land waiting to be planted and fertilized so that the cycle of life can begin. If you long for a new beginning, first you have to be willing to let go of what is no longer needed. Just as a seed stores up energy for its period of rapid growth, so too will you need to prepare for your transformation.
What desire has been hibernating within you all winter, covered up by the layers of the past?
Just as the snows fade beneath warming skies, Spring can melt away your hesitations, worries, and doubts. While you anticipate your time of growth, recognize and let go of the outdated habits, thoughts, and behaviors that are no longer serving you.
Buds emerge on bare branches, birds begin to hop and soar with renewed energy, and broad fields await sunny days so that plants can sprout. The leaves, flowers, and flourishing pastures don’t appear immediately, though. Spring is a gradual process. Before new life can thrive, there must be room for it to grow.
Where are you ready for space to open up within your life?
Invite change into your life slowly. Allow signs of progress to wait, fallow and uncertain, while the real efforts of transformation begin under the surface. This inner work of preparation is necessary for the changes of a new beginning to take root and last.
Plants are moving and developing long before we notice the first buds or tender shoots break ground. Growth begins deep in the soil, where we can’t see. This is both a fragile time and an opportunity to develop a strong foundation for what lies ahead.
Where are you actively growing?
Maybe you’re making progress on a goal or project that’s out of the spotlight. Or you could be seeking change on a personal level, deep within your psyche. This might include:
Though we can’t observe the struggle, plants must expend a lot of energy to press through the layers of earth above them. It’s only after much effort that we enjoy their growth and blooms.
What obstacles do you face in your desire for change?
Common self-imposed barriers to progress include:
Being a beginner often requires a willingness to not know what comes next. Asking for help and committing to start again as many times as necessary will enable you to create the best way forward.
A few weeks into the height of Spring, when everything is lush and green, time will seem like it has sped by. Yet actually watching a blade of grass grow demands patience and perseverance.
Allow your change to proceed at its own pace. Instead of trying to rush things along, pay attention to the process…
What is being let go?
What are you moving towards?
How does it feel?
Have faith that just as the tree’s buds will always open into leaves and flowers, you too will find your way into your perfect becoming. There’s no need to force things, or worry over them, or micro-manage. By inviting change, and being present to each new day, your transformation will happen.
For your Small Step this week, I invite you to consider one area of your life where you would like to experience growth this Spring.
Once you’ve decided on something, take a few minutes to contemplate what meaningful change might look like for you. If you can get outside and breathe in the fresh air while you think, all the better.
Don’t assume you need to find a crystal clear direction. You don’t even have to have a clue. But asking the question is always an invitation for answers to start flowing towards you.
From there, download this free guide of bonus questions, designed to help you imagine your growth from seed to shoot. Write down your answers and keep them somewhere handy, so you can refer back to them. Before long spring will be edging its way towards summer, and you’ll be surprised at how much change has occurred.
I can feel my desire for a new beginning like the dewy sweetness that lingers in the warming air. This week I’ve set aside time to consider where purposeful change will have the greatest impact on my life. And I encourage you to do the same.
Whether you’re still shoveling out late snows or surrounded by glorious, colorful flowers, the time is ripe for a fresh start. Spring is a season of perpetual growth, flexibility, and motion.
Take the time to listen for what’s calling to you.
Encourage transformation in any and all aspects of your life, one small step at a time…