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Spring ... and the not yet

Last week was the spring equinox, also known as “the first day of spring” in the northern hemisphere. I have very mixed feelings about this date on the calendar. I love spring … the scents, the warmth, the tiny changes every day that give birth to all manner of newness. The date on the calendar always makes me very aware that, where I live, “practical spring” is still a few weeks away. Yes, our days are warmer and the light feels brighter … and the snow still blankets everything and the wind still brings a bite that necessitates layers of clothing if I want to go outdoors.

I feel the distance between the now and the not-yet.

As I have been sitting with this feeling, I read a social media post by author Kaitlin Curtice in which she posed some questions for self-reflection rooted in her earth-based practices as an Anishinaabe woman. A comment was posted about the disparity between her pictures and the experience of those of us living in more northern climates. She responded so graciously, “Sometimes spring starts in our hearts and then the outside world follows a little later.”

This sentence settled into me like a seed in a little peat pot. This feels like a Truth for living. It isn’t hard to feel and see where our culture, our communities, our spiritual practices could be more inclusive, kinder, more nourishing for all of us. Some days the scope of the change I long for feels overwhelming.

The change I long for starts in my heart, and the outside world follows a little later.

I practice greater kindness toward myself. I tend myself as gently as I did my babies so many years ago. I listen to my own needs for rest, replenishment, nourishment. As I grow in my capacity to be with my own uncomfortable emotions, and give myself loving care, I also expand my capacity to be with the discomfort of the outside world.

I become better able to hold the tension between my inner and the world’s outer. I feel into where I can reach outward and still maintain care for myself. When I give from a place of inner care, it is service without expectation. It meets other where they are, and offers them the gift of unconditional presence.

From this place, dandelion seeds of healthy relating are released into the world. I don’t know where they’ll land or how they’ll sprout, and that’s okay. It is not my work to know.

My work is to stay faithful to what is sprouting in my own heart, to keep listening to what wants to be lived through me. I give and do from an inner wellspring of devotion rather than in attempt to meet expectations imposed or adopted from others. I am living my Truth, which invites others to do the same.

What vision of new life is stirring in you? What is the longing of your inner Truth?

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