On the Verge of the Vernal Equinox

Your rite of Spring—time for renewal and rejuvenation.

Posted Mar 18, 2012

From: The Emotional Calendar

We are only days away from the Vernal Equinox with the sun center on the equatorial plane and the days and nights of equal length. Interesting astronomy aside, this means spring is just about here!

Think of in how many ways you appreciate this. We'll look outside in a moment, but first let's look inwardly. Do you already notice the upsurge of restive energy that heralds spring? There is an increase in metabolism and turnover of brain neurotransmitters. That revving up is the basis of spring fever, which is happening even on a cellular level. In The Emotional Calendar, I explain in considerable detail how we can expect and harness the energy that comes along with spring. Start by asking what or where spring has brought you in the past. Ask yourself: what have I come to expect from springtime? Here we are on the verge of something big—the season of renewal. Let's take stock of what we can look forward to.

There haven't been too many big holidays or built-in causes to celebrate for a while. Things quite down after the start of the New Year usually. We move on through the winter doing the best we can. Hopefully you found your way and made the best of what it has had to offer, whether you are a winter enthusiast or not. So spring should be all-good, you might hope or expect. But beware. Outside, its getting warmer and there is indeed more daylight. There is also more and more pollen. For some the real itch of spring is not that inner restiveness, but rather seasonal allergies, which can be truly daunting. Counter-intuitively, some people feel really overwhelmed with all the increased energy and life force that comes with this season. As a striking example of this, suicides peak in April. Beware. Seek support and counseling if you feel out of sync with the season's positive offering.

Me? I used to look forward to spring break from school and I become conditioned to expect a ritual trip to someplace really sunny and fun. I am still geared up for my rite of spring, even though I don't get it anymore as I used to. Now I have to plan carefully and coordinate my professional schedule with the family schedule. Last year I had travel plans all set and could hardly go last minute. I found a nice compromise—even though it wasn't half as relaxing as I wanted. This year, no can do at all, but I am making other plans and staying focused on the good parts of what's happening for me rather than lamenting what I used to do but can't. As a colleague reminded me: "the only thing constant, John, is change." I know this. We all do. The issue is that we are conditioned by earlier experiences with springtime. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures of this spring cue us to remember and relive aspects of springs past. I say, know this, expect this, and prepare for this. Then make a plan and do the best you can. That will lead to something you can feel good about, certainly.

So, be realistic about what the spring offers and find a way to harness the rise in available energy and put it to good use. Now—right now—is a great time to list a few spring intentions. What could you do to improve your springtime? Will it involve a whole transformation or just a few choice adjustments? I recommend at least two spring spruce ups in your personal environment, and at least one spring commitment in your personal routine, attitude or outlook. Give it some thought. This is absolutely the most natural time of year to renew, rejuvenate, refresh, recommit—all for the sake of making yourself happier, more fulfilled, and in control of your life!

It's a beautiful warm sunny day right now. I'd better stop blogging and go get me down to the river.