Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.

Jonathan S. Kaplan Ph.D.

Urban Mindfulness


Spring into Mindfulness

Spring into Mindfulness

Posted Mar 17, 2009

Seasonal changes can facilitate mindfulness. As the weather changes, so does our perspective. Springtime, in particular, is a wonderful time to become more aware of the growth and life that surrounds us.

Yesterday, on my way to work, I paused by a cafe in order to tie my shoe. As people rushed around, I looked up at the ragged tree next to me. Initially, I dismissed it as a dirty mess of barren branches, seemingly devoid of life. (Not very mindful, huh?) Looking more closely, I noticed many small bumps on the branches, especially at the tips. These "bumps" actually were tightly curled, greenish-brown buds. A sign of spring! Gazing at the nascent buds provided a moment of stillness, which grew into an optimistic feeling of hope and renewal. Altogether, it was quite a nice experience, prompted by an untied shoelace.

So, as you walk outside today, emerge from the visual stupor of winter, and take in the signs of the spring. Pay particular attention to the trees and bushes around you. Is this the same tree or bush that you've seen all winter long, or is there something different about it? Looking at the hedges around your office building, you might see bright green tendrils reaching skyward. A close examination of the sidewalk might reveal some tender blades of grass.  Or, as you pass underneath a tree, you too might see the buds of leaves and flowers yet to come.

With these observations, you might notice a feeling of optimism creeping into your awareness. Spring is coming as we emerge from the cold days of winter into the warmth and freshness of a new season.  Somehow, despite our grim economic reality, flowers still bloom and trees continue to grow. Now that's change to believe in...

Repost courtesy of Urban Mindfulness