I’m writing this at the beginning of spring in North Carolina. Today, the temperature has been much cooler than the past few days, the rains have just ended and the sun is starting to shine through the clouds.
I’m amazed (and I hope I never lose the ability to be awed by nature) at how much a spring morning rain shower can cause the tree blossoms to explode, annual plants to burst forth in bloom, and leaves to seem to unfurl right before your eyes. I looked out the window just in time to watch two birds frolic and bathe in small water puddles on either side of a storm drain in the middle of the street. I was tempted to run out and splash around too – it looked like such fun!
As I bounded up the steps back to my office, I realized that all the external signs of spring sure did put a spring in my step!
So, in this article, we’ll explore 5+1 ways to put a spring in your step regardless of the time of year.
#1: Be Alert! So often we go through the motions of our daily lives, head down, lost in our thoughts (often of how we’ll handle this or that future thing or playing over and over events of the past), and completely unaware of our surroundings. Have you ever been walking down a perfectly flat hallway and trip? I have. More than once, I’ve been barreling along, looking down, and not paying one bit of attention, lost in my thoughts, and trip over absolutely nothing…mindless.
By being alert and fully present, we are open to actually enjoy the journey instead of trying to be where it is impossible - in the future or in the past.
#2: Expect to be amazed. Like my experience today. I was working and just hung up from several back-to-back phone calls and was parched. So, I ran downstairs to refill my water glass. I took the time to look outside and watched the physical change as the sun started to shine through the clouds. It was amazing how life began to burst forth in so many ways.
Were the trees not in blossom before? Had the annual plants not already sprouted and bloomed? Were there not already signs of spring? Had birds not been around this area before?
Sure. Of course all those things were present yesterday and even earlier today. So, what was different?
I showed up at that moment expecting to be amazed and the whole world, from my view point, was obliged to comply.
#3: Shift your perspective. It was probably 30 seconds that I stood in amazement watching the scene unfold as I described. But, those 30 seconds of being completely conscious (alert) allowed me to really see what was there all along.
My outlook and attitude (i.e. perspective) on the whole day shifted in just a few seconds. Was it really because of the birds, leaves, blossoms, and blooms? No, those were there all along. It was me. I chose to look, be open, truly see and feel amazed.
We each have the power and ability to make such shifts. We can and do choose how we view the world. So, why not choose a point of view that makes you smile and puts a spring in your step?
#4: Choose to grow. Spring is often used as a metaphor for growth and new life. The spring in my step was a direct result from how I felt. How I felt was brought about by my choice of thoughts. I chose to think about all the growth and change occurring in the world around me and consequently I grew-energetically, spiritually and emotionally.
Growth truly can happen in seconds, in the “ah-ha” moments, when mind, body and soul align. Growth can also happen in everyday, ordinary things if we are willing and make it a conscious choice.
So, nurture your soul. Realize that you always have choices and choose those that help you grow in all aspects of your life.
#5: Accept help. Help can come in many forms. We often limit our choices by only concentrating to what we know. There are many more possibilities and sometimes they come through friends, family, co-workers, partners, professionals (specialists, teachers, mentors, coaches, etc.), and even little bathing birds.
Be willing to receive and accept help. We cannot possibly see or know everything, and clarity often comes when others show us alternatives.
+1: Enjoy the journey. Be kind to yourself. Don’t get so lost in going through the motions of living that you forget to live. Choose to put a spring in your step each and every day.
How will you put a spring in your step today?
Abound in grace, Karen