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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lighten the Load

Watching Spring unfold here in the northeastern U.S. is truly enjoyable for me. The “spring peepers” woke up last night, just as the last of the ice over the pond melted away, and our resident tom turkey awakened me early this morning whilst chasing the ladies with his morning gobble. Ahhh, Spring. Signs of rebirth, renewal, and rejoicing at the return of the sun to our side of the globe are all around us!

The earth comes alive as the dainty crocuses bravely bloom in the receding patches of snow. Daffodils raise their lazy heads as they seemingly race to catch up with the calendar on this year’s late start to the season. Tulips, hyacinth, and hosta plants bravely poke out from the leaf-laden ground. The air is filled with the echoes of phoebes finding mates, robins busily building nests, and the tapping of the red-bellied, hairy, downy, and pileated woodpeckers. Chipmunks waste no time getting right to scurrying, and the koi fish come to surface in the sun-drenched pond.

Winter’s hibernation is complete once more, the atmosphere is lighter, the sun warmer. Nature’s spring foods are bright green, delicate, and full of new life. As creatures of nature, humans can do well by following this rhythm. The sudden urge to open the windows, let the fresh air in, and do “spring cleaning” is our natural instinct to prepare our nest for new life.

Spring cleanses are very appropriate this time of year and include not only physical cleansing of winter’s buildup of fat stores, but also de-cluttering our home environments, cleaning up our thoughts, clearing out habits and/or issues that no longer serve a purpose for us, and simplifying our lives. Remember how it feels to clean out a closet? To give away or return something you no longer need? To discover something you forgot you had, or something you lost? This is what our bodies need. To clear out the tokens of yesteryear and begin anew.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Drink green smoothies-more bang than the chew
  • Eat salads-for fiber and chlorophyll
  • Find a local spring water source-water direct from the earth assimilates easily with our body’s chemistry
  • Consume minimal or no animal products-they are “dead weight”
  • Stretch-gets the kinks out of the limbs
  • Get out in nature-expands your awareness
  • Laugh-it boosts the immune system
  • Sing, Listen to Music, Dance-it frees the mind
  • Puff your chest, strut your stuff, and lose the winter fur-advice from tom turkey and the deer (it works for them)
  • Wash the bedsheets with drops of Lavender essential oil-freshens the room and you’ll sleep great too. *For an added treat, hang them outside on the clothesline. Delicious!
  • Walk-gets the kinks out of the bowels
  • Walk a Labyrinth-calms the mind and centers the soul
  • Ride a bike-fun exercise
  • Bathe in Epsom salts-magnesium for relaxing the muscles and organs
  • Journal-putting it on paper changes perspective
  • Meditate-finds your inner guru
  • Share-speaking out loud to a sacred witness is a powerful way to synthesize and process emotions

Once you begin to lighten the load by eating lighter and cleaning your environment, you will notice your senses become more discerning and your intuition sharper. You will have more energy and motivation to do more of the deeper practices of meditating or journaling. You can do it! Find that Spring sprout buried in your belly (second chakra). Nurture it with sunny, loving thoughts and water it with fresh, clean water. Give birth to the creative soul that is you!

More of Cathleen's published writings can be found on


  1. I love your tips, Cathleen. The notion that getting out in nature, laughing, and stretching our bodies is totally soothing. Thank you for this wonderful post!