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Spring: Moving Forward

How to open up and reach out with courage.

Spring season is breathtaking: Clouds gather in clusters of gray. The rain drops begin to drum on the soil. But suddenly the sun bursts. And just as fast, it’s gone. Dark clouds intensify in the distant background as the sunlight filters through like a thin film bringing vivid images. The wind gusts unexpectedly, bending trees and scattering seeds. And again, the sun bursts through the clouds. It’s hard to understand what spring is all about.

Spring. It’s not quite cold and not quite warm. The Douglas-fir buds are opening up. The migrating birds have arrived. The flowers are blooming, the leaves budding out. Winter has come to an end and snowmelt has begun. The ground loosens up and catches the flying seeds. Days get longer, the temperatures slowly rise, and the farmers are hard at work. Spring seems to be all about movement. What do you see during spring? What can we learn from this drifting season? Spring is moving forward—opening up with blooming flowers and reaching out with stretching leaves.

After a three season wait, the Crabapple tree explodes into a cloud of cotton candy. The flowers appear with such intensity that suddenly everything starts to make sense. It’s spring and it’s time to pursue and achieve our dreams. But how can we do this? First, we must learn to open up. In opening up, we come to understand who we are and what we can do to move forward courageously. To practice opening up consider:

  • Showing yourself authentically
  • Expressing who you are
  • Believing in yourself

Autumn taught us to look inward, to be able to define ourselves and be ourselves. Now spring teaches us to move forward. How can we be authentic? By believing that who we are, what we think, and what we feel matters—and can be voiced. How can we express ourselves? By being assertive. We can practice communicating what we stand for, what we value, and what we want to do, firmly but with consideration. It’s only when we express ourselves that we can learn and connect with others. This requires us to practice evaluating ourselves (and our skills) positively, and expecting ourselves to succeed and thrive with enough effort.

After the flowers have opened up and released their seeds, leaves start to reach out. They sprout with energy turning to the sun as they prepare to grow. To move forward, we must also reach out. Reaching out is about action. Like the fleeting weather of spring, we embrace the ups and downs. We act and we let go. To reach out when reaching out is difficult, make sure you engage in activities you feel passionate about. Consider reaching out feeling:

  • Joyful
  • Dynamic
  • Productive

When we reach out, we must enjoy what we do. This does not mean we lack commitment or responsibility. Joy is at the heart of movement—it’s delayed gratification for a reason. Reaching out is also about being dynamic because it’s okay to let go and adjust to a new course of action! Like leaves reaching to the sun, we must become productive—but a different kind of productive. Productivity is not strictly about more hours, results, and efficiency. We seldom understand the differences of results in time. If getting a result today will negatively affect my well-being tomorrow, then it is not productive. Often, we mistake productivity with overwork at the expense of our future-self’s health, relationships, and attitudes toward life. What we need is productivity of well-being and meaningful, long-term results.

Everything is interconnected and everything moves forward. But how we move forward makes a difference. Let us open up with a healthy self-esteem like a steam-powered locomotive. Let us move forward and explore while letting go of results. Let us reach out towards the sun and work passionately for it. There’s power and magic in moving forward with a spring-mindset. What can you open up to today? What meaningful pursuit will you reach out to?

Juan F. Diaz

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