Spring is here. Buds have formed and are beginning to unfold. The peach trees, the daffodils and other small bushes have unfurled their colors. The sun rises earlier and earlier to bring those longer and warmer days. Birds have returned and are splashing around in the pond. Others chirp sleepily in the trees as I take my early morning walk with MacDuff. The sun is shining, but not overbearing. The mornings are still brisk, with a crisp edge to the breeze. The promise of a warmer tomorrow is already there.

As spring moves in, the forsythia with its branches with bright yellow star-like blossoms wave in the breeze. The tiny pink buds of the flowering plum and the white blossoms of the apple and pear trees are all showing their colors. The sun shines through the greening branches, making it hard to concentrate on anything indoors. I yearn to be outside.

Springtime inspires me to clean and declutter my home and yard. Those dust bunnies and cobwebs that have gathered over the winter months are exposed. It’s also a good time to clean out my thoughts and feelings. When I do a mental spring-clean, my life is easier. With ongoing rebirth going on around me in nature, I find it hard not to weed out the old that is no longer useful in my mind, the parts that are keeping me stuck.

At a slow start for the season? Don’t miss out. Here are a few ideas to help you find your way:

  • Get outdoors. Take a walk, begin to clean up the yard or go for a bike ride. Have a picnic, either on the porch or a few miles away after hiking in from the trailhead. Let the soft, bright sunshine lift any heavy, dark thoughts and feel them drift away.
  • Cultivate quiet time. Set some time aside and take a mental inventory. Check out what has been cluttering your heart and mind. Take a planned break from technology and your “electronic leash.” Spend some time to visualize how you want to feel in your life and your friendships. Then take a move to fulfill those dreams.
  • Develop a new skill or learn a new hobby. Perhaps your mind has grown stale over the winter. But how to expand your horizons? Go back in time: always wanted to learn to develop a skill? Weld? Shoot? Or play a harmonica? Go for it. What was your favorite hobby as a child? Pick it up again. It’s spring, the time of renewal. The creative abilities of your mind are endless.
  • Learn to “row your boat more gently down the stream.” At times life seems to come all at once, bringing a compelling need to take care of business right away. But we can move at our individual pace for it will all get done in due time. Make life easier and enjoy more both within and around you.
  • Think more optimistically. Want to boost your immune system? Be happier in general? Look at the bright side of life and find that silver lining in life. Weed out “always” and “never” from what you’re saying; you’ll find the world to be a better place.

I’m curious: what are you doing to welcome spring? How are you spring cleaning, either inside yourself or outside in your home or garden? I’d love to hear. Enter your comments below.

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