I found a newfound appreciation for winter this year. Don’t get me wrong I do NOT enjoy being cold, buttt, that fresh blanket of snow before its been touched... the way the ice makes the tree branches sparkle... the excuse to stay inside and curl up with a book... there’s plenty of beauty and appreciation to be found. It offers time and space for introspection and self care that is so necessary to our thriving in this fast past world.
And then just like that, I woke up to the birds chirping. We may still have some cold days ahead of us but the energy is beginning to shift. Outside our windows and inside of us, things that have been laying dormant all winter are beginning to wake up.
Last week it hit 75 degrees. I stood outside with a tee shirt on and my bare feet in the dirt, took a deep breath of fresh air and felt rooted, happy, and alive. I see my friends and family growing and changing in positive ways too. People are literally beginning to blossom before my eyes, and it’s pretty cool.
On the spring equinox, we have equal parts night and day. What a great day for finding balance. This pivot point is loaded with symbolism signifying renewal, and rebirth. We’re transitioning out of hibernation mode, and awakening to a fresh start. It marks the beginning of a new year according to astrology. It’s clearing energy inspires feelings of optimism and hope for the future. There’s promises better (and warmer) days ahead.
Saucha is one of the niyamas (inner-observances) that means purity or cleanliness. It’s a perfect focus for this time of year considering spring is all about cleaning out the cobwebs. In this case both literally and metaphorically.
Cleanliness can be practiced through purging, tidying, and simplifying other facets of our lives. This ranges from decluttering your physical and mental space, owning less, eating clean foods, embracing silence and cutting the cord on negative forces from your life.
On the surface level saucha says, keep your body healthy and have a clean space to practice yoga. In its deepest form, it forces us to look at what we consider ugly, dirty or shameful about ourselves. To examine things like our bad habits, our secret thoughts, or our shadow side. To heal inner wounds, forgive ourselves for being human, and let go of self limiting behaviors.
Read more on clearing clutter for sanity in this post.
The actual equinox is only one day, but can be celebrated all season long. Here are 10 simple ways to acknowledge the start of this new season.
Consistancy has always been something I’ve lacked. In structured situations, when and where routines are not optional, I thrive. It soothes me to not have to make decisions, or worry about what's going to happen next. It’s too easy for me to make a overwhelming to-do list, get distracted, and procrastinate for hours when left to my own devices. This is why I need built in rituals.
Rituals are routines with intention. Overtime they begin to feel second nature. What's been working for me is starting small and making things up as I go. I think it's really important not to do anything that doesn't make sense or feel comfortable to you.
So I started with a small simple intention to meditate for 5 minutes every morning. This was something we did at yoga teacher training, a habit I fell out of embarrassingly soon after leaving. I’ll admit I do miss mornings here and there, but every day is a chance to start again. This little ritual is a way to check in with myself, and helps me start my day from a place of balance.
“The ritualization of the mundane invites the mind to settle into the body. It creates opportunities to get quiet, to feel honesty, to look inward in a world that is begging us to look elsewhere.” - The Spirit Almanac
Then, I set an intention to become more connected spiritually. For me this looks and feels like getting attuned to the seasons, the themes of nature, and following the cycles of the moon. Before you go rolling your eyes, consider this- the tides of the ocean are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. Our bodies are made up of 50-70% water, so why would it not have an affect on us?
Back in the day before TVs and cellphones, our ancestors lived their lives according to the planets natural rhythms. We think we’re so smart now with all the technology we have, but we’ve complicated life so much. Each season and each new lunar cycle, offer checkpoints for us to stop and reevaluate the path we’re on and what’s most important to us. They remind us of larger forces around us. I’m not saying I’m ready to go hunt for my dinner with a spear but I feel a primal hunger to live in tune with the earth.
Full moons symbolize a time to let go of things, which is perfect considering we are saying goodbye to winter. Before we can start a new chapter, we have to leave the past in the past, and wrap up loose ends. Take a long look at where and how you’ve been spending your energy. Is it filling you up or draining you? What changes do you need to make?
Full moons are also an important time to offer forgiveness. Who do you need to forgive before you can wipe the slate clean? What lessons have you learned, what are you grateful for, what do you need to let go of in order to move forward?
One foot in front of the other.
We don't have to know how its all going to work out.
Trust there's a plan at work greater than yours.
I designed a full moon ritual that's all about cleansing and releasing. Put your witchy hat on and check it out below.