Friday, March 2, 2012

Creating Emotional Space for More Green Changes

EcoYogini contemplates how to Spring Clean when she's surrounded by snow...

Being a Haligonian (person who lives in Halifax Nova Scotia!) means that Spring *might* arrive in May. Maybe. I say this knowing that this isn't a 'Canada' specific thing, as I've lived in four other Canadian cities that had lovely Spring-y Springs filled with flowers and green things growing all starting in March.
Our earliest Yoga in the Park out of the four Halifax Springs we've lived here... warm enough to practice in March!! (2010). 

We had our second snow storm of the week this morning.

The long drawn out drizzle, grey, cold and ugly months until May means that while everyone else is spring cleaning, I just feel like huddling into a little warm ball while hoping the temperature will rise above freezing. (Can you tell I hate Maritimer Springs?)

What I've decided to do is an emotional Spring Cleaning.

Over the winter months we tend to accumulate 'stuff', stuck within layers of our daily work and routine. Spring is actually the perfect time for new beginnings. It almost feels like I fell asleep in January with my 'winter' routine and BLINK I now have to start thinking about my life in spring.

Winter living in the city makes it difficult to connect with nature. I strongly believe that in order to really 'get' why we're doing all this stuff for the environment and our health that we need to actually spend some time there. Sure, a park can be a nice break, but when you can still hear the container ships, sirens in the distance, see the smoke stacks of the refinery across the harbour (ew) the unconscious reminder of busy, pollution and work is there.

As new agey as it sounds, it's true that once we take some time to renew and re-centre our emotional selves we can make some room for all the hard eco-work as well as leaving space for new green changes.

Making Space for Spring Change (EcoYogini's plan):
- Vocal and Singing Practice: It's time for to dust-off the good ole vocal warm-ups and work in a singing practice. Almost like meditation, vocal warm-ups, although ugly sounding are so repetitive and will help me shut off that work part of my brain. My goal is 30 minutes right after work, but I'll start with 15.
- A quiet walk through the woods. Thankfully I'm travelling to rural areas of the province for work in April and will be able to take some time for quiet and Nature.
- As soon as the weather permits; practice yoga outdoors. I'm thinking with long sleeves and a tuque we could manage between 8-15 degrees C (46 to 59F).
- A regular weekly spiritual and connection time. I'm considering creating a simple and cleared out small sitting space where I can light a candle, sit in quiet and peace and connect with my spiritual self. 10 short minutes is all I'm hoping for.

When we have busy lives, families and extra activities, it's difficult to fathom finding time for ourselves. It's so easy to let winter's obligations and events add emotional and spiritual layers that take up space.

A few strategies that might helpful for finding those 10 minutes to reconnect:
- Discuss this with your partner if you have one. Mention how this is important for you and you'd like their support in a) leaving you the space b) keeping the children (or cats!) out of the room for 10 short minutes a day.
- Set a timer.
- Clean out a small space that has minimal visual distractions, perhaps a nice beeswax candle and a meditation pillow or folded blanket.
- Find some 'sounds of nature' or music without words to help block out the noises of everyday life.
- Add a reminder on your smart phone (if you have one, I don't!)
- Draw a small symbol meaning 'me' time in your agenda- pencil yourself in for 10 minutes!
- Don't answer the phone, knocking or non-urgent questions during this time. They can leave a message or wait another 5 minutes.
- Allow yourself a break on the weekends when your routine has changed.

What strategies to make emotional and spiritual space do you use?


Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

This is definitely something I struggle with as it always seems like what my body needs (healthy foods, exercise, meditation) is not what my body wants, but I try to remind myself that I'm always glad I did it afterward. Lately, I've tried to combine my physical and spiritual time by listening to podcasts related to my religion while I jog in the mornings. I really enjoy the uplifting thoughts first thing in the morning, so it helps motivate me to do the running (which I do not enjoy). Doing yoga in the morning on alternating days also works for me since my yoga practice always includes a time for prayerful meditation. I rarely ever feel like getting out of bed to exercise, but it really does start my day off right.

Eco Yogini said...

@Erin; oh i really like the idea of combining spiritual podcasts with running (or walking)! what a great idea and a very nice way to find time for both!
I am so not a fan of morning yoga, but i agree with you- the times when i manage to get it done I do feel like i have a better start to my day :)


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