Ah!! I love spring. Everything has gotten so green, just in the last week, and suddenly buds are bursting out of the ground and off of the branches. The grass is growing like crazy. Morning birds welcome us with their non-stop melodies. The days are lighter longer. Windows are open. Fruit and Veggie aisles are more abundant. Sidewalks and playgrounds have come back to life after a dormant winter. The kids have already had multiple splinters and skinned knees.
This spring feels even more relieving since this winter did not want to go away. Snow and hail in April? Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool.
But there is a bit of that every year, isn’t there? Just when we think we can’t bear the winter anymore, spring finally comes. Spring always comes, even if some years it’s later than others.
Oh. Spring always comes.
This is true too, of life. When we find ourselves in a winter, it can be impossible to believe that there will ever be a spring. It can feel like the darkness will always overpower, that we will stay chilled to the bone. Head down, arms clutched across our chest tightly, wanting nothing more than to simply retreat.
But Spring always does come… eventually.
You know that quote “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”? I guess we’ve all got some kind of winter going on, at any given time. It might be a light winter—just a gentle dusting of snow that’s not much more than a petty annoyance…but it might be a blizzard-ridden artic style winter—one so intense it’s impossible to see the way forward. We rarely know the depths of another person’s winter, which is why it’s all the more important for us to try to be like spring ourselves… offering words like a morning-bird’s song, offering actions that warm like the sunlight.
I’ve been in a few different settings recently where we’ve discussed the importance of “holding space” for another… holding space means simply being with another person without judgement, setting your own ego aside, and allowing them to feel and experience whatever they are feeling and experiencing, trusting that you will be there with them along the way. I guess that’s not so simple, actually. But it’s such a beautiful idea, isn’t it? How lovely would it be if we all knew we had someone that would hold space with us, and what a gift it is to have the opportunity to hold space for others. I think this comes more naturally to us as parents and educators… We do this with the little ones among us, creating a safe, trusting, and loving environment in which they can thrive. But do we do it for each other? Do remember that even as adults, as professionals, as colleagues, that we are humans first?
For me, the literal arrival of spring feels like a kind of space holder itself. I feel more expansive than restrictive. I feel more centered. I’m breathing deeply. So it’s a good reminder to me to, again, try and intentionally be like spring for others… to be kind, to hold space for the winters in them that I may know nothing about, and to walk together until they finally feel the warmth of the sun.
How can you be like spring?
Wings & Whimsy Activity:
What are the parts of spring that you like? Warmer weather? The blooming of nature? The sounds of birds? The smell of flowers? Sunlight? Even if Spring is not your favorite, there is surely something about it you find enjoyable. Write those things down... and then think of what behaviors you could display that would mimic those things. In other words, if sunlight is one of the things you wrote, how might you act in such a way that feels like sunlight to another? Or if you love the ability to sit outside at a cafe... what feeling does that evoke for you? And how can you evoke that feeling in others? See what I mean?
Tell me about it in the comments below, or tweet me @ErikaPetrelli1.
“Be Like Spring”, The Leadership Program, 2016