Apologies for missing Wednesday’s post; it’s been a bit of a crazy week. Here’s a piece I wrote for this month’s Befriend Your Body Newsletter; go to the box at the bottom of this page if you’d like to start receiving it.
It’s March, and the long, snow-filled winter seems to be promising an end here on the East Coast. For all in the Northern Hemisphere, March is a time when winter and spring struggle for balance, when crocuses peek their heads out only to be hammered by one more blizzard, when winds and rain alternate with balmy sun. The old saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb: it’s a time of transition, when many of our bodies struggle as we wait for the light to return.
It’s always a good time to turn to our bodies, to ask them what they need, and to listen to their messages. This month, though, is an especially good time to take things one day at a time, and decide, each day, which qualities to cultivate.
March’s lion blows chill and snow or driving rain, whipping tree branches into frenzy. At such times, the weather seems to dominate everything with its force of will, and our lives can become subject to it. March’s lamb is delicate and vulnerable, new shoots pushing out of the earth, sun shining bravely through breaking clouds, the air daring to warm. At these times, many of us feel our own strength returning.
Being the Lion: Cultivating Strength and Will
When the weather is making you feel strong, focus on your body’s ability to do. The Lion is a coiled spring, waiting to pounce and pursue its prey. It is patient, but when the time comes, it is all Action.
Meditate on your core: breathe and bring your attention to your belly. What actions do you wish to take today? What things can you not only plan, but execute? What physical exercise do you want to engage in? Stretch gently and listen to your muscles: what do they want to do? Stand with your weight evenly between both feet, or sit with your feet on the floor. Feel where your body wants to take you today.
Write down the messages you receive, then move! Walk, run, and jump if you can; or else move in whatever ways you are able. Feel strength and will running through you. Like the lion in pursuit, spring and dash after your goals!
Being the Lamb: Cultivating Gentleness and Potential
When the March days make you want to hide under the covers, make use of the power of stillness and silence. We may picture a lamb as an active force, frisking in a meadow, but in March the lamb is brand-new, wet and shaky-legged, and full of potential.
Sit still and be with where you are right now. Are you tired, stressed and overwhelmed? Sit with that and breathe. Feel the place inside yourself that can be empty and quiet; locate a place in your body and breathe into it. Allow yourself to fill with stillness and silence, and feel the places in your body that know about waiting, planning and gestating. Let the ideas that you have for projects cook for a while, and know that you are the vessel. Let your shakiness calm, as you recognize it as the fuel for later growth. Like the lamb, you are new, gentle, and full of potential – to be turned into action when the time is right.
Write down the messages you receive from your body. Then, keep breathing. Move slowly. Drink lots of water, eat well, and spend time with loved ones if you can. Curl up in blankets with hot beverages and, if possible, soft pets. Know that the time for action will come soon. Respect your need for stillness.
Knowing where we are and what we’re capable of on any given day is a powerful way to use our energies appropriately, and to be as fruitful as we want to be in this fast-paced world without burning ourselves out. May this month, with its Spring Equinox, be a time when you cultivate balance in your life for the coming season!