This winter was long. April felt like an extended March. There is a whole lot of beauty in the winter and the cold can be hard on our bodies. In the midst of the cold, snow and rain, the last week of April if one paid attention, the green began to emerge. The tulips that I planted last fall began to sprout and I could see bursts of green in the mixture of brown surrounding my house. I woke up to birds chirping out my window and watched squirrels dig up their nuts for nourishment that they had planted last fall.
I am an amateur gardener who definitely has lots to learn, but continues to show up in March to plant my own seeds knowing that not all of them will survive. During this Easter season of new life and resurrection, I am trying to pay extra attention to what around me needs nourishing. Which seedlings need water, sunlight, more space or coffee grounds added to the soil? When my tomato seedlings grow too leggy, I adapt by replanting them so the stems are fully supported and the plant can focus on rooting down to allow it to rise up. When my broccoli seedlings are too leggy, after googling why that might be, I realize that they are too warm. In response, I make a shift so that they are no longer under the humidity dome. Each seedling needs something different in order to grow and eventually bear fruit.
When it comes to seedlings, I have learned that little things are big things. Little shifts one day can impact the next and allow for major changes to happen – for new leaves to emerge while roots grow. This rings true for me too. Little changes open me up to something more too… Closing my eyes when I take my first sip of coffee. Standing outside in the sunshine before sitting down for another meeting. Watching the birds in my front yard. A simple text from a friend that says “I have been thinking about you” or “Sending love”. The embrace of my partner. The playfulness of my eight year old cousin. If I pay attention and make space for them, the little things remind me who and whose I am. These little things invite me into a more authentic version of myself. Remembering my body. Remembering the breath that I breathe. Remembering that God is among me reminding me of God’s presence and love throughout my day, all the time, if I am paying attention.
What little things remind you of God’s love?
One thing that has made a big difference in how I show in the world with myself and in relationship with others is connecting to my own body. By grounding myself and connecting with my body, I am able to show up more authentically by being more aware of myself. This changes how I show up with others. I invite you to connect with your body through the reading or recording shared below.
Invitation to connect with your body:
I invite you to close your eyes. To sit in a comfortable position. To reach the crown of your head toward the ceiling or sky and plant your feet on the ground picking up all ten toes and placing them back intentionally on the ground. Feel the connection between you and whatever you are sitting on. Allow it to hold you and breathe.
Notice where you are clenching and try to release it. Your hands, your toes, your jaw. Are your shoulders up towards your ears? Scan your body. Where do you feel tension? Can you breathe into those places inviting space in? Can you listen to your breath? Knowing that your mind will wander and that is okay. Like a train, allow the thought to pass by and then come back to your breath. In and out. In and out.
After a few breath cycles, can you listen to what you hear within 5 feet of you? Then another 5 feet? Then another? Lastly, what is the furthest sound you can hear? Breathe in and out. When you are ready, blink your eyes open and ask yourself: What do you notice?