Spring: When Everything Old Can Become New

Spring is finally here! And that means it’s time for new beginnings. I’m excited because I’m ready for something new. It’s been an especially difficult winter on the east coast and for me personally, due not only to all the cold weather and snowstorms, but also some of those pesky storms of life.

The universe does have a way of nudging us toward a place we need to be, and that’s probably why I forced myself out of the house at the last minute to get to a yoga class today despite my inner protests (I have all this work to do; I’m tired; I can practice at home).

The teacher’s theme was, not surprisingly, spring-related. She spoke of doors and opening our hearts to new things; she asked us how we intended to greet the spring. Well, maybe that’s not exactly what she said, but you get the point.

Earlier, I’d been wondering why I wasn’t being strongly drawn to practice at any particular studio lately. I’ve been more or less bouncing from place to place for the last four or five years. Maybe the problem (if it’s even a problem) isn’t so much the studios out there as the plateau that I’ve reached within myself. I seem to be hearing (and saying and doing) the same thing over and over no matter where I go, and none of it is resonating the way it used to.

So it seemed this would be a good time for a new message, or so I was thinking as I unrolled my mat on this spring morning. I don’t mean an “out with the old, in with the new” kind of message. I mean I need to deepen my practice (my yoga practice, my spiritual practice, and my entire practice of life). Perhaps this has to do with the fact that I recently reached a milestone age. And I would like very much to be new.

Beginner’s Mind Makes Old Things New

So there I was in class waiting for something new. But there was really nothing new. Instead, the teacher invited us to experience the poses as if we’ve never done them before!

That was a powerful approach because this was in no way a beginner’s class. But then again, maybe it was. Maybe they all are (or could be). We do a lot of things in life so much by habit that it can become difficult to truly experience them anymore. And what happens? Sometimes, we get bored. And we start complaining about how we want to do something different or experience something new.

But what if we just started to think of the things we’re already doing in a different way?

This is especially challenging, I think, in our relationships. My husband reminds me of this all the time. We get so used to each other’s habits and ways of interacting that we think we can anticipate everything the other is going to say or do. Often, we can. But not always. And it’s usually when we can’t that we’ve missed something important.

So this little insight in yoga class was not exactly what I expected as an approach to this new season of spring. It’s better. Because the key to renewal may be simpler than we think. It may be that we don’t need to do anything new, just that we need to do old things in new ways.

So when you find yourself blaming your circumstances or routine for the lack of excitement in your life, try taking a deep breath and embracing whatever you’re doing right now. Do it as if you’ve never done it before. You may be surprised at how new old things can become!

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