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"For the Love of Spring"
byline: Eva Selhub, MD

Spring is the time for new beginnings and growth, when flowers bloom and children play outdoors.  It is the time for new ideas and for plans to burgeon, for future accomplishments to be visualized.

Like the child who believes they are unstoppable or the plant that opens its buds to the warmth of the sun, Spring is your chance to expand to the possibilities of your life. 
 
But often, something holds you back.  Rather than blooming like a flower, you are likely contracting into a bud, ruminating about the past and fearing the uncertainty of the future. 
 
The thing about Spring is that it is also the time to let go of the old to make room for the new.  Thus the term, “Spring Cleaning.” 
 
In order to connect to the myriad of possibilities in your life, the message here is that you may need to let go of what you are holding onto that is keeping you from moving forward.   It means facing your fears and sweeping them out of the closet where they have been buried.
 
Now who really wants to do that?  Who really wants to voluntarily face their fears and open themselves up to uncertainty? 

Well, children do it, unknowingly, all the time.  They take risks.  They imagine greatness and adventure. 
 
How often do you take risks?  How many times have you decided to have an adventure?  When do you use your imagination to help you mitigate uncertainty?
 
If you did, you might be able to face your buried fears and let them go once and for all.   Then, when you make the space, new adventures can be had. 
 
When the stressors of life accumulate, your buried fears get triggered and they activate your fear response.  When in the fear response, you connect to little, least of all the potential of life.   The fear will shut you down, physically, emotionally and psychologically.
 
In fear, the neurobiological mechanisms are such that you lose higher cognitive functioning, your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension increase, negative emotions preside, and your sociability is null and void.  You lose your connection to the social support around you; to the resilience person within you; and to the larger universe that can guide you (this includes your imagination).
 
These are the very commodities that help you overcome stressful situations, stay healthy and happy.
 
So if you are under a lot of stress in the springtime, rather than connecting, you will disconnect.  The more you disconnect, the more you shut down.  Dismal, eh?

Ah! But there is something you can do!  You can begin by connecting to your fabulous self, the love that surrounds you, and the help that may be available to you. 
 
·        First, honor the tension and anxiety you are feeling. You have every right to feel this way.  That’s right.  Create the space for you.
·        Second, acknowledge that this is an opportunity to heal buried fears.  Make more space for you.
·        Third, gently and kindly allow yourself to receive the golden rays of light from the sun in the sky and the aromas of love and life to fill your lungs and your heart (real or imagined).  Bask in it. 
·        Fourth, repeat these words:  “Receiving love and support is my birthright.”  Say these words every time you inhale.  Simply receive.
·        Fifth, let yourself fully and completely exhale, imagining that you are releasing buried fear, tension and negativity.  Out they go.  You can even use your hands to sweep the tension and fear out of your heart as you say these words, “I release the negativity that does not serve me.”  Receive and Release.
·        Sixth, imagine a smaller image of you—as an infant or child—receiving this love and support too.
·        Seventh, run around outside, for no reason.  Then, run around some more.  
Now, you are changing your physiology from stress to balance, opening up the neurons in your brain to perceive possibilities rather than fear and dread.  When you are open, you are open to the people who can help you, the universe that can support you, and the resilience within your own mind and body.
This may not change your life in an instant, but you will certainly feel better and be ready for the Spring!

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