Be inspired by the changing of the seasons, and discover a new sense of wellbeing with these rituals
The Wheel of the Year is a series of eight festivals that mark the changing seasons. Rooted in an appreciation of nature, every six weeks the Wheel allows us to pause and find stillness in the throng of modern life.
On 21 March, we stop to mark the festival of the Vernal Equinox. As the daylight hours reach a balance with the night, we celebrate the arrival of spring. Plants have pushed their way up through the earth, and nature is coming alive with the signs of birds and animals. The trees may not yet have a canopy of green leaves to welcome back the warmer weather, but spring flowers console us with their burst of fresh colours. This is the time to think about balance, equilibrium, and the freshness of new ideas as inspiration. This is the time to connect to the energy of spring where you are, and to introduce some new self-care rituals, inspired by nature.
Taking time out in nature
Spring equinox invites us to pause in our work-oriented endeavours, and focus on the tiny miracles that are unfolding in the natural world. While you may struggle to take time for yourself in your busy schedule, investing some time in solitude, and watching the signs of nature unfurling will help you to reconnect to your inner wisdom.
Go to find a deciduous tree that you can spend a few minutes with, and really take in the detail. What shape do its limbs hold, what texture is its bark, does it stand alone, or in company? Does its location indicate anything about its lifespan? Does it make you think of any themes in your own personal life? For example, are you feeling alone and isolated? Are you feeling overcrowded? Are you feeling a little vulnerable?
Journaling to find your balance
This turn of the Wheel of the Year gives us an opportunity to think about where you find your equilibrium – what are the things that give you a sense of steadiness and balance? Journaling can give you a chance to reconnect to yourself and express your inner voice. Perhaps you might sit with a notebook, and allow yourself to write freely for a few moments, prompted by the following questions:
- Where do you need more steadiness in your life?
- What are the patches of shadow and light in your life?
- If you had a magic wand and could miraculously fix the balance in your life, what would that look, sound, smell, taste, and feel like?
- If you could name one thing that you might do today to move in that direction, what would it be?
When we feel a little overwhelmed or stuck in the busyness of life, it can be very easy to forget those fundamental self-care routines, such as creating a nourishing and nurturing living space.
At this time of year, our rural ancestors would have been clearing and cleaning out their home spaces following the long winter, and preparing the space for the coming warmer seasons. It can be a supremely nurturing thing to do this in your space. Perhaps now is the time to do a little decluttering, and clearing out of the dust bunnies. If a large session feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller sections of just eight minutes at a time. Our living space can be a powerful metaphor for our bodies, so releasing them from the burden of ‘stuff’ can allow our inspiration and energy to flow once more.
Decorate your home with seasonal greenery
Another way to celebrate the Wheel is to decorate your newly cleaned living space with some seasonally appropriate greenery. If you can go out and gather in nature, make sure you do so ecologically – only take a small amount, and leave a little offering to the natural world – maybe a handful of bird seed, or take away a bag of litter.
You don’t need to turn your home into a forest, but placing a vase of seasonal greenery on your desk to remind you of the great outdoors, or a new lush green houseplant to prompt you that we all have a responsibility to live in harmony with the natural world, can also help you to feel balanced, rooted in your living space, and remind you that your own wellbeing is paramount.
Rebecca Beattie is the author of ‘The Wheel of the Year: Your nurturing guide to rediscovering nature’s cycles and seasons’ (Elliott & Thompson), out now in hardback.