In The Way of the Happy Woman
, Sara Avant Stover
shows how simple, natural, and refreshingly accessible practices can minimize stress and put us back in sync with our own cycles and those of nature. Here she offers insights into how we can make the most of the spring season.
In honor of the spring equinox, New World Library is offering a 50% discount on all titles, with free shipping in the continental U.S. for orders of $35.00 or more. Simply enter the code SPRING at checkout. Offer good through Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
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Every woman, whether or not she realizes it, is a creative genius. Within her lives the capacity to bring forth new life and to regenerate during each moon cycle and each spring. Life, and our vitality, bursts forth in the springtime. This season calls your innate creativity to awaken and make itself known, just as a seedling pushes through the thawing soil past roots and rocks toward the light. Now your visions and deep dreaming from the winter come into being. We begin our journey in the spring because it heralds your initiation and rebirth into a whole new you.
Officially arriving on March 21 with the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere (September 21 in the southern hemisphere), the spring exhales the intoxicating fragrance of radical possibility. Who do you want to be now? How do you want to live? What’s ready to come to life inside you? We can always begin again. Green leaves emerging from barren branches, the first twitter of songbirds, and crocuses poking their way through melting snow: all symbolize your triumphant life force and spirit.
After the latency and visioning of winter’s respite, we emerge in the springtime with renewed energy. Fertile and full, like a newly blossomed lilac bush, our lives can have color, flair, and beauty. It’s up to us to harness that energy. The potential’s there for you, and the more you engage with it, the more you activate it. Through communal ritual and celebration, religions around the world recognize the magic of the springtime. Easter symbolizes resurrection from death and the immortality of spirit. Originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth, this holiday honored the Saxon goddess Eostre (also known as Ostara), who symbolizes springtime and fertility.
In the Jewish tradition, at Passover we praise the triumph of life over death, and we are asked to first taste the bitterness of any experience so that we may later appreciate its sweetness. Many Asian cultures celebrate their new year in the springtime. In Thailand you find Songkran, the infamous water festival that symbolizes the washing away of the previous year’s baggage (and has become an opportunity for mammoth water fights in the streets!). Later in the season, around May 1, falls Beltane (also called May Day). Originally a Celtic festival of fire, praising the fertility of all things, Beltane is the traditional time for celebrations, marriage in particular, as well as a time for planting and caring for crops. All point back to spring’s irresistible invitation to begin again.
Harness the power of this season as it supports you in the taking up of new, life-affirming habits: join a gym, commit to a regular meditation or yoga practice, or cut out white sugar from your diet. Now’s the time to bring forth, through dedicated, focused action, all your heart’s desires. Dare to dream big. Delve into your heart and bypass your mind. You’ll know you’re doing that when you start to feel excited, passionate, in love with your vision for your life. A flower doesn’t stop herself from blossoming because she fears that she’ll be too beautiful, colorful, or fragrant!
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Sara Avant Stover
is the author of The Way of the Happy Woman
. She pioneered yoga teaching in Thailand and is a Yoga Alliance teacher trainer at the 500-hour level. She travels the world leading women’s events and lives in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her online at www.thewayofthehappywoman.com.
Excerpted from The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life. Copyright © 2011 by Sara Avant Stover.