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Spring Has Sprung: Taking Stock of Where You’re At

It’s finally April and that means that for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s finally spring. For me here in Japan, it’s spring enough that with the curtains open at 5 a.m., I can enjoy the deep orange of the budding sunrise. I just love this time of year. I’m a sucker for cherry blossoms.

The changes of the seasons have a strong influence on my outlook. At the summer solstice that is coming in a few short months, it’s time for me to see how my thoughts and actions have fully blossomed and grown. It’s a time to celebrate all that I have planted during the year and enjoy the fruits of my labour. When the autumnal equinox rolls around, it’s time to assess the successes and failures that are in progress and make moves that can have a strong influence on the year’s outcome. I use the winter solstice as a time to evaluate the past year and use the lessons I’ve learned as the seeds to plant for the coming year.

Which leads us to the vernal equinox. Well, okay, I missed writing about the event itself, but I use this time of year as a time of tending to my crop of freshly sprouting intentions. The buzz in the air is palpable, and the plant and animal life are energetic with the purpose of creating both life and opportunities. I love this flow of energy, and it strongly stimulates me to move along with it.

As every gardener knows, sometimes the seeds you plant are a wee bit stubborn in sprouting. From a metaphorical (and metaphysical) perspective, we can look at our situations and take note of how things we’d expected to happen didn’t quite take root. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to take stock of where we’re at and adjust our thoughts and actions accordingly.

This was certainly the case for me. I spend most of my business life digging deep into details. I’m not just paid to be a problem solver, mind you, I’m primarily a problem hunter. This makes for interesting work (much of time time), but it can get frustrating to have your work quite literally be dealing with problem after problem. Sometimes, you just want to have things go smoothly. Moreover, finding problems all the time tends to bring that element of experience into areas of your life beyond work. It can affect your relationships, too.

It was that last aspect that I noticed as I sat in my home office chair pondering the recurrent frustrations I was experiencing with my partner. I was bugged and it was spilling over into my relationship. Thankfully, we caught this in time before it became a major issue. Being aware of a problem from an objective perspective is always the first step in being able to work with and improve the situation.

Evaluating your progress during various times of the year can be an extremely helpful tool in your self-help/self-improvement arsenal. When taking stock of where you are, practice moving your perspective back from the emotional/subjective chatter (the ME stuff) and try to focus on the real, objective facts of what you’re experiencing. It can be a real boon to recognizing and implementing the changes you need to really create a great year.

Much love to all. And remember: Stop and smell the flowers. They’ll only be here for a while.

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