Changing Seasons

Spring has come to the southern hemisphere, and as the days are growing longer and warmer, a variety of subtle changes are taking place. The birds are waking up earlier and simply sound more cheerful in their twitter. Trees are blossoming and covering the ground with a gentle petal rain, while the fresh green jacket of new leaves come as a welcome change to their stark, barren winter look. The early morning air still holds a crispness that calls for a jacket, but as the sun slowly climbs higher in the sky, so the earth is welcoming and absorbing its heat. The smell of jasmine and yesterday-today-and-tomorrow sweetens the air. In general there is an energy of hope and possibility, growth and renewal that can be sensed if we start to pay attention to the energetic world around us.

If one compare the seasons to life, spring will be the season of youth. In our youth we look at the world with eyes and hearts full of dreams. Our dreams hold endless promises and possibilities. Anything is possible. We dream big: no dream seems impossible or unattainable. There is a drive and an energy that is restless and relentless. So many things to explore, yet so little time! Fear is not a word that often features in our youthful vocabulary. We think less of the consequences of our choices and actions than the thrill of the moment. We don’t always have a plan of action, but we certainly know how and where to find entertainment and excitement. “Living in the moment” is not a wish or a concept, it is a simple reality.

Yoga philosophy describe three gunas, or ways in which we live in the world. The tendency of our youth is to mostly live in a rajasic state, which is energetic and obsessive. When this tendency is active, we are active, excited, competitive, fast-paced, attached and ego-driven. When we have a specific task to complete, this energy can be most helpful, but it can also lead to burn-out if we live our lives this way perpetually.

A tamasic state, on the other hand, is one of inactivity, depression, confusion, fearfulness, self-doubt and over-riding feelings of helplessness that often result in disorganisation, laziness and lethargy.

The state of being that is most beneficial to our spiritual development and general well-being is the sattvic state. When this energy is active we feel balanced, calm, peaceful, content and our thinking, choices and intentions have a purity and clarity that leads to illuminating insights and spiritual growth.

And as spring is busy transforming the physical environment around me, I am tempted to be swept away once more by the energy of youth, but being older and perhaps a bit more sensible (at least I’d like to think that I am), I would choose those qualities of youth I admire the most to keep me company through this changing season in my life: hope, possibility, and experiencing the thrill of each moment fearlessly and fully. And because I am aware of the consequences of my choices and actions, I’ll add a sprinkle of sattvic energy to bring calmness and contentment to my experiences, but not forgetting just a dash of rajastic excitement to keep me moving and energised through this period of change.

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