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Put a Little "Spring"
into Your Soul

This is the time of year when our souls seem to rejoice with every robin sighting and every new daffodil. The archetypal return of Persephone to her mother fills us with an inner understanding of the myth as we experience a sense of renewal and joy at the new life around us.

The Spring is renewing because so many of the activities we are called to do are soul-food. Look at the list below, and see if any invite you to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.

  1. Yard work. Yesterday, I mowed the backyard for the first time of the season. It felt good to push the mower and cut the new growth. I noticed the need for some fertilizing and mulching, and began to make plans for the weeding and planting I'll be doing. Seeing my buttercups and hyacinths blooming made me smile both inwardly and outwardly.
  2. Feed the birds. This is something I do all year long, but it has been especially enjoyable to watch the new species join the cardinals and the doves as they arrive. I've been buying special feed for the squirrels, but the only way I've found to keep them out of the bird feeder is to spray it down with cooking spray; they slide right down and never make it to the top.
  3. Spring housecleaning. This is not my favorite, at least not until it's done. However, the feeling of joy I get when I've finished is worth it. Invest in time-saving products when they get the job done well, and make the more time-consuming tasks like window-washing a time to meditate in motion. (Remember Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid? "Left hand, counter-clockwise; right hand, clockwise". Daniel worked to learn the art.)
  4. Daily rituals. This may be a year-long practice for you, but I find it is much easier to make a ritual out of my daily walk when the weather is warm. Similarly, I enjoy writing in my journal, meditating, and doing my yoga or tai chi outdoors or in front of the open screen of the patio doors. Taking my daily rituals outside seems to give both them and me new energy.
  5. quiet daySchedule a Retreat or Quiet Day. There are a multitude of retreat and quiet day offerings to be found in most communities. These range from those sponsored by religious or spiritual groups and organizations to those of a more secular nature like writing or art retreats, though these are certainly spiritual in their own right.

    My friend Liz Canham has a quiet day at her house one weekday a month. (That's the entrance to her Meditation Path in the picture.) Guests arrive and after an opening prayer or meditation, spend the day in reflection. Meals, which are brought as a bag-lunch from home, can be taken together or in solitude. There may be time for sharing in closing, but often folks cannot stay the entire day. Give thought to attending a day such as this or to hosting one of your own.

    You can always create your own quiet space. I find it helpful to go to a different place than my own home, as I will inevitably get caught up in my everyday busy-ness if I stay home, but that may not be the case for you. Ultimately, it is spending time with yourself and your Divine Source that matters.
  6. Play. There is no better time than the Spring for doing what you love or for trying new things. Most of us simply don't take the time to have enough fun. Play may be reading that novel you've been meaning to get to since Christmas. It might mean hiking in the mountains or swimming in the ocean. Whether you like the physical side of play (canoeing, dancing, playing ball, getting a massage, etc.) or the mental side of play (reading, writing, cooking, sewing, etc.), it is the fun that we have that lightens our hearts and creates the cheerful givers that our grandmothers told us God loves.

Self Improvement and
Self Growth

Nowadays the terms self-improvement, self-growth and self-help have become popular. We find many books about these subjects and many websites, too. It seems that people are turning inside to find the solution to their problems. They seek knowledge, techniques, workshops, lectures and teachers who can show them the way. People begin to understand that self improvement and self growth improve the quality of life.

The subconscious mind is one of the major keys to self-improvement and self-growth. By changing the contents of the subconscious mind you change your habits, behavior and attitudes. This is brought about by thinking, meditation, visualization and affirmations.

The process of inner change requires inner work. It is not enough to read, you have to practice what you read, and this needs time and effort. There is no such thing as instant self improvement. Any inner change takes time, and there must be motivation, desire, ambition, perseverance and dedication. Outer and inner resistance and opposition must be taken into account too. Upon starting any self improvement program, most people usually encounter inner resistance that come from their old habits and their subconscious mind, and also resistance and opposition from the people around them.

The desire to change, build new habits and improve must be strong enough to resist any laziness, desire to give up and the ridicule or opposition from family, friends or colleagues.

Let me tell you something about myself. I have been drawn to self-improvement techniques from an early age. I have regarded them as a source for inner strength, happiness and a better life. One of the most useful and effective techniques that I have discovered was learning from the way people behaved and acted in various situations. I watched people's behavior, and looked inside me to see if I behaved in the same way under the same conditions.

When I found some traits of character or certain kind of behavior that I did not like, I examined myself to see if I possessed them too. If I did, I visualized and rehearsed in my mind a different sort of behavior. In my mind's eye I saw myself with the opposite traits of character. I visualized myself in situations, where I manifested the new behavior.

When I encountered traits of character or behavior that I liked, I used to think about their advantages and benefits and their importance in my life. Here too, I used visualization and affirmations and endeavored to act in this way in daily life.

awarenessIn this way I have learned and benefited a lot from the behavior and actions of the people around me, at work, at home, in the street and everywhere else, from people in real life, and from watching people on the screen. It was never for the purpose of judging them or taking advantage of them, but for learning how to act, react and behave in a better way. This process had another benefit. It increased the knowledge about how the mind and thoughts influence the behavior and actions of people.

How can you too take advantage of this technique for self improvement and growth?

  1. Look around you and watch how people behave in various circumstances. Watch the people you meet at home, work, at the supermarket, on the bus, train and on the street. Watch and learn also from people interviewed on TV, and also from movies.
  2. Watch how people talk, walk, and react, and how they are treated by others.
  3. Pay attention to the way people use their voice and how they react to others' voices. Watch how you feel and act when people shout or speak softly. Watch what happens when people get angry, restless and upset and what happens if they are calm and relaxed.
  4. If you do not like what you see, analyze what and why you do not like it, and then analyze your own behavior to find out whether you behave in the same way. Be honest and impartial in your analysis.
  5. If you find that you possess some traits that you do not like, affirm to yourself frequently that every time this happens you are going to become conscious of this behavior, actions or reactions, and endeavor to avoid behaving in that way.
  6. Play in your mind a mental scene of how you would like to behave. Repeat it several times a day, every day.
  7. When you detect a sort of behavior or character traits you like and desire to possess, try to act in a similar way. Here too, visualize several times each day a scene, where you act and behave in that different way.
  8. You can also decide to change some habit and behavior patterns and develop new ones, because you believe they are necessary and beneficial, even without seeing them in others first.
  9. Think and visualize over and over again in your mind how you would like to act and behave. Constantly remind yourself of the changes you desire to make, and strive to act according to them. Each time that you find yourself acting according to your old habit, remember your decision to change and improve, and act accordingly.
  10. Do not be disappointed or frustrated if you do not attain fast results. It does not matter how many times you fail or forget to behave as you desired. Persist in your efforts and never give up, and you will begin to see how you and your life improve.

There are many self improvement and self growth techniques, but the one described here is simple, effective and easily performed. 

flowersCopyright Remez Sasson, with permission.

Remez Sasson writes and teaches about self-improvement, spiritual growth, meditation, positive thinking, creative visualization, success and mind power. He is the author of several books, and the publisher of the biweekly eZine, "Consciousness and Success"

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For Email Newsletters you can trust

April 2005

In This Issue

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Suzanne,
Remember that melatonin if taken should be synthetic. There is as speculation that natural [melatonin] could spread the human equivalent of mad cow disease. Kava Kava is out now. [Kava, long used as a natural tranquilizer, has recently been shown to cause liver damage.

From Fred Gachet, MD via email
re: Seasonal Affective Disorder article in Jan. Warp & Weft

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Copyright 2005
Suzanne H. Eller

tulipsImage: Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Quotes about Spring

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
~Doug Larson

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.
~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
~Margaret Atwood

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
~Nadine Stair

Earth laughs in flowers..
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
~Robin Williams

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. ~Virgil A. Kraft

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~W. Earl Hall

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The naked earth is warm with Spring,

And with green grass and bursting trees,

Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,

And quivers in the sunny breeze.

~William Shakespeare

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