Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Spring

Dream for the future

In most respects, the new year begins for me in the Fall. Like I suspect many of you, I’ve spent most of my life on an academic calendar. So the Fall is when I think about my work accomplishments and goals. I am also a Reform Jew and, therefore, religiously mark the new year at Rosh Hashanah, usually sometime in September. And I am a Virgo, with a late August birthday, so that’s when MY new year literally begins.

All of those new beginnings get marked pretty ritualistically. Whether it’s organizing my work “stuff” for new projects, participating in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur observances, or celebrating the date of my birth with family and friends. I even take an annual retreat during the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to more meaningfully reflect on and mark these transitions.

But there is for me a subtler new year’s celebration which occurs in THIS season and in which I invite you to participate. It is called Spring. And it is a wish for more Spring in our lives that is at the heart of my Dream for our Future.

We don’t literally hibernate during the New England winters, but we do spend a good part of our lives effectively in a cave, surrounded by familiar objects and people, comforted by our routines, lulled by the belief that all we need is within our reach. In our cave, we are not aware of the outside world, not aware how small our world is, not aware that we are missing anything.

And then comes Spring.
During the first days of spring, we breathe deeper, we let our skin feel the air, we walk a little slower, we might smile a bit more easily. Did you have a moment like that this past weekend? Can you bring back that feeling right now?

In early Spring, we have an awakening awareness of the outside world and, perhaps, the visceral remembrance that we are part of a larger whole, that the world, and our place in it, is bigger than our cave.

My dream for the future is for us to stay alive to that moment, to, in fact, WAKE UP from our frequent dream state, to see through what is petty and unimportant about our day to day existence and focus on the reality beyond our routines.
My dream for the future is to spend less time dreaming and more time being; less time protecting myself from the uncertainties of the outside world, and more time embracing the adventure. My dream for the future is to experience the dawn of spring in the midst of every season, every moment

So the question, the challenge, I give myself and offer to you is this: What would it take? What would it take to carry that sensation of early Spring, of awakening to a life bigger than our own, into the rest of our lives?

And with that, I wish you “happy Spring.”

Francine Crystal
Organization Development Consultant
Human Resources