Monday Meditation: Renewal

Although Spring has officially started here in Ontario, the weather is a little late to the game. But there is the promise of warmer temperatures in the air, and the longer days and more frequent sunshine are pleasant reminders of Spring’s arrival. At this time of year, I always feel a surge of energy, a sense of renewal. It’s instinctual.


I get the urge to spring clean the house, to get rid of all the clutter that has built up over the winter months and give our house a little makeover from the inside. I notice the desire to eat lighter foods – more salads and fresh, raw veggies – and less of the casseroles and thick soups of winter. Creatively, I am full of ideas and thoughts that have surfaced after simmering quietly in my mind during the early months of the year. And despite being a winter runner, running at this time of year offers a new sense of freedom, and I find an extra spring in my step (without having to navigate icy sidewalks or snowy streets).


Generally, Spring feels more like a fresh start to me than the ringing in of the new year.


This week I’ll be looking at the four corners of my life – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional – and asking myself where I need to focus my energies the most this Spring. Just as a garden needs nurturing in different ways as the seasons change, so do our bodies and minds. Are there any areas of your life that need a little renewal? This might just be the perfect time of year for it.


Monday Meditation: Beliefs

Every day we experience the world around us through the lens of our respective belief systems. Some of these beliefs are so ingrained in our minds that we’re no longer conscious of why or how they became part of our mental framework in the first place. Beliefs that our parents instilled in us as children, ideas about our own personalities or the world around us that we heard from friends or partners, or assumptions we absorbed into our psyches as a result of difficult life events.


But what happens when we challenge our deeply held beliefs? Do they still have meaning within the context of the lives we live, or the lives we want to be living?


EmPOWERed YOUth is a fabulous book by father and son, Jeffrey and Michael Eisen that demonstrates the impact of questioning our beliefs. It tells the story of their own personal struggles, their relationship, and the power of open communication and support between parents and children. There are many life lessons in this book, which offers moving narratives as well as powerful exercises for the reader to engage in. But what is readily apparent is that by examining their respective belief systems, both Jeffrey and Michael were able to consciously repair many areas of their (and each other’s) lives that were causing them pain.


It’s not always easy to explore your belief system, not to mention letting go of beliefs that you’ve held onto for decades. I’d liken it to getting rid of the most stubborn weeds in my garden. But as I’ve discovered over the last couple of months, (with much credit to Jeffrey Eisen) releasing certain patterns of thinking — or “belief habits” as I’ve come to call them – is extremely liberating.


This week, allow yourself to observe the lens through which you view the world. And ask yourself, what beliefs no longer serve you?