For many folks, April means springtime.
A time for new beginnings. Flowers budding. Warm sunny breezes caressing your welcoming face. Sweet honeysuckle and lilac fragrances seeping into your soul. Is that how you joyfully see, feel, or notice spring?
Sitting here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where spring and summer happily blend into a never-ending array of floral fancies, I fondly remember our Wisconsin, USA, springtime. We usually leave here mid May. Talk about anticipation! Begone snow drifts, red noses, and frigid fingers and toes. Before we spent our winters in Mexico, I would go outside everyday in April and look for the first signs of green peeping up in my garden. The tender green crocus sprouts were an immense gift. Soon after, the brave purple, white and pink crocus blossoms erupted in all their treasured splendor.
These days in Mexico, I continue, albeit by proxy, to be spoiled by WI’s beauty, kind courtesy of my dear friend, Annie Pfeffer. Every spring, she sweetly stops by our home. With eagle eyes, she darts around the gardens until she spies a crocus or two. I can hear her now, “Aha! There you are. Mama Judy is going to be so tickled!” She snaps a few photos and messages them to me. How is that for a special friend with a huge, generous heart? Sitting here at my terrace desk, I smile with glee as I see my WI home begin to wear her springtime jewels. Annie is one of the most precious and beautiful flowers in my garden of life.
Another springtime tradition is not so pretty.
I am not happy nor proud of it, as it involves me chortling a few choice words! My other beloved WI friend and right-hand garden artist, Sarah Stelzer-Grosshuesch, is used to commiserating with me. Why? Despite the garlic clips we festoon on the tulip beds, every year we notice and savor only a few precious parrot tulips. Bravely, they are still left standing after dastardly deer have munched down scores of their tasty comrades. Last year I think we planted 200 bulbs, and only three or four survived the deer’s savage feast. I know, why bother? But we both love tulips. With positive psychology optimism and resilience, we keep hoping the deer will disappear. But this year I made an executive decision, sad to say, and no more bulbs were ordered. Boo hoo and shoo shoo you devouring deer!
On a brighter note, this year we will trek home early in a couple weeks. I need to stop by our WI home before I fly to Delaware to attend my 50th high school reunion. Gulp! Fifty years. But more about that after the event. Even though leaving Vallarta is always bittersweet, I gratefully look forward to ssavoring my garden beauties.You bet my iphone will be close at hand. I’ll have a huge grin plastered on my face as I appreciate yellow, orange, white, lime green and even pink daffodils. Then I’ll bask in the fragrant splendor of pink, purple, blue and white hyacinths, blazing yellow forsythia, and rich budding lilac bushes. Ah…I close my eyes right now. I take a deep breath. I joyfully breathe them in and visualize their kaleidoscopic cacophony of elegance and beauty. Soon…
Beauty and Grace.
The splendor of anticipation coming to glorious fruition. Remember the Value In Action, VIA character strengths? Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence is my top strength. No wonder I love springtime and anywhere flowers warm my heart and open the doors to sensory delights. This strength adds nurturing texture to my life. I hope to yours, too. Hmmm…Beauty inspires me to ponder about life.
How can you look at life through a crystal clear positivity lens? And why is that so important and beneficial? Because any time you see, feel and savor something lovely or positive, or celebrate excellence in a job well-done, your body produces branches on your “feel good tree of life.” You might not have a money tree, but delightfully you have a happiness tree. The happiness neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins fertilize your tree and create happiness blossoms. They even bless you with greater longevity. They gift you with wondrous feelings of awe and well-being. And I am reminded awe is one of the 10 Positive Emotions.
Aha! Springtime and the 10 Positive Emotions.
Let’s have some fun. After you read my examples, explore your own life. See how you create beauty and excellence and positive emotions to your spring’s new beginnings:
Notice yourself happily smiling at the cascade of colors as spring bursts into bbountiful blossoms. Journal your joy to remind yourself on a dreary day.
Take the time to notice what sheds brilliance around you. Thank everyone for everything. Appreciate your life and your relationships.
Close your eyes and feel peace and grace. Let contentment bless you. Look for the good. Mindfully savor these treasured quiet times.
Be curious. Pay attention to how your garden or world changes as each spring day arises with novel new beginnings. Be alert and aware.
Become mindfully open as your sharpening senses invite in flow experiences. Enjoy life as each spring day emerges in all her splendor. Wax in wonder.
Laugh as the first robin poops on your terrace! Savor your first hummingbird sucking up nectar at your feeder. Delight in your kids cavorting. Laugh often.
Spread positive emotions to others less fortunate. Encourage optimism. Take some flowers to a friend. Do five Random Acts of Kindness in one day. Smile often.
Do what you have put off. De-clutter. Exercise. Celebrate your achievements. Exude confidence and self-assurance. It’s OK not to be humble. Embrace your talents.
Breathe in new ideas. Plan and accomplish a project. Feel your ease emerge. Help someone else and inspire them. Start to simplify spaces. Release overwhelm.
The sweet summation of all the other positive emotions. Explore life, connect, play, share and learn for yourself and joyfully with others. Practice self-compassion.
Love requires trust, closeness, and an openness and willingness to understand and accept influence from others. It puts a positivity spit shine on your life. Note, too, the Capacity to Love and Be Loved is also a character strength. Cherish love. It is the gift that makes life a wondrous adventure. Positive relationships add more to your experience of happiness and wellness than perhaps any other positivity facet. Remarkably, positive relationships add happy years to your lifespan. Live longer and be happier. It doesn’t get much better than that. Keep your relationships sparkling!
Funny, I caught myself smiling just now.
Out of nowhere an image popped up. I visioned a row of gorgeous tulips, each with one of the 10 positive emotions written on the blossom. How fun is that?
Hope your springtime is filled with happy new beginnings.
If you need help getting your springtime plans into action, I would love to serve you. Feel free to give me a call, or message me via text or email. I’d love to help you add more positive psychology coaching color to your garden of life. Imagine how great it will feel as you plant new seeds and proudly smile as your accomplishment garden grows.
The time is NOW to become your own life’s master gardener. Nothing like tiptoeing though the tulips with you!