A Spring Bulb – Reminding us to stay in the here and now.

Each Christmas I ask for a spring bulb.

Not only is it a lovely (almost plastic free) consumable gift to receive but there is something comforting and relaxing about watching a spring bulb grow on the kitchen table during the depths of winter.

It’s a reminder that Spring is just a few weeks away and a nod to the fact that the days are gradually lengthening too.

Bulbs and seeds are quite remarkable really. You plant this small, dry round bulb into some soil, add some water and it magically comes to life. All that beauty, growth and potential grows from something so dry, dusty and dull. I never cease to be captivated by the transformation.

Sometimes when looking at our current work/life situations and our ingrained habits, we feel that our potential is limited to what we already are.

I can tell you no bulb would listen if I told it that it could achieve nothing more than what it is. Give it soil, water and light and it will grow and bloom regardless. It only knows how to be in the here and now. It only knows to grow all it can today. It does not focus on the anger or sadness of yesterday or the anxiety and stress of tomorrow. It simply just keeps growing, keeps taking small steps every day to achieve its potential.

Having a bulb growing is a constant reminder to re-focus on the now. This very moment, while you are reading this post. This is all you have. 5 minutes from now hasn’t yet happened, the only time you ever have to make change, to act, to create new habits is now.

They are also a good example of why Self Care is so important. If you put a bulb in soil it will try to grow but won’t succeed. It needs watering. Just like we need healthy food and drink, plenty of sleep, exercise, time to relax and meditate and to look after our bodies. We cannot expect to reach our potential and grow without making sure all of these daily essentials are happening. These should be your non-negotiables.

Bulbs are so easy to grow and bring so much joy – why not grow one yourself this year. My favourite bulbs to grow at this time of year are Hyacinth, Daffodils, Crocus, Paperwhites and Amaryllis (as pictured above). Do you grow bulbs indoors? What are your favourites?

How to come back to this moment – breathing technique.

On those days when you feel yourself feeling less grounded, when you feel your chest tighten, your shoulders tense and you feel your mind wandering from the moment.

Practice this easy breathing technique.

Close your eyes. Breathe in 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 hold the breath 1 – 2 and then breathe out 1 – 2 – 3 – 4.

The aim is to make a continuous cycle and repeat it over and over.

Whilst you are doing this concentrate on counting through the numbers and focusing solely on that. Every time your mind wanders, acknowledge that it has without any negativity and just bring yourself back to the breath.

As you practice this more and more you may want to count in and out to 5 or hold for longer – what ever is most comfortable for you. Make this your practice, make it how you want it to be. Within 30 seconds you should be feeling calmer and more present.

Remember we only have today. We only have this very moment. Everything in the past has happened and we can only accept it and move on. Everything in the future we can only plan for or take small positive steps towards.

All we ever have is this moment. You can only do what you can do now. Surrendering to this fact is very liberating and calming in itself.

Practice this easy technique whenever you feel you losing your grounding to the present moment, like anything the more it is practiced the more you will benefit.