The icy paws of winter have finally released us from their blizzardy clutches! We’re free: running, jumping, tripping over ourselves, eager as f*** to get this whole spring show on the road. Cherry blossoms, sunshine, and a general cheerfulness has started to turn the world new shades of beautiful. It’s going to a party all the time.

But wait! Are we really prepared? You may have cleaned out the closet, purchased a new wardrobe, and finally removed that cobweb dangling in the stairwell, but there is other deep cleaning to do—and it’s all in your mind.

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1. Forgive yourself. We want what we want and we want it now. But things usually don’t work out that flawlessly. Chances are you’re an imperfect human and you had some let downs this winter. Can you identify what those less that perfect things were? Are you holding resentments and grudges against yourself? What can you let go of? Remember that you can’t control everything, that constantly berating yourself with insults or insecurities will not allow you to heal or change. Forgive and move forward.

2. Set intentions. What do you want to cultivate this spring? Sit down in a quiet room, take a few deep breaths, and begin to write. Jot down a list of the things that make your heart beat. What things do you love, and desire, what is next for you? And dream big. Best case scenario what would you like to bring into your life this spring? Be specific: Do you intend to get hired as a marketing coordinator for a non-profit that works with women and children abroad, finally learn how to tightrope walk? Being able to literally see your intentions exist outside of you, and on a piece of paper makes them somehow more real—this is the first step.

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3. Take things slowly. Ever rocket launch out of bed in the morning and then get lightheaded? Twist an ankle, even? It doesn’t mean you’re clumsy, it means you’re frantic. Remind yourself that nothing happens overnight, unless it’s a pimple. Anything you desire will come to you slowly and subtly. And this is what spring is all about. It is a transition that exists between winter and summer, it is gradual time of shift, it is a time to plant seeds, set roots, and care for ourselves with new found hope and lightness.

4. Make a plan. When the going gets tough, and it will because that's life, what will you do? What self soothing behaviors can you create? What do you often forget to do that you actually love? This can be dancing, seeing friends, reading books, doing your nails, going to workshops, getting to nature... and start now. Don’t wait till you’re at a breaking point. Prevent breaking points by making yourself a well oiled and cared for machine! Preventative care is better than damage control! Make dates with yourself to do these things, put them on you're calendar, make them a priority.

Remember nobody has to live in your mind but you! So make it nice and comfy this spring, stop to smell the roses, and come back to these four mindfulness check in’s when you start to move too quickly!

Images Via Jana Weaver, Mystic Mama, EatBreatheThriveBrooklyn, Amy Jean Porter

Bee Gray is a creative writer and essayist living in Oakland, California. She loves studying contemporary culture, media, and human behavior. She thinks life is art, she thinks women are art, she surrounds herself in goddesses, she can't stop talking. Follow her on Instagram @beesuschrist.

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