Spring Emergence (& Irritation)

IMG_7998.JPGA friend furrows her brow. “I made it through winter,” she says. “I did so well this year. But suddenly, I feel like I’m totally falling apart. Like, isn’t spring supposed to be flowery? Shouldn’t this be the easy part?” We laugh at this, that anything might be the easy part.

For the clients I see in my office, spring is second only to the holiday season in terms of sheer angst and discomfort. When the sun breaks through and the first blush of green spreads across the lawn, what many of us feel is less relief than whirring, chafing frustration. There can be a jarring dissonance between how we think we should feel (birds! flowers!) and what we do feel (blargh, go away).

In Chinese medicine, spring is the season of anger. Consider how transformative this energetic can be: It’s anger that propels a seed into a sprout, anger that organizes for justice, anger that speaks truth. But until it’s rooted, anger can also feel like irritation. If you are waking up at night, if you are feeling too fast or slow, if you are both overwhelmed and underwhelmed… you’re right on time.

I’ve written about this mud season of the soul before, a time that melts away what’s been covered and demands we see. As tempting as it is to look away or act as if things are fine, we might try pausing, actually feeling our own annoyance. Sometimes growth isn’t a fairy-leap over a rainbow but a furious awakening that this feels too small. The structures don’t line up, the form has to change. This is the discomfort that precedes becoming. We wish we could skip over this part, but it’s also the compass that guides us to what comes next.

Please note! A few spaces remain in our upcoming Qoya + Embodied Writing afternoon retreat on Saturday, April 13th from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more and register here.

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