As my tattoo artist sketched the dandelion on my arm, I mentioned that I found myself gaining a new appreciation for dandelions. I recently learned about the detoxifying benefits of the plant and felt connected to them. He looked at me and said, “I feel we have a wrong relationship with dandelions. I feel that the universe provides us with dandelions in the spring for a reason. They come out of the ground after winter, where we feel most disconnected with the earth because we are in thick socks and heavy boots for months. It’s cold, we hibernate. Then the spring comes and one of the first things that the universe hands us, are these wonderful, detoxifying and grounding plants”.
I couldn’t agree more.
I then shared this information with the owner of one of my favourite tea and meditation shops. We spoke about how happy we both felt to see the sun shine after what feels like a long winter. I stated that winter is hard for a lot of people – including myself. She shared with me that she believed that “…Winter was Mother Earth’s time for us to reflect, to hibernate, to just be, in order to prepare for the upcoming spring. And think of bees, who are sleepy from their winter. The first flower to come out of the ground, bright yellow and full of energizing pollen, are the dandelions”. She went on to say “…This idea of a perfect green lawn, with no “weeds”, comes from our desire to to achieve unattainable perfection. And in trying to achieve that, we miss the gifts the universe is providing us”.
The idea of “just being” during the winter was a new concept for me.
Since the age of 14, I have always “survived” life. I always had a plan because I had to. I always took care of myself. I never really let anyone take care of me once the people who were supposed to take care of me, failed horribly. I felt that there was less risk of getting hurt if I just took care of myself, even if it burnt me out.
I believe my depression is linked to exhaustion from always having to take care of myself and never really having a safety net below me if I fell. That effects the way your brain functions and influences your body’s reaction to stress. And also, your body’s reaction to periods of calm.
Mine doesn’t know how to react to it.
I am currently unemployed and probably in the most debt I have ever been in. However when I think about my current situation, I think about how many times I envied people who found themselves with a period of time to “just be”. To travel, to do yoga, to write, to read for pleasure, to live life the way they wanted and to enjoy it for as long as they could. To heal.
I could sit here and be anxious and upset at not being able to find a job, watching my savings dwindle and debt increase. Or, I could take advantage of the universe answering my desire to be able to “be”.
With the beginning of Spring, came my acceptance into my Masters of Social Work program. I chose to book a trip to Argentina to see an uncle I have not seen in 12 years, and visit Tucuman and Iguazu Falls. I also begin my Yoga Teacher Training program in April.
After a long winter, the ground around me is beginning to thaw. And I can ruin the moment by stressing about things out of my control, or I can continue with meditations, affirmations and just “Be” with the dandelions.