Hey TS Elliot, if you thought April was the cruelest month, you should have been here for the slap, slapstick and slap-worthy madness of March. Phew!

Hey TS Elliot, if you thought April was the cruelest month, you should have been here for the slap, slapstick and slap-worthy madness of March. Phew!

“Did I miss anything?” Ha! It was an aptly posed question of comic relief in a shock-and-awe moment in urgent need of emotional release.

But it also laid bare the underlying tension of this human experience we’re living. We’re vulnerable. Anything can happen to us. And some of the worst things happen as a result of the stories we run in our heads.

We live with the knowledge that the most terrifying threats are the demons that strike from within, reducing us to the worse versions of ourselves in a single blow.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in things that entangle our honest ambitions with our most misguided emotions. So much for March madness.

Now, what's in store for us in April, a month of commotion and restlessness all its own?

Well right now, beneath our feet, there is a network of life, hard at work to ensure that spring is a time of renewal, rebirth, and new life, beautifully displayed in the sumptuous greenery that makes for a well-deserved change of scenery.

It is also a month loaded with religious celebrations—Easter, Passover, and just this past Friday the beginning of Ramadan, the holiday where Muslims fast and spend time in self-reflection to strengthen their relationship with God. Wow. Give that one some thought… a month-long celebration of taking time for reflection.

Truly, the gods have a sense of humor because coincidentally, April is also Stress Awareness Month.

Our ancient ancestors regarded the human condition as mysterious and rife with stress. They were attuned to life’s many cycles and circles, and wise enough to know that no matter how much we prepare, we simply aren’t equipped to go it alone.

We need support, and that’s where rituals come into play. Because they understood that wisdom has its own chronology, our ancestors created celebrations and rituals to better synchronize us with nature.

Centuries of cultural practices have been passed down in the form of powerful rituals for both the milestones of life and for the daily tasks that can seem tiresome, but ultimately maintain the rhythm of our lives.

Today's daily aches and stressors are different from those of our ancestors, but the life questions we grapple with are the same.

There’s no doubt they felt the beauty and the burden of being human. Their legacy of rituals conveys a preference for honoring our capacity to change and evolve. It’s a beautiful inheritance in service of our wellbeing.

Rituals have a way of bringing us into community with one another, their value embraced in both our religious and business practices.

When we engage in personal rituals, especially in the care of our bodies, beauty and wellness blossom, confirming that the gods are indeed embedded in the details.

There are many enriching ways to improve the quality of our lives. Celebrations and rituals do this, and more, encouraging us to embrace change and to trust in the invisible forces at play in our lives.

We need look no further than the sprouts burgeoning around us. The magic happens and the bud appears, without the slightest input or notice from us.

If we are a part of nature—and we are—just imagine the forces at work on us from one day to the next.

Every spring, nature reaffirms her invitation to open up, trust and start over. Indeed, the word “April” comes from the Latin word aprilis, “to open”. Presence is a state of being aware, being open.

I’LL KEEP SAYING IT: BEAUTY AND WELLNESS ARE NECESSITIES IN OUR LIVES.

Our hearts long to be one with the natural world, to stand in awe of its wonders and to be bathed in its restorative beauty.

As you move through April, may you engage in the small acts that renew and shift the light around you. May you find refuge in change. And may you be saved by the beauty of spring.

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