Perhaps the earth can teach us, as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive.” —Pablo Neruda

As the Northern Hemisphere welcomes spring, Mother Nature is shaking off from winter dormancy and bursting with new life. Just this week, I was excited to see my rose bush bloom!

Roses have long been a symbol of balance; they express promise, new beginnings and hope. Seeing that first, beautiful bloom reminded me that the rhythms of life are always ebbing and flowing, moving forward and then resting — still blooming every year. 

In fact, with every season, a rose’s roots reach a little bit deeper, her stems grow taller, and her blossoms become more mature, stronger. Nature reminds us that we, too, grow stronger and can thrive through change. Each person’s process is unique, but inevitably, we all will bloom again after what seems like the darkest of times.

This particular spring, as the world is experiencing the hard-hitting effects of Coronavirus-19, many are finding it difficult to thrive as the shock of change has us stuck in survival mode. Our lives have been turned around, upside-down, and have us a bit off-balance as we experience forced change and grieve the loss of our old patterns — our old life.

This grief has a message for us, too. Like the rose, it has a process to go through. 

You may not feel as if you are grieving, but it’s a natural, automatic response as we go through changes at work, at home, in the patterns of our nearly numb, comfortable routines — even our ability to go to the corner coffee shop every morning has changed!

Being aware of the five stages of grief,and recognizing that (however subtle or intense) this is a process we’re all going through right now, will guide you to see the light once again. This light will return and nurture your ability to bloom and grow through change, just like a rose. 

The five stages of grief are: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. 

The suddenness with which these changes have appeared in our lives has been very shocking. Not everyone experiences them the same way or with the same intensity, but shock is one emotion you may feel indicating you are in the first stage of the grief process — Denial. You may think, “Can this really be happening?”

Denial is a common defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock of a loss, numbing us to our emotions. This temporary stage carries us through the first wave of pain, as we grapple with a new reality. Be careful not to stay in that space, as like the seed of a flower that never gets water or light growth, it is dormant. It takes much more energy to live in survival mode than it does to embrace change and consciously grow through these emotional times.

As you move through the stages of grief, it’s important to be kind to yourself and know that people grieve differently — not everyone may go through every stage, or in the same order.

Being AWARE of your process and the stage you may be in is healing in itself. Your pain is unique to you, and it’s important to process how you feel about the hardships you’re experiencing. Allow yourself to be mindful of the emotions of each stage knowing you’re evolving, getting ready for new growth.

Just Like the beautiful rose I saw bloom this week, you too will flourish again, becoming colorful and full of life. Coupled with Easter this coming weekend, it’s a great time to reflect on rebirth — your own rebirth.

For when we change our ways of thinking and patterns that no longer serve us, we thrive like nature!

And it’s your nature to thrive.