Tag Archives: spring

Transition to Spring: Lenten Inspiration

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With 17 days left until spring (hallelujah!) and 40 days of lent for those who follow the Catholic tradition, March is a time to prepare for positive change in our lives. Writing this from home with family in snowy northern Michigan, spring seems far away, but I am reminded to have faith that spring comes every year. Spring is a metaphor that new beginnings and positive changes are always ahead of us and should keep us motivated in this crazy thing called life.

I recently read an article from St. Peter’s Church in Columbia, South Carolina (originally from www.upperroom.org) that inspired me and how I would like to be during Lent and the upcoming spring. Regardless of our religious or non-religious traditions, we can look at the Lenten season, or the end of winter and the beginning of spring, as a time to soak up a few more days to bundle up indoors, reflect individually and with our loved ones, and make changes before starting the new spring season. Below I am sharing some Lenten inspiration from The Upper Room and adding some of my own thoughts for how we can be inspirNational and make positive changes over the next 40 days.

Ideas You Can Try for Lenten Season

  • “Try an electronic fast. Give up TV, Facebook, texting, tweeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day every week (or everyday of Lent!). Use the time to read and pray (or reflect for those who are not religious). Learn more about fasts at http://devozine.upperroom.org/articles/unplugging.”
    • I am committing to spend at least one hour each day fully disconnected, setting my phone aside, and appreciating nature. I find that I come up with my greatest ideas and solutions to my challenges when I am disconnected and in nature. Perhaps this will inspire you to do the same!
  • “Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it (maybe even yourself). Study a book on forgiveness, such as The Forgiveness Book by Alice Camille and Rev. Paul Boudreau.”
    • We should constantly remember to let go of what no longer serves us. Holding grudges only hurts us more and prevents the healing process for us and for those around us. Practicing forgiveness will help us heal and continue to grow as people as the new spring season begins.
  • “Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea or coffee. Give the money you save to help folks in different parts of the world who are in crisis.”
    • Or donate to a charity of choice! We can save so much money by not buying a daily latte – I have found that avoiding extra expenses and making food and drinks at home helps me save so that I can give back in the future. As President of the Moore School of Business MBA Student Association, I am currently raising money for the Special Olympics as part of the Duke Fuqua MBA Games competition in April. Special Olympics is a non-profit organization offering training and competition in 19 Olympic-type sports to 40,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The MBA Games provide an opportunity for MBA programs throughout the United States to compete in field day style games while raising money for the Special Olympics. You can learn more about donating to my Moore Hands team here: https://www.firstgiving.com/team/343067.
  • “Create daily quite time. Spend 10 minutes a day in silence and prayer. See how it can help you add spiritual practice to your daily life beyond Lent.”
    • While prayer is part of my daily life, I also spend time reflecting through yoga, writing this blog, and relaxing in nature. We all have our own ways tospend quiet time and it is important to make it part of our daily routine.
  • “Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along the way.”
    • While we may often feel grateful, it is easy to focus on the negative, such as the challenges we face each day or as we prepare for the future. By focusing on gratitude each day, we can feel a glimpse of hope and happiness as we go through challenges. We can also make others feel more appreciated by spending more time thanking them.
  • “Strengthen your faith.”
    • This reminds those of us who are not faith-focused to spend more time determining which form of spirituality heals our souls, helps us grow as people, and helps us contribute most to the world around us. It will make us stronger people and better able to face life’s adversities.
  • “Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison, etc.”
    • This inspires me to be more active with volunteering again. As a graduate student with two jobs and school extracurriculars, it is easy to get wrapped in my own routine and forget what brings me the most joy and has the greatest positive impact on the world. I imagine others face a similar challenge. Over the next 40 days, I plan to volunteer for the Special Olympics as part of the Duke MBA Games and will continue to regularly volunteer to help the community.
narnia__winter_to_spring_by_voroindo

Source: themiddlepage.net

How will you make positive changes throughout the Lenten season as you prepare for spring? I hope these insights provide food for thought as you reflect on the winter and transition to spring!

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Favorite Ways to Spend Spring in Cleveland

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Source: Quotes Everyday

Source: Quotes Everyday

Finally, the ice is thawing, the birds are chirping, and the sun is shining in Cleveland. As Midwesterners know, the first weekend of spring is a sigh of relief. But, it doesn’t mean that winter is over. Fingers crossed that we only have one or two more snow storms before the beautiful spring and summer weather comes our way.

As we all start spring cleaning in Cleveland, I wanted to pass along ideas for us to have fun along the way. Also check out cleveland.com’s “365 things to do in Cleveland in 2015” for more spring inspiration!

  • Cleveland International Film Festival – now until the end of March – Travel the world from the movie theater at Tower City. I had the opportunity to attend All Stars and meet the director, cast and crew with my colleagues!
All Stars Director: Lance Kinsey, Cast: Fred Willard and Miriam Flynn, Director of the Cleveland International Film Fest

All Stars Director: Lance Kinsey, Cast: Fred Willard and Miriam Flynn, Director of the Cleveland International Film Fest

  • Ukrainian Museum-Archives Easter Bazaar – now until the end of March – Check out and shop for the famous Pysanky eggs! According to the museum website, “in the Ukrainian Easter tradition, it is customary to create beautiful art our of eggs – called Pysanky – that are known all over the world. You can buy these beautiful and delicate pieces of art as well as other Ukrainian artwork at our annual Easter bazaar.”
  • Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden – now until the end of April – Missing green and flowers and looking for a whimsical experience? Check out Cleveland’s supersized indoor and outdoor springtime celebration. This year’s display is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, featuring the Ladybug Labyrinth hedge maze, larger-than-life flowers, the Mad Hatter Tea Party and more. I enjoyed the botanical garden in the winter and look forward to exploring it this spring!
Source: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Source: Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • Indians Game – April through September – Clevelanders love their sports, and there is so much positive energy in the air during baseball season! This year’s home opener is against the Detroit Tigers on April 10. My heart strings will be pulled – my traditional favorite team against my new favorite team! Be sure to attend a game this season and explore all the exciting new developments in Downtown Cleveland.
  • Cinco de Mayo Cleveland at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, Middleburg Heights – end of May – Celebrate Hispanic cultures at this festival, which highlights Cleveland’s connection to Latin American dances, arts, music and cuisine. There are live performances and a wrestling extravaganza.
  • Cleveland Plays Co-Ed Sports – year round – Missing gym class? I know that growing up, kickball was one of my favorite parts of gym class. I joined a kickball team at Cleveland Plays last spring and had so much fun meeting great people who are now my best friends in Cleveland! I plan to continue as a kickball star (or so I think I am 🙂 this spring.
  • Barbecue at the Cleveland Metroparks – year round, weather permitting – One of my favorite experiences last year was barbecuing at Edgewater Park. After a winter of indoor baking and cooking, there is nothing better than grilling hotdogs and hamburgers with sunset views of Lake Erie to celebrate spring and summer.
Barbecuing at Edgewater Park

Barbecuing at Edgewater Park

  • MIX at the Cleveland Museum of Art – year round – if you haven’t yet attended this event on the first Friday of every month, I highly recommend that you go! Every month you can explore the art museum, see the latest exhibits, watch live performances, and enjoy cocktails and food with friends and fellow Clevelanders.

I hope you all have a wonderful spring! Please let me know if you would like me to add any other fun spring activities in Cleveland.