Fresh start

by | Sep 7, 2017 | Seasons Newsletter, Uncategorized | 16 comments

Spring is here—Te Koanga—and with it, the chance to make a fresh start.

Is there a fresh start calling you?



Maybe you’d like to freshen up your home, or a special relationship. Maybe you need to revive your energy and enthusiasm for life.


What Nature teaches

If you take a look at Nature, you’ll see how through the seasonal changes, Nature is always going through renewal. Right now the southern hemisphere is in the transition from winter to spring.

In winter, the sap returns to earth and growth slows down. Plants sleep. Some even look completely lifeless. But they don’t stay that way, because winter is also a season of tempests.


Winter storms

Rain, storms, floods and wind sweep through the landscape, taking everything in their path. The wild winds of winter whip through forests, gardens and pathways, whirling debris up into vortexes, tossing dead branches and twigs in the air, sweeping the ground, and even felling any weak trees that have lived their life.


Letting go of the kanukas

Out at the bach, mature kanuka trees have been crashing down over the last two winters. They looked fine to a superficial eye, but the wood-cutter showed me how to examine further.

In the tops, a branch droops with dry foliage. The bushy head of a tree has a sparser look. A side branch may have dropped, leaving an entry point for fungus. And, most tellingly of all, at the very base of the tree, where he carefully probes with a metal prong, there is rot.

Sadly, I had to make a decision to fell the dying trees that stood close to the bach. Last year a large kanuka toppled on to the phone line and threatened to drop on to the power lines. Although the tree appeared to be strong and solid, its base was mushy with decay.


Clearing through the body, mind and soul

So the first stage of renewal, as Nature teaches, is that debris and dead matter must be cleared. My tai chi teacher calls this ‘Invest in loss.’

Our own debris and inner clutter also needs to be cleared: old attitudes that hold us back, and the negative constrictions we place around ourselves.

Sometimes winter flu and sickness has the effect of clearing out old gunk and preparing the way for something new. Some people like to take matters into their own hands and induce a clearing through their bodies by fasting or having a colonic at the start of spring, or switching from stodgy food to green juice and smoothies.

On the inner level, we are always clogging our energy systems with more information than we need, or with negativity and burdens from other people and other places. Spiritual practices, such as meditation, chanting, silent retreats or yoga are effective ways of clearing the soul and refreshing our being.



Now nature steps into the clear patches with regeneration. The sun reaches places where it couldn’t go before, and everywhere little seedlings begin to spring up.

After your winter clearing and cleansing, you too are ready to open to something new. Spring, with its infusion of energy, fragrant flowers, bright leafing and bird song will bring upliftment to wherever your heart takes you.


Dream and stretch

You can wake up your body gently, by going a little further on your walks, stretching a little longer in yoga, or getting up earlier in the morning.

And you can gently stretch into something new in your life, in this way:


1. Starting by dreaming about it. Sit down in a quiet place and open up a blank journal. Have drawing materials and a pen close by.

At the top of the page, write: What is seeking to emerge?

Then close your eyes and focus on your breathing, holding the question in your heart. Simply hold and breathe, not striving for an answer but rather being with the question.

When you are ready, pick up your coloured pencils or pens and draw, or begin to write by letting random words and thoughts flow through you. Let your heart guide your hand.

If nothing very clear emerges, that’s fine. Simply do the process again from day to day, never forcing, just gently opening this portal to a new direction.



2. If you receive a clear message, then write another question:
Am I prepared to explore this new direction?



3. If the answer is yes, then write this question:
What is the first step I need to take?


Blessings on your fresh start, whatever form it takes, and may it open you to delight and adventure,



‘There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a longing in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it don’t you?’



This blog is an excerpt from my Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.


  1. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – what a lovely post … sometimes I just wished I lived on your half of the globe – and not in mine when we’re winding down to Autumn … but quite see what you’re saying and so well put – enjoy your seasonal transformation … sad about the trees – but they will benefit other growth and insects … cheers Hilary

    • Juliet Batten

      Hilary, you are so right about the trees now being a home for insects. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, & I hope autumn brings you some delights.

  2. Dana Leigh Lyons

    I love this, Juliet – clearing away and ‘investing in loss’…then moving into renewal and stretching beyond what came before.

    Recently, upon returning home from retreat, I found a “fresh start” in surrounds and routine:

    – I set up a small library for our books (and gave my books another rigorous edit).
    – I found a used, well-loved child’s dresser that fits my entire wardrobe (and reminds me of one I had long ago).
    – I bought a tri-fold mattress for the floor of my office (plus ordered dreamy, white linen sheets to go on top).
    – I now linger on said mattress each morning, drinking bulletproof chicory-dandelion coffee while easing into email and work (after reading the Tao).

    These small changes transformed the downstairs of our living space (a space that’s primarily mine). They also helped me let go, start anew, stretch…dream.

    • Juliet Batten

      Dana, I love reading about your ‘fresh start’ actions. That mattress sounds a treat. I love having a lie-down space in an office, for relaxing on. Thank you.

  3. marja

    Oh I love this time of the year, especially the blossom. I like the idea of clearing and new beginnings. I just did a mindfulness course which was very refreshing and relaxing.
    I do have a feeling of new beginnings having lots of plans.
    Wish you an inspirational and lovely spring

    • Juliet Batten

      Marja, the mindfulness course sounds like a wonderful way to refresh your spirit, & how exciting that you have plans for new beginnings. Thank you.

  4. Penny & Bex

    Hi Juliet – I’m excited by OUR Spring awakening – we’re (finally!) launching our new business that combines both our passions – healing and spiritual books. ‘Neath The Rose’ will be launching its two sides: Neath The Rose Spiritual Mystical Fantastical Second-hand books and the Eastern Light Healing Room 2pm 23rd September! We chose Ostara for our launch on purpose – bringing in that new growth and to revive our Eastern Light Fellowship again with a new centre, yay!

    • Juliet Batten

      How exciting, Penny & Bex. Spring is a great season for launching a new business. I hope it all goes well for you!

  5. Lorraine

    Hi juliet, what an enjoyable post. Spring is indeed a beautiful season, the earth is humming with activity, daffodils and blossoms…herbs that have been dormant over the winter are pushing up through the earth. The bees and bumble bees start to appear, and all around me are baby lambs and calves. I watch them play, I feel their Joy and life stirs inside of me… The joy of being out side working with the earth, preparing the garden, planting seeds, decluttering my mind, and connecting with nature. Ostara blessings to you… Lorraine 🙂

    • Juliet Batten

      Lorraine, thank you for your lovely reply. You paint such a lively picture of spring life. I can feel your connection with nature, so present and joyful!

  6. Amanda Henderson

    Spring has brought refreshment and renewal to me. It inspired me to tidy the linen cupboard. After that job was done I felt ready to tackle anything.

    • Juliet Batten

      Amanda, what a great example of renewal! I find that too, how one piece of clearing/tidying feels so good that I have energy for more. Thank you.

  7. Penny

    Oh, dear Juliet, this was such a calming post. Although we are heading into a different season here in the northern hemisphere, there is much for me to glean in this, some to save for our own spring. Thank you for this.

    • Juliet Batten

      Penny, I’m glad you found it calming, as you move into autumn. Thank you.

  8. Denise Poyner

    Dear Juliet

    Many thanks for your wonderful guided insight. I felt most connected to ‘investing in loss’. I often want to hang on to the old ways of thinking and being. That’s a fear driven process.
    Separate to the pain of loss, is the pain of holding onto something not now needed. That is quite a rocky place to be in respect to the change that is coming through. Let it go, I must. The blocking clogs things up until I allow myself to let the old go. And then how invigorating to feel a cool freshness to incoming breath that gives me energy to ‘go’ again.

    Today, I noticed the Liquid Amber in my garden – just coming into bud with its first new leaves and its extended stem with a bud at the end that will burst with another set of leaves sometime soon. That seemed renewing too and important in terms of ‘remembering’. I take that to mean remembering our deeper cycles that many of us pay little to no attention to.

    I am renewing my dreams of travel and adventure. I invested some time and energy today at a NZ travel expo having come across a new travel company in the South Island that interests me. Nothing like cruising in the Marlborough Sounds for 6 nights as a new way to travel and explore. It’s an advancement to what I would usually do for a travel experience.
    It is quite pressing for me to do this, so I will organise myself to achieve this.

    The cycle of renewal seemed songful. It also raised the spirit of the aboriginal dot paintings. Perhaps I am picking up a deeper energy that I have yet to interpret.

    Kind regards

    • Juliet Batten

      Denise what an adventurer you are! Not just of the outside world but of the inner world also. Thank you for your beautiful and insightful comment, and the picture of your Liquid Amber.


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