Renew - to make like new*
-restore to freshness, vigor or perfection
-to make new spiritually
-to restore to existence
-to begin again
-to become new or as new
Renewal - the act or process of renewing*

Renewal is an essential part of the cycle of life.  It is a process.  It is an action.  The act or process of beginning again.  The act or process of becoming like new.  It is not an easy process.  We can learn from nature.  With plants, renewal is about a plant/seedling pushing its way up, breaking ground to emerge into the light, to rise up.  At first, it is barely visible.  It is fragile.  It has been dormant, still, frozen, in a seed state throughout the winter.  Something instinctively told it that it is time to rise, to wake up, to work its way up through the dirt and the earth and rise up toward the sun, to break through to see the sun, the light of day, to receive carbon dioxide, to take its first “breath”/inhale then to exhale, give off oxygen.  After being still, stiff, frozen, the cycle of life begins again.  Renewal.  To begin again.  To make new.  Breathe in. Breathe out. 

The plant is fragile, needing water, tender loving care, protection from being stepped on, dried out or over-watered.  It may need support, a stake in the ground to guide it up as it grows.  It may need protection, a fence or garden border to give it the safe space to grow.

When you are going through a process of renewal you need to be gentle with yourself.  It’s easy to get excited about new growth, new opportunity and new beginnings.  It’s easy to forget that renewal is a fragile yet expansive time.  Be open to nourishment and water and support.  Allow yourself time for renewal.  You can’t rush a plant to break ground and grow into a full grown tree or plant.  You can’t rush through the process of renewal.  You must remember that it is essential.  It is a process of becoming.

Did you know that seeds can lay dormant in the ground for years?  Without the proper conditions you wouldn’t even know that the seed exists.  Sometimes it takes disrupting the soil and adding the right fertilizer to encourage a seed to sprout and to grow.  Disruption.  Doing something different.  Mixing it up.  Digging in the dirt.  Adding fertilizer.  Manure.  That’s right - manure.  Our life experiences, good and bad, can be the fuel for renewal.  You can let go of the challenges and struggles and crappy things in life.  Let them become the fertilizer for your renewal.

How do you facilitate the process of renewal?  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Let go, then be open to receive.  Take care of your body, mind, emotions and spirit.  Tend to your relationships.  Foster your creativity.  Establish routines that help you to grow in the same way that water and fertilizing a plant allows the plant to grow.  Honor the rhythms and seasons in your life.  You can’t force the spring to come when you are in the middle of a winter season.  Appreciate the winter seasons for what they are and remember that the spring always comes.  The sun always rises again.  Rest when you need to rest.  And trust that you can begin again.

*All definitions are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary