One of my favorite things about spring is having the chance to be a tenderfoot again. The word tenderfoot reminds me of the first warm days of spring, when you go for a walk in bare feet for the first time all year. Your feet are soft and sensitive, so you walk carefully, feeling every blade of grass and every pebble below you. You must honor your limitations by choosing the softest path and walking slowly. This is cause for rejoicing because it allows you to feel the world in a new way and has you connected to your experience. This is self care.

My tender feet show me that even the slightest twig or pebble can hurt. I listen to this message, first spending more time on soft grassy surfaces, then easing onto rougher terrain as I slowly allow my feet to adapt.

Sometimes my spirit feels as delicate as those tender feet. I have asked for a big, beautiful life, and the universe has supplied me with one. My personal healing journey has offered me the chance to make this happen.

But recently I have come to understand that even the most fulfilling of life’s offerings at times can be too much. I love my work, family, garden, friendships, and sports, and I didn’t think they could ever deplete me, but the truth is, sometimes they do.

By listening deeply to my body, mind, heart, and spirit, I can feel subtle shifts and address them before they have the potential to throw me too far off balance. My body gives me signs by feeling heavy and achy, which might make me tired, grumpy, or resentful. Instead of reacting to these sensations and emotions, I’ve trained myself to get quiet and soften, like tenderfoot, and ask the questions that no one but me can answer. This offers me a chance to understand myself more clearly and take care of my life tenderly.

Every day and each moment is different. That’s why it is essential to build a relationship with ourselves that keeps us aware of how we feel in the many moments of our lives. In a state of self-awareness, we can make decisions that support vitality and balance and ultimately deliver happiness.

I will touch my tender feet to the ground this spring as I navigate life with a renewed awakening, holding in my heart this intention:

Let life get simpler, more spontaneous, and much more fun.

To me, making conscious, tenderfoot steps forward and being present in the moment is the ultimate act of self-loving kindness.