Renee Gebhart


NATURE'S LESSON | “Not seeing results?  Feel like giving up?  Consider this the LAST thing to grow on a fruit tree….is the fruit.” – source unknown. Renee Gebhart, LCSW, takes a closer look at how we can be more Intune to the Spring Season and ourselves.

I’ve been seeing signs of spring around me.  Daffodils at the nearby park erupted & the tree outside of my office window was blooming with gorgeous pink flowers, at least until Friday’s snow day.  My home garden space beckons for removal of fall debris & a spring refresh.  I’m so ready to get outside to enjoy my Adirondack chairs & café lights when the nights are warmer. My garden is an apt metaphor for the learning process about “what” to do “when”.

However, nature teaches us life is about the process, the unfolding, & the timing.  As much as I want to pump the gas, I’m keeping my foot on the brake a bit longer. Not only on my garden projects, but also on personal & professional projects

It can be a challenge!  I have a part of me that always wants to do more & have things “perfect”.  However, when I lead with that, I am overwhelmed, overcommitted & then I feel guilt, regret, & exhaustion.   Can you relate?

So, I’m going to let my perennials enjoy their blanket of leaves a bit longer as I know we’re not “all clear” on cold snaps.  I’m not going to hit the plant nursery or do outdoor shopping until I’ve done the work to make the space ready and can see what is needed.  Without a clear plan, I am likely to over-buy & have too many things to maintain this summer when I’d rather be free to have adventures.

Honoring the process applies to my professional life too.  After leaving my previous job I was eager to lose the toxic residue I carried from that experience & reclaim “me”. A combination of natural excitement about the freedom to move forward & some striving parts of me that hold fear, made me “press the gas” too soon in January.  And I had to pull the emergency break.  That was hard, scary even, & so necessary.  I wasn’t ready for “next”; I needed time to regroup & refuel.  The desire for “next” was there, but the timing wasn’t right.

I’m still excited & scared.  But I’m not getting over-eager, pushing myself to start or commit to my “next” before I’m ready.  Instead, I’m moving forward bit by bit, day by day, making choices that honor me, my pace, & my needs, trusting that like the flowers blooming in the spring, I will spring forth & fully bloom right on time.

We don’t have to make nature do its thing; it just happens.  Our job is to stay present, be aware, do our part, not get in the way, not rush the process, and enjoy the evolution.  I plan to do less striving to make “things happen” and instead allow, invite, & watch what organically appears & see how it unfolds & blooms, naturally.

Just like nature has seasons & rhythms, so do you.  I wish for us all to enjoy the light, hope, energy, and renewal Spring brings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Renee loves people's stories & would love to know yours.  Helping clients feel better about themselves, their relationships, and their work makes her happy.  As a LCSW, Renee has provided individual, couple, and family counseling, given presentations, & was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at UAFS.  Renee currently provides coaching & therapy.