April is often associated with spring cleaning to remove items we no longer need. Similarly, we can use the energy of April to release ourselves of unnecessary thoughts, energy, beliefs, and habits.
Refer to my other journal entries in this series, Using Seasonal Energy to Let Go, for more information on using each month’s energy to let go:
January – releasing issues related to will, independence, determination, stubbornness, entrepreneurship, new beginnings, or isolation
February – releasing things related to communication, collaboration, cooperation, partnerships, and relationships
March – releasing items related to creativity, imagination, and expression
April is represented by the number 4. The energy of 4 relates to structure, planning, organization, patience, and productivity. In moderation, these traits are helpful. Taken too far they become destructive and inhibiting; however, not having enough of them can lead to missed appointments, lost possessions, unfinished projects, and even lost revenue.
Structure and planning involve our approach to tasks, projects, work, and daily lives. Issues include inability to function without a plan, inability to operate with a plan, or inability to function in situations that lack structure. Are you too rigid and set in your ways? Do you allow for spontaneity? Do you find yourself missing out on opportunities because you don’t know how to act without a plan? Do you have a number of unfinished projects because you didn’t plan for the expenses, get enough materials, or didn’t allow enough time to do them?
Organization relates to how we arrange things, thoughts, and tasks, as well as the patterns we use. Are you constrained by the need to do things your way? Are you a perfectionist? Does your need for organization get in the way of you enjoying the task at hand? Is it hard for you to work with others (or they with you) because you can only function in a linear fashion? Are you unable to find things because your house is in complete disarray?
Patience is our ability to persevere, tolerate, and remain calm. Are you intolerant with people who don’t operate at your pace? Do you engage in road rage? Do allow yourself to be a doormat because you are too tolerant?
Productivity refers to constructing anything from a house to a spreadsheet and how much you accomplish. Productivity becomes an issue when it consumes all of your time. The lack of productivity is also a concern. Are you always working because you don’t know any other way to be? Are you a workaholic? Can you only work on one project until it is completely finished, regardless of what effect that has? Do you procrastinate? Have you become lazy?
I used April to let go of my need to always be accomplishing something. Every day was filled with some form of work, whether it was for business, helping others, or accomplishing tasks around the house. Every day had a plan, a set of goals, and multitasking was the only way I operated. I viewed down time as a waste. The energy this lifestyle required took a toll on me physically and emotionally.
To give up this destructive pattern meant I had to address my belief that my value was tied to what I could accomplish in a day. This belief formed at an early age and intensified as I grew up. My life experiences psychologically tied work and accomplishment to reward and recognition, which served to reinforce this belief. It was a deeply engrained behavior pattern, so like an addiction, it was very hard to break.
To let go of my over-productive nature, I started by setting a timer and taking small, regular breaks from working. Every hour I’d wander out to the garden for 5 minutes, play a game of solitaire, or listen to a favorite song. I knew if I tried to stop working cold turkey, I’d likely fail. Once I accepted this new behavior—it helped that I liked it and was more productive after the breaks—I increased the length of the breaks.
There are times when I fall back into the old behavior pattern, but I catch myself sooner and get back on track faster.
In my next journal entry I’ll look at the energy of May.