Dr. Rubin introduces the subtle shifts of seasons on the west coast compared to the east coast seasonal changes. This episode highlights that the act of returning is a behavior and the idea of renewal is an experience. Dr. Rubin breaks this down for listeners and Dr. Pete brings in the eastern spirituality focusing on the metaphor: Watering the seed is renewal. Tune in to learn about the experience of renewing in your life and that at this moment you can make a commitment to upgrading some part of your life (i.e., renewal).
Nikki: Hello Pete. We're going to talk about renewal today because I was thinking about it being spring and seasons changing and you know, it's like Spring tends to like, have a feeling of renewal and that to me is very aligned with our mindfulness practice. So welcome. Hello.
Pete: It sure is. And it's also aligned with the difference between the East and the West coast. So I mean, I feel proud many times about living on the East Coast, but this is one of them in particular. So what was your springtime like in New York?
Nikki: Well, it was very interesting because, you know, seasons are very distinct on the East coast like where is, they're not as distinct. We do have them here, but it's just like a much more subtle shift. But yeah, I would say it was really cool because there's like an energy in the city that, you know, people are so excited. you know, I would always laugh at like, its 50 degrees and everybody's basically like sunbathing in the park And I know here 50 degrees is like on the news, cold.
Pete: It's true. You'll see it. Even recently they got everyone outside with their shorts on.
Nikki: It's very funny. Yeah. So you were saying that's a point of pride for you?
Pete: No doubt.
Nikki: The celebration of spring?
Pete: And just the celebration of renewing and because the Four Seasons are distinct and you really get to celebrate or not celebrate in between, you know, because obviously like with the winter it's like cold and gray and so with that comes a bucket of things. But in the spring as we're entering, I'm thankful as I don't have allergies or at least reaction to allergies because that becomes a thing for people in the spring as everything gets flowered and green. But you see it, I mean, I love that you said about the distinctness because in the winter, you know, everything's like a fading green and right now it is so vibrant.
Nikki: Yeah. It's like that, you know, I think it's just interesting because you know, as humans we like to look for metaphors and analogies and things that represent our experience. But you know, spring is very literally like a renewal of energy, of color, of things being born. And I think that we got to remind ourselves as humans, like we are also animals.
Pete: Yes, we are.
Nikki: We're part of this earth and part of the ecosystems that exist on this earth and we can tap into some of that energy. I guess I think about things like that a lot where it doesn't have to just be this sort of, like, ‘oh, spring can represent things’, but we're also like feeling it.
Nikki: I don’t know about you, but even though it's not quite as distinct here, like it's definitely like a different energy. Like you know, the light changes, there's certain sense in the air, you know, and like that contributes to my own feeling of increased energy and like starting a new or returning to things. Is that similar for you?
Pete: Yeah. And I'm observing that we're focusing a lot on the external which is easy, but there's also an inner renewal.
Pete: Well actually you focused on both because you talked about maybe having more energy and just sort of being a little bit more motivated. That's my word but you know, that does happen as the days get longer. It's funny, I was at the NBA playoffs and a friend Cece from Sweden was like texting me and she's watching it from there. And when she sent the picture I was like, it's really bright there right now, because it was like 9 at night and in the winter, they've got very little daylight.
Pete: You know, so it is interesting that all of that external environmental stuff has an impact on the renewal of the earth but there's also something internal.
Nikki: There's something internal. And I think to that point, you know maybe something that's important to say in this episode is that we don't have to wait for the external to shift the internal. So, I love this time of year, I especially love summertime as many people do. And absolutely that creates an opportunity for me to connect to renewal and a sense of energy. But you know, like we exist all year round and so I think this is where things like mindfulness practice come in, in terms of like practicing, connecting to and cultivating a sense of renewal. I know I certainly feel that when I like sit down even for a few minutes to meditate, you know?
Pete: Yes, oh yeah.
Nikki: It's like reconnecting back to myself and like feeling more energized. Like how about you Pete? I know you also feel that way about mindfulness, but I don't know, other things that you do or things that help you connect internally in that way when it's maybe not, you know, beautiful blossoming flowers everywhere?
Pete: Yeah. The sitting is a really great opportunity to do that. And I love that you just brought that in, so thank you for that. Because that is one thing that I feel blessed to be able to do with people, whether it's instructing on how to do it or just being blessed to be able to be in the same room with others that are trying to learn or to meditate, because that is a nice renewal. Every time you do it, you're just where you are and like you said, it doesn't matter what's happening around you. And even though it is nicer, so yeah, you know, certainly on the East coast, I'm excited as can be. you know, like you said, when it's 50 degrees we're in shorts and we're out there taking things off the patio furniture and just getting ready. But I will say that this winter was not cold and we actually didn't get like, any snow so you know, oftentimes you can almost appreciate a little bit more when you have those really cold, snowy winters. And the other thing about the external is I've had to take three ticks off the dogs in two days.
Pete: Yeah. Do you guys have ticks there? This is a dumb question.
Nikki: Yes, but it's not like a concern, it's like in certain area. I mean, I don't even know, like in part of the mountains probably people are big hikes and stuff, but like, we don't, you know, we're walking around.
Pete: Not in LA?
Nikki: We’re like, not in the same place.
Pete: Yes. So, really in many parts of Jersey and I guess, well in New York not as much, but you're going to have them. And so the winter would often kill many of them off. And so when you don't have as cold of a winter, then you have more bugs.
Nikki: Yes. I'm a chuckling because you can see what's on Pete's mind these days.
Pete: Oh, it's annoying.
Nikki: It is.
Pete: And you've got a dog with long hair too, so it's not easy to see.
Nikki: No I don't have to worry about it, But getting back to the concept of renewal here.
Pete: Yes, thank you.
Nikki: I would say, what was going through my mind while we were talking is that, you know, I mentioned the beginning of this episode that we just did an episode on the return. And it's funny because return and renewal are two sides of the same coin.
Nikki: Because I was also thinking, what else gives me a sense of renewal? Like being in the ocean makes me feel that way. Meditating makes me feel that way, also like I was thinking, but I like to return to those things and in meditation, and mindfulness, it's about return. You're returning back to the moment and as you're returning back to the moment you're cultivating and connecting to a sense of renewal. And so it's kind of like you can't have one without the other, does that resonate with you at all?
Pete: Yeah. I love what you're saying and I think it is important, there’s probably like a differentiation I think in the East, what we would probably say. Because the return assumes, I know that when we did that episode, we said, we returned to When East Meets West, which existed. Which by the way, we have to take the word new out of the description because it's no longer new, but anyway, for me renewal is like a new.
Pete: The emphasis is more on the fact that like, there's no same thing.
Nikki: There's a freshness to it.
Pete: There’s a freshness, yes.
Nikki: How about this? I think the return is the behavior and renewal is the experience.
Pete: Yeah. There it is. Return is the behavior. Renewal is the experience. I love that.
Nikki: I have been known to [crosstalk 08:54] operationalizing behaviors.
Pete: Yes. You sure do. But I think that really captures it because, you know, you could return back to like surfing even the behavior, but the renewal is that every time you're there, it's the experience.
Nikki: It's the experience is like the refresh, like the energy of it, like the feeling connected part, you know? Renewal is the experience, because, I guess I would say like, you don't practice renewal.
Pete: Yeah. You don't practice it.
Nikki: No, I mean, you could practice like doing something anew for sure. At least that's how I'm thinking of it as we're talking because now that as we're talking about renewal, I'm like, oh, I feel like I can't actually pull this apart from returning if they go together, you know?
Pete: Yeah. And the one thing you've already said is, and I think what the East would also focus on is that renewal is like a nourishing, you know?
Pete: And there's often metaphors of like nourishing Buddhist seed or just trying to like, you know, you have to water the seed, that's renewal.
Nikki: Yeah. I love that you're bringing that in because I use that word a lot, like nourishing, like when I talk about values with people, and I think for myself, it's like the things that we do that are connected to our values are nourishing. And so again, as I'm like thinking out loud here, I guess like acting in alignment with one's values is maybe in and of itself a practice of renewal, right?
Nikki: Like it doesn't maybe just have to be, because I'm thinking if it's like a difficult thing, like, I don't know if you're connecting to like a value of like perseverance or something, right?
Nikki: There's more of like, it's not connecting to fun, right? That's not better or worse, but like both of those are going to be nourishing in different ways and contribute overall to staying fresh, I guess. Like staying like a sense of feeling alive.
Pete: I just had the image of like a washing machine in my head, so like Yeah. It was like washing clothes, keep it all fresh.
Nikki: Yeah. Yeah, I love it.
Pete: So ticks, washing machines, whatever.
Nikki: Whatever. Yeah. I love it. So listeners you know, I hope you are thinking about ways that you can experience renewal and freshness and nourishment and, you know. Maybe you go back and listen to our episode on return as well to help further cultivate some of the concepts we talked about today. This has been When East Meets West. I'm Dr. Nikki Rubin.
Pete: And I'm Dr. Pete Economou. Be present. Be brave. This has been when Meets West, all material is based on opinion and educational training of doctors Pete Economou, and Nikki Rubin.
Nikki: Content is for informational and educational purposes only.
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