Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. For those of us in the North, spring is the time we emerge from the darkness and hibernation of the winter months and feel ready to come alive with renewed energy and passion. Nature mirrors our hope and optimism with the sights and sounds of birds chirping, flowers budding, animals frolicking and warming weather. Nothing feels better than to open the windows and allow in the fresh air and sunshine. For many people, this is a time for spring cleaning. There is something very satisfying about cleaning out the cobwebs, opening up rooms that have been closed for the winter months and cleaning out the dust bunnies under the beds. While it is important to clear out the clutter and grime on a physical level, it is important not to neglect the inner cleaning and dust bunnies that are lingering around on a mental and spiritual level.
It is important not to get overwhelmed in the cleaning process as we want this to be a time of releasing the old to welcome in the new. Looking at the mess that has accumulated on a physical level, such as cluttered tables, dirty windows and dusty floors can remind you to think about the clutter and confusion that has accumulated in your mind and spirit and may also need a thorough cleaning. Many of us have been affected by the accumulation of events throughout the year and we may not even know how they are affecting our relationship with ourselves and others until we take the time to examine them and “clean them up” to allow the process of renewal to take over. If we just dust around the things that are affecting us emotionally, the dirt just continues to build and we may feel overwhelmed with the task ahead. Just like it takes planning before we tackle the physical cleaning, it also takes planning before we tackle the mental and spiritual cleaning. Both types of spring cleaning are important because our emotional health is influenced by both our physical and mental environment, so it is important to clean both the inside and the out.
Here are some tips to get the dirt and grime out of our inner and outer environment. Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle of the page and make two columns. Make one column for cleaning your PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT and one for cleaning your MENTAL/SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT.
Decide what needs cleaning on a physical and mental level. Walk from room to room and list the cleaning that needs your attention. Then, sit down with a piece of paper and list out the thoughts, feelings, events and relationships that have been cluttering your mind.
Write each item to be cleaned in the appropriate column in the order of what will make you feel the best to be cleaned as well as the order of importance.
Decide the best time to do each physical task and make it enjoyable by playing music, opening the windows and asking for help on tasks that can be done by others.
Set aside some quiet time to work on the mental clutter and make that time enjoyable by lighting a candle, playing soft music and lowering the lighting. Tackle one item at a time and make sure to replace any negative habits with a positive one. When looking at the mental and spiritual clutter, make sure to address some or all of these examples: clearing out old belief systems that no longer serve you, getting rid of negative thinking, letting go of relationships that no longer work for you, limiting negative self talk, finding ways to balance your life and analyzing any energy zappers. Solutions and answers for removing this clutter can be found throughout the pages and articles listed here in Aspire Magazine as well as in my book “Are You in Your Driver’s Seat?” Make Spring cleaning a priority this year, YOU DESERVE IT!