Lately I’ve been thinking about the seasons and how they are symbolic of the different stages we go through in life:
Summer (harmony, perfection, contentment), autumn (knowledge, ripeness, harvest), winter (darkness, death, hibernation) and in particular, spring (rebirth, growth, youth, vitality).
The term “spring-cleaning” is one I’m sure most of us are familiar with, where we go through a rigorous practice of cleaning our homes top to bottom in the season of spring, throwing out the old or unused and decluttering the spaces in which we physically reside.
Thinking about these pragmatic and methodical efforts we go to in a bid to create space in our physical realm, I couldn’t help but wonder, “what about spring-cleaning our internal home; the mental, emotional and spiritual spaces we inhabit within?”
Do we fastidiously go through the garbage (self-limiting beliefs, doubts and fears) and stagnate (bored, unmotivated) parts of our minds to make way for a new season (or chapter) in our lives?
Do we ‘Spray and Wipe’ our hearts to remove the emotional stains and experiences our souls have weathered?
Do we dust and vacuum the debris our spirits have accumulated and endured through the upheavals and personal storms?
Do we decide to meticulously rid ourselves of mundane or toxic relationships because we know they’re only taking up space?
I’m all for throwing out clothes that haven’t been worn in years, dusting and polishing every nook and cranny in my apartment and waving burnt sage throughout my home in the spring time (an ancient ritual to purify homes and promote healing), but when it comes to longevity and sustainability I think spring-cleaning our internal homes should take precedence and become the new cleaning (and cleansing) ritual.
Here are four ways to spring-clean your internal home, no matter what month or climate you’re in the midst of:
1. Cleanse your mind
What limiting beliefs and fictitious stories are you living your life according to? What fears or doubts are holding you back?
Start to consciously create and cultivate positive practices to hone your inner genius and own your worth.
What are you good at? Where do your strengths lie? What are you passionate about? What habits can you harness?
Use daily affirmations to promote self-love and respect in your life such as, “I deeply and completely love and accept myself” or “I give myself permission to be love, give love and receive love.”
Be bold and brave enough to take a good look at your life and ask yourself, “is this really true or is it just a story I have created in my mind?” (I personally make an effort to do this on a regular basis to ensure I am living in the real world, and not through a fictitious story my ego has run wild with.)
Remember our ego loves to find evidence that what we think about ourselves is true and attach to those things. Don’t give or allow it the time or energy to discover them.
2. Cleanse your heart
If there is one surefire way to ensure our internal home is a breeding ground for dirt and toxicity, harboring ill feelings towards others is it.
It’s inevitable at some point or another the people in our lives will let us down, disappoint or hurt us (just as we will also do to them) however by recognizing and accepting that we are all human beings doing the best we can and learning to practice forgiveness we will ensure a small tear in our heart doesn’t turn into a full blown leak in our valves.
3. Cleanse your spirit
How can you reconnect with yourself and your surroundings?
We seldom take the time to reconnect, recalibrate and regroup from the busy, fast-paced lives we lead. We needn’t travel far or wide to find some inner peace.
Switch off, get offline, put the do-not-disturb sign on your door, reconnect with Mother Earth, ground yourself by digging your toes into the sand, sit in the sun and focus on being present; meditate, try a new yoga or Pilates class, practice deep belly breaths and dive deep into your intuition.
4. Cleanse your body
Have you been punishing yourself with a concoction of caffeine, sugar-laden or highly processed foods? Have you been using your body as a dumping ground just as you might use your bedroom floor as a dumping ground for your dirty laundry?
Just like our laundry, our bodies too require a wash, deep rinse and spin cycle to make them light, fresh and squeaky clean again.
Perhaps it’s time for a detox, cleanse or fast to give your body a rest from working in overdrive or perhaps it’s time for grounding and nurturing exercise like yoga or Pilates instead of pounding the pavement or treadmill at the gym.
“Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn
With a little effort, adjustment and mindfulness we can learn to adapt and prepare ourselves for the next season in our lives no matter what the weather.
So, what will you spring-clean first? Will you focus on clearing out the self-limiting garbage, “spraying and wiping” your heart or dusting off those internal cobwebs?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kimby Maxson/Editor: Catherine Monkman