“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” ~ Lao Tzu
Spring Cleaning: Getting rid of that which no longer serves us.
We all love a great fit—that perfect pair of worn jeans that seem to effortlessly sit on our hips, the way we fit into our lover as we lay side by side underneath a down comforter on a cold night, the feeling of holding a warm cup of tea on a snowy morning.
But what about those situations that don’t quite fit?
Everyone’s needs are different, and if we are honest with ourselves our needs change on a daily basis.
Just like my fit isn’t a life lived in high heels walking along the concrete jungle, yours might not be dirty bare feet running through a field in cutoffs.
We all deserve to be the best possible version of our self, living the most amazing life we can.
Read on to find out if it’s time to do some spring cleaning in your life, because every day has the possibility to be the greatest day of your life if you give it a chance to be.
The best part of waking up:
The bedside alarm goes off; it’s still dark outside. I silence my alarm, stretch and smile. It may be cold outside of my warm bed, it may be early, but I wake up with a smile on my face because I love my life.
If this doesn’t sound like a typical morning, then it’s time to start thinking about why. We actually can wake up happy each morning, not because life is perfect, or because the day won’t be without challenges, but because we are happy with our life circumstances and who we are as a person.
One of the biggest challenges can be the physicality of it—where we are waking up, and who is next to us as we open our eyes to a new day. Small shifts precede big changes. If I woke up, and I would rather be somewhere else, then I would start making moves to be there. If I woke up, rolled over and wished my arm was around someone else pulling them close, then I would start the process of making that happen.
Life is too short for mediocre; maybe we all can’t get woken up by our lovers mouths exploring our bodies and whispering good morning into our ears, while a hot cup of coffee waits on the bedside table, but don’t ever doubt that we deserve that, and that it is possible.
No reason is the best reason:
I smile for no reason while I’m driving, and I usually take the long way home just to feel the breeze through the windows, along my skin, lifting my hair around my shoulders, as I shout out the lyrics to my favorite songs.
In meditation, we talk about smiling, not just with our lips, but our hearts, our bodies…our soul. If we don’t stop throughout our day to just smile because we are so thankful that we get to live, then we need to change something about how we are living this one precious life.
Anyone can have a smile on their face as they are on vacation, travelling around a new and exciting destination together. Notice the moments where the person next to us is making us laugh so hard we have tears rolling down our cheeks, or those rare moments when we are sitting next to someone, whose silence together speaks louder than any words ever could.
Wait for the moments when we are simply smiling because we are living this life to the fullest. True contentment is found in those moments that whisper to our souls; but the secret is we have to be quiet enough to hear it, and ready to accept it.
Love what you do and do what you love:
It doesn’t matter if we are a cardiologist, a teacher, a mechanic or a custodian—we need to love what we do. Our careers and jobs take us away from our friends and family, so we better make sure we enjoy it.
We leave our homes and spend seven plus hours working and in many cases spending more waking hours at our job than we do at home. To go to a job that we hate, or despise every day is to kill a little bit of our soul. Why dread any portion of our day?
Unfortunately, most of us can’t drop out of society and go live Cast Away style on a secluded island. We need money to make our daily lives function, but don’t get so caught up in the monetary compensation that we place a higher value on that than how happy and satisfied we are while working. At the end of the day, at the end of our lives, the choices that lead to our ultimate happiness will bring us much more satisfaction than the bottom line of our bank accounts, so choose wisely.
Home is where the heart is:
Home. It’s a four letter word for a building with four walls. I have learned I don’t need a castle, or the newest of everything. In fact, I love the character in my older house—the not quite straight floors, the old stone fireplace, the heights of my daughters measured against the door jam. I’m in love with its flaws and its quirks, because it shelters us with warmth and love. That’s a home.
Laughter, music-blaring-dance-parties in the middle of the kitchen, kissing on the counter and dinner spilling over onto the stove, it’s the messiness of an imperfect life lived perfectly. Home is the place to lay down our worries each day, to take off whatever masks we wear and let our true self fly; it’s about having the freedom to be whatever we are that day without the need to pretend or act like we’re more.
Home isn’t unsettled. It’s not anxiety, it’s not fighting, it isn’t even worrying that we’re doing the right thing or concerned we will start a fight. It’s not about making sacrifices to make someone else happy, it’s not about biting our tongue for peace. Home should be our refuge in this world that has us spinning at times. It can be the source of our greatest joy and our greatest difficulty.
If on our way home today, we’re thinking that we would rather be going somewhere (or home to someone) else, let us feel the courage to start making those changes necessary, so that someday soon, we can’t wait to see who’s waiting for us at the door.
Spring is a time for renewal and new growth, but life can’t give us a new beginning if we haven’t cleared the way for it.
This is also a time of clearing out that which is no longer serving us or our highest self. After we clean out our closets this spring, why not starting cleaning up our lives, so that tomorrow may just be the best day of our life.
If we let it, life will give us a thousand reasons to smile each day; it’s just up to us to grab hold of each opportunity and never let it go.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Courtesy of author.
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