Spring is springing!
Spring has always been my favorite season. I adored every moment of springtime growing up in Texas, all two weeks of it, sandwiched between the chill of our mild winters and the infernal heat of summer.
Now, I live in the land of eternal spring, where the temperatures are forever temperate. Folks here think 85 degrees is sweltering and bundle up when it dips down below 60 degrees. For me, this climate could not be any more perfect.
Mid-March is upon us, and in my household, it’s time for some serious spring cleaning. There is more to spring cleaning than traditional chores like dusting, sweeping, washing, organizing, and rearranging.
Here are six alternative ideas to spruce up our spring selves.
1. Sweep out the mental cobwebs.
Partake in morning, noon and night meditations. Just a few precious moments at sunrise, midday, and sunset can clear our minds. Gaze up at the sky. Connect with the breath. Resist the urge to check your phone or mentally compose your next email or status update.
Think of it as sweeping out the dusty corners of your mind, opening the windows and inviting in a refreshing breeze for tea. No matter what problems, joys, and dramas we are currently dealing with in life, we can choose to set them aside and just be for a little while, multiple times each day.
“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” ~ Anne Lamott
2. Do a spring cleanse.
Spend a day (or, better yet, a week) eating extra mindfully and lightly. We don’t have to go to the extreme of the master cleanse (the one that use lemonade, molasses, and cayenne pepper mix) in order to get the benefits of a detox. Cut out alcohol, coffee, dairy, cheese, white sugar, and enriched flours. Eat fresh fruits, raw salads, or lightly steamed veggies. Drink loads of natural juices, herbal teas, and pure water.
Resetting our diet is a powerful way to spring clean. Just be sure to ease out of it gradually by reintroducing foods like brown rice, potatoes, and whole grain breads, as opposed to diving back into eating meaty or fried dishes, right after your cleanse officially ends.
“I tried a juice cleanse, and it was a total disaster. For the eight hours that I lasted, I felt like I was on the brink of starvation. For me, it’s about making the right choices.” ~ Ivanka Trump
3. Get closer to earth.
‘Tis the season to plant new crops, yet I am not a gardener. If you are one, more power to you. We non-gardeners are grateful to all who cultivate and harvest delicious, natural foods from the Earth. I’ve long felt that I am the type of person who should garden, but I have finally accepted that I’m a farmer of words and ideas, as opposed to literal seeds.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Atwood
4. Practice “spring of consciousness” writing.
Keeping a diary costs nothing, is freeing, and can be extremely therapeutic. Use a new notebook or open a new document on your computer. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and just write your heart out. Whatever you’re thinking or feeling, let it spill out uncensored onto the page. No stopping, no editing, no planning. What comes out needn’t be legible, logical, or lovely. It doesn’t have to come out in perfect sentences or even make sense.
This is your sacred, private space for expression. Go back and reread it at the end of the day, month, or year. Take time for reflection, noting how you’re evolving, growing, and healing. Save the pages, or burn them in letting go ceremony.
“I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.” ~ Pablo Neruda
5. Donate with a grateful heart.
Do you have a surplus of stuff? It can be daunting yet rewarding to go through our stockpiles and select clothes, books, toys, kitchen stuff, and shoes to give away. It does more than just clear out our closets. Passing items (in good condition, please) along to people who will use and benefit from them is a form of karma yoga or selfless service. If you’re already a minimalist, offering your energy to a good cause, in the form of time or financial contributions, will have the same effect.
“The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.” ~ Rumi
6. Spring clean your face.
Spend a morning or an entire day in silence, and when you start talking again, speak truthfully, with compassion, and precision. Chant to clear your chakras. In these ways, we can spring clean both our pores and our voices.
May they be of benefit!
“The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently.” ~ Gary Zukav
What other unique ways of spring cleaning will you employ this month?
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Image: Unsplash/Isabell Winter
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock