An extended winter throughout much of the U.S. and Canada really cut into the enjoyment of the spring season this year for many. One of our coaching students sent me photos of over a foot of snow this past May weekend in South Dakota, which just doesn’t seem fair! Spring is considered a time of cleansing, renewal and potential new growth. The yearly ritual of spring cleaning need not be limited to sweeping out the accumulated debris of long months indoors in inclement weather; It can also be a global cleanse, where you clean out your closets, both virtually and metaphorically.
I often do an internal cleanse or eating revamp in spring or fall. When I have entered the zone of feeling the need to detoxify my body, I am also generally in a phase of wanting to clear more unnecessary stuff — be it getting rid of old clothes or releasing emotional debris and non-productive habits.
A colleague, Dr. Mary Bryant, gave me a simple and concise definition of psychotherapy: The process of creating order out of chaos. In the Western school of feng shui, one of the main principles is to get rid of clutter as the number one priority for creating a healthy, productive and supportive working/living space. The deeper implication of this “space-clearing” school of thought is to provide comfort to the mind and spirit by releasing what no longer supports or serve
Here are ways to align your physical spring cleaning with the goal of creating order on a multitude of levels:
Set intentions — I have always found it powerful to state intentions for those acts that I perform in the service of my well-being. You can devote your spring cleaning to fulfillment of a certain goal or life transition or sanctify your fast or detox to a higher purpose
And you can break it down into smaller components by stating intentions for each task:
Clean out closets and dresser drawers — Remove items that you no longer use or switch out a seasonable wardrobe. Clear out any debris that has accumulated and discard old hangers or plastic bags. Prepare a donation box or bag.
On a mental and spiritual level consider that you are releasing anything that no longer serves you for your highest good.
Go through file cabinets, desk drawers, junk drawers or bins — See where you can eliminate paper and unneeded items. When possible, recycle or donate.
On a mental and spiritual level consider that you are clearing out clutter so that your thoughts are more focused and creative.
Go through your email inbox — Delete any spam, emails that you no longer need or items that you have already responded to. Unsubscribe from any mailings that you are not reading or using on your computer, phone or tablet.
On a mental and spiritual level consider that you are cleaning out old files that block your productivity and that are taking up useless space in your energy field.
Reconsider Toxic Relationships — Are there people in your life that you may be giving your energy to, consciously or unconsciously, that are only draining you and not giving back? Maybe it’s time to let go as part of your overall cleansing regimen.
Do a “Data Dump” — Just as you might periodically clear out your computer’s hard drive of embedded cookies, broken links, corrupt files or potential threats, you can use your cleansing period to clear your mind and emotions. Maximize your cleansing process by vowing to release outmoded attitudes, beliefs, behaviors or emotions that no longer serve you.
Are you holding onto anger, fear, worry, resentment, disappointment, regret, frustration or anxieties that could be blocking you from expressing your highest potential? Each and every one of these emotions can cause chemical changes in the body as well as poisoning your spirit and blocking you from holistic (aka mind/body/spirit) well-being.
Data Dump Exercise
The best way to start any intentional mind/body exercise is to practice deep, conscious breathing. This fully oxygenates your brain and allows for between the conscious and subconscious minds, as well as creating full cooperation between all levels of your being. Here is a simple, yet powerful breathing exercise called 20 Breaths.
After taking at least 5 deep cleansing breaths allow any thoughts about the past or future to evaporate as you focus on a sense of relaxation and willingness to be free of mental chaos and any attitudes that no longer serve you for your highest good.
Imagine that a small portal to your mind is opening and through this opening you release any emotion, thought, belief or feeling that you suspect may be holding you back. Simply ask them to leave, just as you would hit the Delete button to get rid of bad files. As you breathe out, imagine that they are being permanently deleted — simply disappearing from your programming.
Spend a few moments sensing the clear spaces in your mind and spirit. Get in touch with the feeling of satisfaction and relief that one feels when they have done a thorough cleaning.