Happy Thursday folks, and welcome to SPRING!!(or Autumn, you Southern Hemisphere readers:))
Most of us welcomed spring with wind, rain, or snow, but regardless of the immediate weather, change is on the horizon. After the long, dim days of winter, spring brings a promise of sunshine, freshness, possibility and renewal. Why not take this sparkling opportunity to welcome those feelings from nature into all aspects of life and do a little spring cleaning?
If the idea of spring cleaning is a traumatic reminder of significant others rampaging through your space looking for things to discard, I apologize. The feeling I mean to inspire is that of a clutter free space, with windows open letting in the first fresh air in months, breathing new purpose into the room. The feeling of freedom that comes with removing things from our spaces that no longer serve, or bring up painful emotions. Standing in your home, hands on hips, the smell of cleaning products in the air as you survey your accomplishments. If you’ve never had that experience, now’s your chance.
All the most successful spring cleaners will tell you to separate your space into defined sections and tackle them one at a time. So here we go…
As a woman, and an emotional one at that, just thinking the words “emotional spring clean” feels refreshing. We acknowledge the benefit it clearing out and eliminating useless and cumbersome things in other areas of our lives, how much more in the area that motivates and informs all the other functions?! Take emotional stock, and put concerted effort into ditching everything that you don’t need anymore. Guilt over that thing you said to your friend three weeks ago? Decide if you need to take action on it, and then move on! Frustration over things you can’t change? Self-doubt about your goals? Disappointment over missed opportunities or failed plans? Own ‘em, acknowledge ‘em, and then decide not to waste any more time in them. Easier said than done, I know, but the more aware you are of the emotions that are keeping you from moving forward, the better you will be able to move through them.
So yeah, spring cleaning your house and car and desk and all that physical stuff is important and great and probably awesome for you, but do you ever do a little tidying up in your physical health? I’m not talking green juice detox cleanses, though if that’s your thing, go ahead. I’m talking about letting the fresh breath of spring get into your body and breathe new life. Things are waking up, sweeping out the cobwebs, and stepping out to new adventures. You can do the same! If you have some New Year’s resolutions for physical health, what’s been keeping you from accomplishing them? That pantry full of snacks? The cruddy, cold weather? Feeling like your eating habits have power over you instead of the opposite? The change of seasons is a perfect time to take a junk food break. Chuck those safety snacks that you keep in the back of the cupboard for chocolate emergencies. Pick up a new exercise routine. Even if you just pat yourself on the back for staying dedicated to your physical health through the challenges of the last season, increased awareness of physical health is always a positive.
A financial spring clean sounds almost as refreshing as an emotional one! A new season means new kinds of expenses and brings different financial opportunities. In order to capitalize on those opportunities it’s important to take time to see where you are financially and where you’d like to be. Have you been able to save as much as you’d like? Give to the causes that are important to you? Buy the special things that help you to get the most out of the mountain top experiences of life? If not, where is that money going? It’s easy to let spending and bills and paychecks float in and out and move faster than we care to pay attention to, and taking time to evaluate is the only way to slow that flow down, and make changes if needed.
The spring season in nature most inspires me in this area. Birds are popping out to sing songs to their neighbors. Chipmunks in my backyard are chattering and scampering over each other as they play together. Plants and trees are budding, animals are pairing up and starting new families, and I feel a new optimism in my relationships and desire for companionship. It’s a great time to reach out to the special people in your life. Write the text, make the phone call, buy the flowers. Maybe even make some new friends! Just make sure that you send a little love to the old ones first. Take some time to let those important people know how their investment in your life has impacted you, even if that impact has been less than affirming in the past. If you value your relationship it’s important to let the other person know if you aren’t happy with its status.
If you’ve been hanging on to some contacts in your phone who are dragging you down, this might be a good time to have a heart to heart. Those folks on Facebook who only post negativity so that at this point just their photo makes you illogically angry, now is a great opportunity to evaluate. You know whether those relationships are valuable enough to invest in, talk about, and work on, or whether it’s time to “unfollow”.
As everything else is coming alive, starting to bloom, and making new growth, the Christian church celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus. I’ve always loved this season, especially in the church as the celebration of victory of life over death, light over darkness, good over evil, speaks such hope into my heart. Whether you acknowledge this as truth or not, I encourage you to consider your spiritual health in this season of new life. Any day when you can see the beauty of the world and let it remind you to love better, speak kindness, share beauty and be generous, is a better day in my book.
Of course, we all know that sometimes the clean out doesn’t last. The clutter sneaks back in, we accumulate more junk, our normal state is a tempting routine and we fall back into it. Be that as it may, any moment of progress shows us what’s is possible. And friend, it’s all possible. ❤