Spring Cleaning for the Mind & Spirit

Early spring brings renewal and rejuvenation.

This weekend, brought on by my annual spring cleaning fever, I cleaned out the drawers in our upstairs bathroom. Upon finishing, I ushered my husband in to show him my handiwork with the pride of an artist showcasing a newly completed masterpiece.

But spring cleaning isn’t just for the house. It’s also the perfect time to reset our inner lives in preparation for the expansiveness and growth that the warmer months bring.

Letting Go 

Regrets about the past. Worries about the future. We are all carrying around a set of mental baggage that weighs us down.

I changed jobs this year and the whole process was fraught with all sorts of coudhavebeens and whatifs. Because it was a big change for me, I lingered in my past life, holding on, just in case.

One mistake that young people make is imagining that their life will be linear. They think that they will do one thing and it will lead to the next logical thing and so on. But, the happiest and most interesting people haven’t had linear lives. They’ve taken a left turn here and there and gone in unexpected directions. It is only once we have perspective that we begin to see how these branches have helped to grow a beautiful tree.

Months ago, someone in my life profoundly disappointed me in an irreparable way. I was angry and sad about it and I carved out a little home for that hurt in my mind and heart.

I’m going to try keeping what I’ve learned but letting go of the pain.

We have a gorgeous white oak tree in our front yard that is more than 100 years old. When we first moved in, I had a tree specialist come to see if it was healthy. He looked at it with great reverence and told us that it had been through Hurricane Sandy. It was a strong tree and it would be fine.

Many branches, many storms. A strong, beautiful tree.

Like the trees lose their leaves so that they can grow anew each spring, I can shed all the weight of my regrets and fears.

Nourishing the Spirit

Religious traditions understand the importance of this period of rebirth. Nature, it seems, is a great guru.

I recently had the chance to visit San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico and spend time watching the gray whales. It is a stark, beautiful place where the desert meets the sea. The whales are ancient. Wise. I left feeling centered and calm.

Nature nourishes my spirit.

Theatre, art, books, friendship, family…they all nourish my spirit.

There are people, experiences, and rituals from which I emerge feeling grounded and deeply connected to my essential humanity.

This spring, I am going to make it a project to feed my soul. The effects may not be as tangible as my newly cleaned drawers, but they will last longer.

How will you use the spring to renew your mind and spirit?