Eight Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your Soul
Spring is a time to cleanse and renew. As soon as spring blooms, you see people running to cleanse their bodies and clean their homes. The sky is brighter, we are eating lighter, and we are feeling a greater pep in our step. But as we clean our inner spaces and get out more, it is important that we don’t forget to clear the cluttered places of our minds, weed out some emotions, and be willing to do something different that will benefit our souls. It’s just as necessary to spring clean your soul. Here are 8 ways to give your soul a new beginning and start a new path to joy, health, and peace.
Take a Fresh Look at Your Life
This is a time of new vision. I know you’ve drafted and set everything in place on your vision board on January 1st, but, now that you’ve crawled out of your winter covering, it’s time to see yourself in this new light. It’s time to walk it out. Now that you are all the way out, take a look at what’s springing up around you and whose popping up beside you. There are new things and new people in your periphery. Have you seen it? Are you looking toward the old and not the new? There is a new thing that has sprung forth. Do you not see it? Do you not know it? You have to be willing to let go of the old place of dormancy and move into a new blooming place. You must have a fresh outlook on yourself and where you’re headed. What and where you look will change your mindset. That might mean that you take a new direction in life, or that you must take on a new way of living. Is there a new circle of people you are connecting with or, maybe, it’s a new way of eating and exercising. Perhaps winter you focused on gentle exercises, like pilates, yoga, light stretching, and now it’s time to hit the pavement running with high intensity interval training. What is this new season shaping up to look like for you? Whatever it is, pay attention to the patterns and things around you and don’t hesitate to move in the direction of your new outlook. Let the freshness of this new season renew your mind.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
Be Inspired by Nature
The move from winter to spring creates both a transition in the environment and a transformation in nature. Nature’s shift should inspire us to do the same. Fresh new buds are unfurling in your life, creating new opportunities and ventures. Vibrant colors are popping up everywhere, giving a new sense of hope and vitality. Animals are coming out of hibernation and busying themselves preparing nests and foraging for shoots and fruits after a long winter. You are seeing the manifestation of life blooming in the areas of love, business, and self-growth. Take some time to bask in these inspirational moments and prepare for your new beginning as well. Whether that is tidying up, prepping, and getting things in order, go with the rhythm of nature and get moving. Let nature inspire you and aspire for more this season, understanding that change is a necessary and beautiful part of life.
“A walk in nature, walks the soul back home.” – Mary Davis
Live Out Loud – Practice Self-Awareness & Self-Expression
Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert found that almost half of the time we operate on “automatic pilot” or unconscious of what we are doing or how we feel, as our mind wanders to somewhere else other than here and now. Not only does our mind wander, we wander, going around, and around, and around in our routines that we have created for no rhyme or reason. We are detached from the world and detached from our own needs, desires, and purposes. Spring is all about opening up and living life outdoors, life out loud. It’s about getting to know ourselves better and learning how to express ourselves in a matter that brings love and life to ourselves and to others.
Take some time to slowdown and make some space and time within your life for yourself and for others. Listen. Journal. Pray. Meditate. Some of my greatest moments of self-awareness came through listening to the voice of God outside of myself. God is always able to give you a perspective and an awe and a wonder that you would miss on your own.
Listen to your body and its needs and answer and respond in a way that truly says, “I hear you and I’m going to start today by incorporating these things in my life.” Listen without evaluation, judgment, or rumination. Just listen and become your own best friend of yourself.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
Be Flexible – Bend Don’t Break
In Chinese Medicine, the spring season is correlated with the element of wood, which governs the liver and gallbladder. When you think of wood, what do you think of? We often think of trees when we think of wood, these large, tall, massive, stoic, living, growing plants. A tree experiences simultaneous growth, inward, upward, out, and down. The roots, the trunk, and the limbs all experience growth simultaneously with a rich, nourishing environment. When our system is off balance and the liver and gallbladder are sluggish, it in turn creates an imbalance emotionally. While this should be a time of great mental clarity and a heightened ability to focus and plan and make decisions, these imbalances can manifest in poor judgment, planning, organization, and an inability to make decisions. All of these impairments hinder our ability to grow, transition, and transform. The inability to be flexible under these new conditions can lead to a person having a hard time relaxing, frequent headaches, and neck and back tension. This change to spring can be difficult when out of balance because the request for change is often met by this individual’s rigid response and desire to control behaviors or situations. In order for you to truly receive what springtime offers, it is going to require a greater flexibility. Learning to compromise, adapt, and stretch past your own thoughts and ways will allow you to grow and expand and optimize this amazing season.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – Proverbs 3:34
Get Rid of Angry Betty
Anger is a roaring lion that will encircle you and steal the joy of spring. Spring is associated with the liver and the liver is associated with the emotion of anger. When you are out of balance you may experience an outpouring or outburst of pent up anger. Built up anger is usually a sign of one’s inability to surrender control. When a person isn’t able to control their life or the response of others, anger develops. Anger results when we feel things haven’t gone our way.
Spring calls for a fluidity and flexibility. An understanding that life is about rhythm and flow, of which neither you can control. Release your anger by surrendering to the processes and steps of life. Everything does happen for a reason. Don’t be angry about it, but see everything as a means to set you up and rightly position you for your destiny. I think spring calls for a name change. It’s time to say goodbye to Betty and say hello to Joyful Jessica.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
Let Go of the Past – Live for the Proof
If you’re living in the past, you’re not living in the present. You can’t be here and there at the same time. You can’t keep blaming your past for your present situation. Do something about it. Change your story. Write this chapter with the details and story line you’ve always imagined. This is a time for you to write your “plot twist.” Be the proof that you have always captured in your mind’s eye. Choose to blot out every wrongdoing and past hurt. Choose forgiveness. Take that big Sharpie and cross it all out! Stop with the Band-Aid treatment – placing it on to mask your unhealed wounds just to tear it off to expose your gaping sores when you have something to prove. This cycle only hurts you in the long run. Let your life be the proof. It’s time to suture up those wounds so that you can experience true healing and recovery. It’s time for you to experience the newness and freshness of what life has to offer, not the old and stale things of the past. You have the choice to live free, present, and whole – lacking no good thing. It’s time to spring forward.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Make Room for New Growth
Growth requires space. In order to create space, you either have to rid yourself of some things (cleanse) or increase your capacity (grow). This is a perfect time to cleanse, but it’s also a perfect time to pick up the course you had been eyeing, asking that one person you’ve been desiring to connect with to be your mentor, or taking up a new hobby of interest. This is a time of personal growth and development. Take sometime to feed your soul with things that you enjoy, things that perhaps challenge you, but, most importantly, things that will require for you to grow and advance.
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree
Release Old Resentments
No wonder you’re all backed up, constipated. Have you ever heard of the gut-brain connection? So many people enter into a detox to cleanse their system, but don’t realize how interconnected our emotions are to our physical wellbeing. Don’t forget to clear the gut of your mind. Scrub and let go of all resentments, bitterness, and unforgiveness. A full clean spring sweep is going to require a deep emotional cleansing as well. This is not always easy because it requires of you to deal with and confront some old things that you would rather just stay in the back of the closet or hidden under the rug. It’s time to bring them out and let them go. The only way to truly transition and cross the bridge from winter to spring is to “get over it!” You’ve heard of the quote, “one bad apple, ruins the bunch.” Well, in a season of such fruitfulness, your desire to keep those rotten apples of the past are sure to contaminate your new fruit. Take some time to write those things down that are still plaguing you. Find scriptures and positive quotes that change your perspective or speak truth to each line you have drafted. Ask yourself, “Is this a issue in the present moment or is this in the something from the past?” If it’s old news, give it up! Give it up to God. Cast those cares on God for He cares. Let Him remove the burden and carry the weight. The past is the past, and it can no longer hurt or haunt you unless you let it. Releasing yourself will allow you to receive in this season.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32