Clearing Room for Intention to Grow
Spring is finally here! I think we can all agree that her arrival is nothing short of highly anticipated, regardless of where you live. It holds a transitional period that is ripe with opportunity and possibility if we plant the right seeds with intention and purpose for the year ahead.
Spring is also the ideal time for clearing out the clutter in our lives. Whether that's physical, emotional, or environmental, or perhaps a bit of each, we can all agree that we hold onto more than we truly need. Often the long winter arrives as we begin to move indoors, and retreat from the world around us. It provides shelter fr0m an overstuffed schedule, hectic holiday gatherings and expectations, and rest for weary minds and bodies following the harvest of a year's hard work coming to a close. We welcome the slowing and the quiet, especially in the landscapes that settle in with a snowy blanket.
But after some time, this period rooted in rest and reflection can begin to form conflicting feelings of restlessness and stagnation. Our hopes and desires for when the earth blossoms with life once again begin to stir and we look for ways to reawaken, both internally and in our habitats.
It's time to fling open the windows, let the fresh air in and begin to reevaluate what we would like to carry into this elemental new year, as well as what we would like to leave behind which no longer serves us. Although many have become increasingly aware of the concept of decluttering, there are so many wonderful ways to embody spring cleaning from a holistic point of view. We now have the opportunity to look at each element of our lives with new eyes and begin to clear out the excess. Begin to find a sense of flow within ourselves, which will then reflect in our outer worlds in the months to come.
1. Declutter your physical space.
A great place to start is in the physical – in our homes and workplaces. This is an attainable way to see improvement quickly as well as create a calm space for us to begin the deeper work of renewing our minds, bodies and spirits. It's quite simple in that you begin to evaluate what you have taken into your environment and how it serving you.
Do you struggle with having to weigh the value of each of your items? Then start from a place of more ease by first selecting the things that bring the most value to your life. What items, both big and small, allow you to find peace and contentment in your space? What items get the most use and are considered non-negotiable? Then you can continue by taking a good hard look at all that remains.
2. Create momentum through movement.
There is nothing that stimulates more movement and flow after a dormant period than moving our bodies. It raises our heart rate which gets our blood circulating, which in turn stimulates the lymphatic system and flushes out toxins, which beautifully enhances and fortifies our immune system and response to stressors of all kinds. In short, it leaves us renewed. And our bodies require this process to keep our internal rivers flowing and our systems all functioning optimally, including our brain. This organ is vital in clearing out the mental clutter that can sit idly and fester over time. Which leads me to the next step.
3. Find the mental space for stillness.
Spring is a wonderful time to reimagine what we can look forward to and create from a place of reinforced purpose and intention. It takes courage to delve inward and clear out the cobwebs from old limiting beliefs and patterns that may have stagnated without question. Feel like you're stuck in a rut? You may just be! An endless cycle of the same thought patterns can leave you feeling helpless and running in place. It takes a moment of awareness to step back and look at these thoughts that may be keeping you from moving forward in a healthy way by seeing yourself as the observer and your mind simply as a tool that can be harnessed for greater happiness and sense of well-being over time.
Meditation is a beautiful way to allow space for this clearing to occur. And you don't just have to rely on your mental will power to get to the bottom of the well of fleeting thoughts that may arise. Spend time out in nature, whether that be near the ocean or amongst the trees, in a city park or your own backyard. Find presence by slowing down, focusing on your breath and how your senses perceive what's around you. What do you smell? What are the sounds that surround you? What is the temperature like outside? By coming to a place of presence in the natural elements, we allow for stillness to bring us back to our most native place – a place of simply "being". This can create the space for so much to enter your life. To carve out the time for immense clarity and a renewed sense of focus. To allow the small embers of joy to enter your life on a daily basis.
4. Find a spark of creativity to ignite something wonderful.
Creativity can create and build a strong fire in our lives. It can fuel our passions, allow ample space for self expression, and even form the way we show up in the world and our communities. Even greater, it can be a beautiful community builder. After years of less than ideal social encounters, we all need the space to rebuild our tribes. For some, this has been an absolutely necessarily cleanse of relationships and social structures. A welcome time of solace to reflect on where we want to create from in the future. And now is the time to begin. What gets your creative juices flowing? What creates a sense of flow and presence in your life? Where can you begin to place your time and energy to find small, nourishing moments of joy in your days? Fostering your creative force can shape your life in as large a way as you allow it. So take this as an invitation to try something new for the hell of it, or rather to return to something that brings a familiar, friendly companion amongst the mundane tasks of daily life.
5. Allow plants to be your cleansing ally.
We have been gifted so very many beautiful plant allies to help us along the way. And this is never more true than in the early spring months, as the flowers begin to blossom and the greens begin to sprout. We can find healing through this magical time of fertility and utilize the fresh sprouts. the vibrant greens, the citrus and florals, the medicinal powers of fungi, and the plant powered foods that bring suppleness and agility back into our bodies and our lives. Just as we begin to move our bodies more in this spring season, our internal systems crave this movement as well. We can support and nourish from within with the bounty spring has to offer.
Not sure where to start? Take a trip to your local farmers market. Anything showing up there can create movement and flow for your lymphatic system and digestion, restore balance and fortify your blood, and move any heaviness that may have accumulated throughout the dense winter months. Experiencing seasonal allergies in this shift? This is a good sign that congestion and dampness has built up in our time of rest, which often is attributed directly to the climate in which you live. Now is the time to clear it out and stimulate the body to naturally find balance and homeostasis.
And the best part? There is absolutely no need for harsh and restrictive "cleanses" or fasting regiments here. We must support our beings in a slow and nurturing transition through the seasons and not move too hastily. Change may be inevitable, but must be handled delicately as we do not want to disrupt the sacred balance our bodies work so hard to maintain and restore each and every day. Slow and steady wins the race here. And patience is certainly key.