Today is the first official day of Spring, and the energy in the air is feeling as fresh as newly-green leaves and just-ripened fruit.
Life is cyclical, and I have begun to learn in the past year or so that allowing ourselves to flow along with the seasons is a really good way to invite ease into our lives, as well as the comfort of feeling like you are right where you are supposed to be.
Another thing to note is that the transitions between seasons are almost just as significant as the seasons themselves, and there is something to be said about each one.
The graceful falling of leaves as old ways allow themselves to collapse.
The willingness with which life slips into the barren state of winter— deciding to occur in a less obviously beautiful way, moving the magic inward.
The awe-inspiring way that blossom after blossom makes residence on dead branches until soon the lushness of spring is everywhere.
The abundance that overflows out of spring and is met with the sun as the earth basks in the warmth of its own glory all summer.
Just pure beauty and pure magic to be found in the way the earth decides to evolve into the next version of itself.
That being said, just coming out of winter— a time of hibernation— a lot of stored up energy is ready to burst out of us. But in order to embrace the abundance of spring, I’m here to remind you that it’s necessary to honor the dead and emptiness of winter first.
The best way to do that? Mental spring cleaning.
The whole idea behind spring cleaning your house is to create space for the new and fresh energy that comes in with spring: less dust, less clutter, less mess, more open shelves, more organized closets, more clean tabletops.
This same activity can be applied to our minds and hearts, too. And the results of that spring cleaning feel even warmer and fuzzier than a clean house does— and a clean house feels pretty warm and fuzzy.
I want to offer a few task ideas to consider adding to your spring cleaning to-do list, and just know that any renovations at all that you do are very worthwhile. Houses, apartments, rooms, cities– these are all temporary. Your heart and your mind? That is your forever home.
- Acknowledging patterns or occurrences that haven’t been serving you.
One of my very favorite quotes, which I’ve had framed in my room since high school, says, “Run, my dear, from anything that does not strengthen your precious, budding wings.”
The other day I looked at it and thought, “Are my wings supposed to be grown by now? Should I get rid of that quote, because I’ve outgrown it?”
But this is not even close to the truth. The truth is that we are always growing. We are always trying to find ways to progress, whether big or small, obvious or less obvious, minimal or elaborate. Identifying anything that may be hindering that process of growth is vital. It’s the most sincere act of love that we can do for ourselves.
These blockages could be anything from bad habits, relationships that are stale, situations you’re stuck in, or patterns that are trapping you. To identify these things, and be honest with yourself when doing so, is a gift that your heart and mind will thank you for.
2. Examining daily routine + habits
Another one of my favorite pieces of advice is, “The secret to success can be found in your daily routine.” It’s something I’ve lived by for years now. The little things you do habitually are the little things that can inch you closer to the person you want to be more than anything else, since naturally you repeat them day after day.
Look at your daily routine and see where you can make some room for positive things, like a walk in the fresh air, a healthy meal, a phone call with someone you love, or a few moments of peaceful stillness.
There are a number of things that can sneak into your daily routine without you even realizing they have, and the sweeping away of them can bring refreshment and space.
Crafting your day is a privilege, and your structure is something that can serve you more than anything else.
3. Looking at relationships
At risk of sounding harsh, it’s easy to not notice ourselves putting energy into relationships that aren’t returning that energy to us. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if the no-return-on-energy has become normal, it’s time to examine.
Look at the people in your life and ask you which ones push you to be your happiest and best self. Ask yourself which relationships are “black holes,” meaning that everything you put into them never comes back to you.
The reality is that some people aren’t meant for us, and prolonged stagnancy in a relationship can be a sign of that. Clearing out relationships that aren’t working may seem selfish, but all it does it create space for both you and the other person that can allow those who may be a better connection to come into your life.
4. Applying forgiveness to areas you need to release
We all have things that have hurt us. We all have a few scars. We all have things we wish would have never happened, words we wish we could take back, and things we wish we could handle differently.
This is all part of our past, but even though it’s behind us, if we don’t acknowledge these things for what they were, they can still wreak havoc over our minds. To help with this, think about how any pain, grudges, stress, or mistakes that you’re holding onto has helped you grow. Then think about how you can seal in that growth by looking at them in this way instead of in bitterness.
To give past transgressions space to be felt, and then to apply love and acceptance, and forgive— that is how you release. And release is how you level up.
5. Checking out your thought process
The pattern of thoughts that run through our brain is something that we don’t always realize. It’s easy to let our minds go on and on, thinking that out train of thought isn’t really something that we decide— but this is not the case.
We decide which way to steer our thought process, and if you feel like you’ve lost control, the best suggestion I have is mind mapping. Sit down with a journal and write down each category in your life that you want to give energy to. Within each category, state what you’re proud of yourself for and a goal that you want to work toward.
The process of sorting out what truly matters to you will serve as a roadmap for your subconscious, helping to keep your train of thought on the highest and brightest track.
At the end of the day, we can dream and plan and work all we want, but we aren’t going to be able to bring anything new into our lives or hearts unless there is space available.
This time of the year is full of new, fresh energy, which we can use to rearrange our mental space, leaving room for growth to occur.
Next time your outside, look at the bare trees and wide open fields, and imagine the barren spaces being filled with the bright and vibrant blooms that spring will soon place there. The same thing can happen for your mind and heart.
We can’t even begin to imagine the beauty of what can grow in our minds and our lives with intentional effort; all we need to do is prepare for the space for it.