I am never five minutes into stripping the clutter from my life before I start running into the clutter that is my life.
Not sure what the weather’s like where you are but here the days are growing milder and my lilac bushes are ready to burst forth. All this new energy signals new life, new beginnings. Spring!
For me, this time of year always heralds a time to clear out the cobwebs, dirt and debris gathered over the cold, winter months. I’ve always found it gratifying, once the thorough cleaning is done, to sit back and
relish the fresh smell, the shine and sparkle of my surroundings. I sense a real uplift of spirit and permission to start again, unencumbered.
So, just as you would spring clean your home, I’m recommending this same reasoning for spring-cleaning our lives. It’s time to get your internal house in order, to get rid of the overload and the mental and physical clutter.
To make room for the new possibilities.
Let’s take a look at the various aspects of your life, with an eye to spring-cleaning the outdated beliefs and the stuff that’s no longer working.
1. Friends Consider the friends in your life. Which friendships are stale? Or no longer provide a satisfying relationship? Who are you clinging to but have outgrown? It’s time to stop dragging them around hoping things will be different. Life is too short and precious for friendships that are past their sell by date. Find a way to say goodbye in a way that honors both of you and what once was.
2. Money Do money worries keep you awake at night? Do you feel stuck because of the debt that looms over you? Where have you leveraged your future to buy something you absolutely had to have? How do your spending patterns reinforce your beliefs about yourself? Seriously, do you really need every shiny, new object? Here are some changes to consider. Scale things down in your life. Simplify by putting less emphasis on consumption. Save more so you are prepared for an opportunity when it appears. Take pleasure in what you do own and don’t compare your life to anyone else’s.
3. Health Are you happy with your physical well-being? What habits are no longer serving you? If you want to improve some aspect of your physical well-being, what is the big “Why?” What do you think you will gain by doing so? (btw having a perfect body is not a valid answer.) Before you embark on your journey to better health, find absolute clarity on the underlying reason for doing so. You might even post it somewhere as a reminder. Find people who will support you on your journey to better health. Do this for you, not for the approval from others.
4. Physical Environment What material goods no longer match the lifestyle you now have? What clothing no longer states, “This is who I am” right now? Does your home feel serene and nurturing? Time to clear out what no longer works. Clean out those closets! There are so many people who desperately could use the things that no longer serve you. Keep only the things you truly love. Create a special, sacred area in your home that you can use to regroup, meditate, or just be. Oh, and use this space, often.
5. Personal Growth Time to look inward. Do you accept your complete story, the good and the not-so-good? Is there something about yourself that you’d rather not admit? Do you let your Inner Critic run rampant through your life? Know that you can’t get rid of your Inner Critic, but you can manage the pesky thing. Accept that you are a good and worthy person just as you are. Embrace the “bad” bits along with the “good” ones. Your life experiences—all of them—have shaped who you are today. All of us have felt ashamed or apologized for some piece of ourselves. Now is the time to accept that you are human, one who wants to become better. (You wouldn’t be reading this if it weren’t true!) So, strive to love yourself, as you are. Give yourself permission to stand in the glory of who you are, and who you want to become.
6. Fun When as the last time you had a deep belly laugh? Or deliberately chose to play? Do you often delay recreational activities until you have your work done? Maybe you feel too busy to add fun and recreation to your life? You need to do something enjoyable, every day. Really. It’s good for your soul and well-being. So, get away from the technology in your life and find a way to allow fun into your life. Lacking ideas? Here are some to get you started: sing (loudly) in the shower, eat your lunch outside, go for a walk and smile at everyone, take time to read the comics, put on some music and dance, dance, dance, use the swings at a playground. You get the idea.
7. Passion Do you have something in your life that you feel passionate about? How often do you spend time on this? If you had a soapbox, what would you use it for? Do you feel your life is passing you by? Passion makes you come alive and gives your life meaning. And doing what you love gives your life purpose. Determine what special gifts you can offer to the world and then look for ways to use them. Not sure what your passion is? Recall something you did as a kid that caused you to lose track of time. Find a way to integrate that activity or feeling into your life.
Your Call to Action:
Pick one of the spring-cleaning areas above, then schedule some time to ponder the truth of it in your life. What changes can you make in that area? How willing are you to do so? What is you can do this week to clean out the debris there?