Time for spring cleaning for the mind and spirit
Ahh, warmer weather. What a great time of year to clear out the old, and find new purpose for the space that’s created. There’s newness just around the corner, waiting for an opening so it can step in and start to bloom, start to live.
I imagine the term “spring cleaning” was born out of this natural rhythm to sweep out whatever’s not needed, and to lighten up, to make room for the new. In our day-to-day living, this manifests in, perhaps, finally getting around to cleaning out that hallway closet, or the attic or garage. Mowing, gardening, tending. I look out my windows and see trees awakening, irises blooming. It’s time.
Perhaps it’s a natural and opportune time for some interior work, too. Breathe in the fresh air; the internal spaces of our lives also need our tending, our careful attention, and perhaps spring is the perfect time for this type of gardening, allowing our mindfulness to bloom, to come alive.
Think about yourself for a moment. Specifically, think about when you’re at your best; think about what you’d like to change about yourself; think about what beliefs are holding you back or don’t work so well for you anymore, or are in the way of you becoming a more loving, accepting individual; think about your prejudices—against Blacks? Whites? Gays? Immigrants? Your neighbor? When aren’t you as kind as you could be? As forgiving? Or as grateful?
In other words: What internal deadwood are you dragging around that’s now ready for you to clear out?
And in the process of letting go, take a moment to imagine what might be waiting to come into your life that’s more joyful, more rewarding or maybe the answer to your longings.
When I give personal growth workshops, I say that when you let go of the one unhealthy relationship in your life, you are then free to turn in another direction, and open your arms to welcome the ten healthy relationships that have been waiting in line to meet you. They’re there, just as surely as winter steps aside for spring.
And they are relationships of all kinds—with people, things, and situations. That which no longer serves you—from the dust in the attic to the unhealthy partnership, from the weeds in the yard to the abusive work situation, from the cluttered garage to the guilt and fears that hold you back—must, at some point, be swept aside in order to make room for the exciting, new, healthy—and yes, sometimes scary! —changes that await you. And we all have something to clear out.
This is about your two worlds—external and internal. There’s excess “stuff” around you and excess “stuff” within. Yes, this is the perfect time—because this is the season of life-giving awakenings and there’s no time like the present. Take a deep breath. Take stock. It’s time.
This season I invite you to sit on the back deck with a cool glass of tea, and meditate/pray/ponder on the following:
- What am I holding onto that I need to release?
- Why is it hard for me to let it go?
- Where did I learn about holding tightly versus letting go freely, and does this still serve me?
- What would I welcome into my life right now?
- What do I need to release in order to have what I truly want?
- How will I proceed?
Until next time, I’ll leave you with these words from T.D. Jakes: “When people can walk away from you: let them walk. It just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead. You’ve got to know when it’s dead. You’ve got to know when it’s over.
If you are holding on to past hurts and pains ...
If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth ...
If you are holding on to thoughts of revenge ...
If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents …
If you have a bad attitude ...
If you judge others to make yourself feel better ... LET IT GO!”
Dr. Rick Pimental-Habib, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, author, minister, and educator in private practice in Chattanooga. Contact him at DrRPH.com, visit his wellness center at WellNestChattanooga.com and follow his daily inspirations on Twitter: @DrRickWellNest