Seasonal Wellness: Spring

Okay, I might be just a tad late to the party on this post.  Spring comes quickly in Minnesota, and with it a short window for me to turn gardens, re-build fences, and other projects before my seedlings turn into teenagers and hit the garden bed. Luckily, we have another month in the Northern hemisphere before we technically start summer.  So let’s get crackin’:

Seasonal Wellness explained

It’s been my experience that we can learn a great deal from nature.  We are a unified whole, meaning we are reflected in nature and nature is reflected in us. This is referred to as “mirroring.” Living in Minnesota, I get the full taste of every season, and in every season there is a natural rhythm that I find reflected in myself:

  • Spring brings cleansing, intention, and rebirth
  • Summer is growth, action, and extroversion
  • Fall is the great harvest, a time to celebrate, take inventory and release the old and dying
  • Winter is the unconscious, a time of inner reflection, and rest.

Seasonal wellness simply means that you live in rhythm with the cycles of nature. We can tap into and use this energy to live in balance with the natural cycles of wellness that nature provides. All we need to do is look to nature for guidance.

Cleanse, Release, Rebirth

Spring is the energy of rebirth. Although, in my experience, it’s mighty difficult to spring forth something anew, if you’re still swimming in old stuff.  And I’m not just talking about holey socks. I’m really serious about spring cleaning in my world. To me, the more that I am willing to cleanse and release, the more space I am making for new growth to take place - just ask my grapevines.

To jump start your own season of new growth here are some of the most powerful spring cleaning practices I use. We’re going to start first with clearing space: this is your home, apartment, room or office. In following posts, we’ll be exploring cleansing the mind, body, emotions, and spirit.

Space Cleaning

This one is the most obvious, and yet the most misunderstood.  Quite frankly, I could write a series of blog posts on this particular practice alone, but I’ll cut to the good stuff.

After two of my dear friends were fundamental in helping me land into my first house, I gifted each of them with a book on Feng Shui. I am a big proponent of Feng Shui. I believe that our consciousness is reflected in the space we keep.  After both reading the book, I got multiple calls and emails telling me just how much they appreciated the gift and the huge difference it made in their homes and in their lives. Like our minds, our homes unconsciously collect stuff and after weeks, months, even years of occupying a space it’s easy to allow bad energy to collect and go unnoticed.

Think about it: Have you ever stepped into a space and just felt good? Energy flows really well through the space.  Plants grow, fresh air and light, happy people, beauty all around you.

Ever stepped into a space that made you feel bad, ill or confined? Energy feels trapped, stagnant and even oppressive. Think about that space.  Was anything growing there?  Were the people happy?

Whether we’re aware of it or not, the space we keep deeply impacts our feelings in everyday life.  Just check-in with yourself and the space you keep:

Can you start and finish projects with ease?
Do you feel joyful, optimistic and light-hearted?

How are the relationships within your home?
If it’s an office, how do people feel when they arrive compared to when they leave?
What grows in your home?

Now that we’ve created a bit of awareness, let me offer some of my favorite tools for cleansing your space:

Creating Space by Decluttering

Sounds simple.  Essentially, decluttering is donating, fixing, or finding the proper place for your items. Because this is a fairly straight-forward method to space cleansing, let me offer a few things you may not have considered when decluttering space in the past.

Joy: Ask yourself honestly when considering an item: Does this bring me joy? Often times we are gifted with something or held onto something for so long, we don’t ask ourselves how an object makes us feel. We can even feel obligated to hang onto something that was a gift. When we let go of items that don’t bring us joy, we release our own sense of obligation, and create an opportunity for that item to bring joy in someone else's home.

Defining ourselves by the past: Old, outdated photographs are a big one. Look at the images and art that surrounds your house.  Do you have positive, loving feelings with the people in those images? Or are you surrounded with mementos from old relationships, jobs, or painful experiences?  For me, books are a big one.  I am a big reader.  I look on my shelves and ask the question: Are these books I would read now? When I clear out old books and information, it creates space for me to be inspired by new ideas and inspiration.

Symbols: I remember catching a clip of a reality TV show where a very sick woman was bedridden and above her headboard were preserved, dead butterflies. (Butterflies are usually considered a the totem of transformation - think about what having a dead butterfly would then imply).

If you were to walk into the space you occupy and look on your walls, not knowing anything about the person living there, what information would you learn about yourself?  Symbols speak to our subconscious mind. If we surround ourselves with images that evoke feelings of lack, limitation, loneliness, and sadness then that is a good indication of the information we are feeding our subconscious mind.

In your office, ask yourself: Are the photos and items indicative of the place I want to be in my career or livelihood?  
In your bedroom, if you’re seeking a relationship: Are the images of one solitary person? Or are they of two love birds or images that support your desires?  And if you are married, or have children: Are the images in your bedroom supportive of a loving couple and romance?  Or are images of friends, children, or work surrounding and infringing on your personal relationship space?  

Be intentional, and release anything that isn’t the truth of who you want to become.

Quick tips:

  1. Remove anything dead from your home, particularly plants.
  2. If you have difficulty growing plants, well-placed silk plants and crystals (especially in windows) can bring good energy and flow to a space.
  3. Closets, basements, and book shelves typically collect a lot of stuff.  A thorough sweep in spring is a great way to refresh these areas.
  4. Clear first. If I know I’m in need of new clothing, I go through my closet first to see if there is anything I haven’t worn in awhile. Likewise, I clear my yard before I plant. By clearing out first, we create space for new growth.
  5. Bless and release.  Before dropping off a donation, I always give thanks for the items I have to give, I also intend for these items to be a blessing into the lives of someone else. When you send good energy out, good energy flows in.

It’s a wonderful feeling to physically cleanse a space, you can feel the opportunity all around you, the ultimate gift of spring.  In the next blog post, I’ll give some tools for taking this same energy to the mind, body, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our lives.  Until then, happy spring and happy cleaning.