In my previous post we learned about seasonal wellness, living in tune with nature’s natural rhythms, and what the season of spring has to teach us. Likewise, we reviewed “spring cleaning” along with some of my favorite tips for cleansing your physical space.
It’s not just our physical space that we can cleanse. We all have a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. Spring is also a good time to look at cleansing not just space, but our minds, emotions, spirits, and bodies.
A quick note: Because our mind, emotions, spirit, and bodies are all connected, when we cleanse one aspect, we often begin to see benefits in the other. For example, cleansing the body through exercise and diet, helps us to clear our minds and boost our emotions. When we feel emotionally and in our physical bodies, we also “lift” our spirits.
The following is a few suggested practices for cleansing. In my own practice, I typically pick one or two areas to focus on. Spring has a sense of effortlessness to it; plants don’t strive to grow. Naturally, with the lengthening of the days, we become more active, and absorb more Vitamin D. So look at these practices as a welcomed boost, not as a struggle. Use your own good discernment and judgement on a cleansing practice that feels right for you. I do not recommend any extreme “dieting” or exercise regimens, and please consult with a primary care physician before embarking on any extreme dietary cleanses. Remember, spring is about releasing and making way for new growth. A mantra at this time is: I release old energy and make way for new growth and beauty in my life.
A-typical to the majority of folks, I tend to put forth new annual goals and intentions forward in spring as opposed to the New Year. Nothing says “no thanks” to new goals like another 3.5 months of winter, here in Minnesota. I keep winter for more of the inner work. Come spring, it feels like the best time for me to focus on what’s ahead. I have found that the best way to “cleanse” my mind is to give my mind something to focus on. For some, spring is an excellent time to meditate and clear the mind. For active exercises, I recommend:
- Creating a new vision board
- Writing out your intentions for the next 6 months and year ahead
- Locating a new area of interest and pursuing self-study on that topic
To make room for new ideas and mindset, it’s important to first clean out the old. In my last post, I wrote about clearing out old books, papers and information. When we clear out the old, we make room for the new. If you are a student, be sure to weed through books you intend to keep or those you can donate. Be clear about the notes you want to keep. Spring is an excellent time to get a new journal or notepad.
To clear the mind, I also recommend working with the body. Active, rhythmic exercise is a wonderful way to drop out of the head space and move back into the body. We can actually clear the mind through this process. Some recommendations are gardening, running / jogging, yoga, or active meditation.
For the last 8 years I have done a spring cleanse every year. This has changed in intensity, from “The Master Cleanse” to simply cutting out stimulants and meat. As a longtime runner, it just felt right to prepare my body for the outdoor running season by hitting the reset button on my diet. Each person is different. I intuitively feel what is right for my body each year. Some years, my physical activity is too great to support a calorie-restrictive cleanse. Other years, I Vitamix soup and smoothies, with restorative exercise. If you intend to do a body cleanse using diet, I recommend taking an honest look at what is doable for you personally, and aim to set an intention of self-kindness and restoration, over intensity. Remember, spring is about renewal.
Interestingly, when we cleanse the body, often times we may notice anger, resentment, and even sadness rise to the surface. Cleansing the body is a great way to also release emotions. The gut is referred to as “the second brain.” Our repetitive eating patterns reflect the way we feel about ourselves and those feelings are stored in the gut. By cleansing, we are releasing ourselves from physical patterning that can result in emotional release as well. So be kind, loving and gentle during any dietary cleansing.
If you would like to cleanse the body, but prefer to not to do it through diet, here are a few other helpful recommendations:
- Epsom salt baths
- Massage - you can also do this on your own, such as an Ayurvedic sesame oil practice
- Qigong active exercise
- Exercise paired with salt baths or steam rooms
Spiritual / Emotional
For purposes of my recommendations, I am going to link the spiritual and emotional bodies. Here are 3 recommendations to reset your spiritual / emotional bodies for spring:
In my last post we talked a great deal about space cleaning. Another way to space clean is through using sage smudge sticks to clear your office or home. I house this under emotional / spiritual because we are actually clearing energy from a space and old, stuck emotions when we are “space clearing” with this method. There is plenty of information in books and on the internet on how to do this, so I won’t go into detail However, I always recommend that smudging is done with intention. Typically, I recite an intention while I smudge a home or office. Here is an example: All negative energies, emotions, and beliefs leave this space and this home, now. Thank you.
For many of my clients, myself included, I recommend using essential oils to clear negative emotions or to boost emotions. I use a diffuser throughout the day to diffuse small amounts of essential oils into my office and home. I test which oils are best for me at a given time, however, most essential oil companies have blends or information on what emotions each essential oil is helpful in releasing or boosting. When going this route, I recommend doing some research into the quality of ingredients and where they’re sourced. Some oils can be expensive, but in this case not all oils are created equally.
Well, of course, I had to outline my favorite source of emotional and spiritual cleansing, emotional healing. Emotional healing is unique in that it can impact all areas of self: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Springtime is a wonderful space to cleanse your energy. Likewise, pairing emotional healing with another form of active cleansing can create magnificent results in your overall wellness.
Here's to springing forth new energy and new beginnings!