Every year there are tons of articles and guides to “Spring Cleaning.” I guess the whole point of Spring cleaning is to organize your environment in order to prepare for both the literal and figurative growth that is quickly approaching on the winds of spring and summer. People throw out old clothes, dust behind furniture, purchase bright colored accessories and accent pieces, and re-commit to exercise in hopes of getting the prized summer abs and buns.
As I anticipated how and when I will tackle my own spring cleaning checklist, I started to wonder why I have to go through this process every year. I mean, why can’t we just keep things clean all year, not collect unnecessary items, and throw things away as time passes in order to virtually eliminate the need to have to spring clean every year? Well, I have yet to find the answer as to why spring cleaning has to exist, but I have admitted to myself that the process it necessary. It is a kind of symbolic refresh button. It is our yearly detox of all things unnecessary. It is a time of reflection and goal setting. And, it is a time of hope and anticipation of something different, new, re-purposed or renewed.
Environmental cleansing and organizing are important as they effect how you feel internally. However, it works the opposite way as well; how you feel internally will effect your environment. As I thought about this concept a little further, my first thought was to conclude that we just simply need to keep our environment and heart clean at all times in order to maintain our overall internal-external balance. But then, I thought about how much time I realistically have and how realistic my life changes with time, and therefore deemed the “state of clean” virtually impossible. Dust simply accumulates whether you like it or not, and whether you clean everyday or not. There is always something to clean and polish. Nevertheless, cleaning is important, especially internal cleaning because it is the most controllable indicator and predictor of your environment. So, in all your spring cleaning efforts, don’t forget to spring clean your heart.
Here is a short guide to help with your Heart Spring Cleaning:
1. Throw away “old” stuff you have stored away in your heart (hurts, disappointment, unforgiveness, etc). You know the things that you have been “saving” but don’t need anymore. Yes, you will need to go throw those stored boxes and get rid of some stuff. You may have forgotten about it, but it’s still there contributing to the clutter. Ever wonder why maybe there is less room for new thoughts, new happiness, new habits, and new love? Go through it and decide what you need to keep. Obviously, it is very difficult to forget the things that have happened in our past, but you will be deciding this Spring which of those things you want to let control your emotions and actions. Choose wisely!
2. Clean. Once you have decided what stays and where it goes, wipe it down. This is the time to renew your mind and recommit to the positive aspects of your life. Write out some affirmations and read them out loud to yourself. Look in the mirror and speak positively into your life. Tell the people you love those special three words… I love you. Spend some time to re-energize your heart and mind by whichever means works for you (spa day, new hair cut, exercise, vacation, read a positive book, meditate, etc.)
3. Paint, Seal, Glue, Repair. One last important step. There are some things in our heart that are not negative and are essential but will be worn-out, cracked, and broken. No need to worry, they just need a little sprucing up. These are things like good habits that have weakened a bit, great friendships and relationships that have been a bit neglected, compromised sleep or health (yes, sleep affects our heart and emotions), lost/weakened motivation and effort toward a positive goal, etc. You can use inspiration, meditation, objective criticism, a good heart-to-heart, therapy session, a relevant book, or quality time to help with this step. Once this step is done your heart will feel a little brighter and lighter. Get working!
So, whether you are starting a new phase of life or working on the present phase, take some time to do a mental and emotional inventory and Spring cleaning that big ol’ heart.
Happy Hearts everyone!