What if we take the refreshing “newness” that comes from cleaning physical spaces in the spring and apply that to every single aspect of ourselves? What would that mean? What would you do?
I think that it’s good to think of the “self” as four dimensional: physical, emotional, intellectual/mental, and spiritual…and that a “cleanse” or a fresh start in the spring is a dynamite concept. It even fits one explanation of the tradition of spring cleaning — that it’s about biology. In the winter, with less exposure to light, the pineal gland produces melatonin — the hormone that produces sleepiness in us. With spring sunlight, the opposite occurs — we produce less melatonin….so it’s possible we wake up from a long melatonin-induced stupor and find more energy to tackle spring cleaning — and to extend that to OURSELVES.
And I’m suggesting that we likely feel some great urges and motivation for change in our lives as well as in our physical space. If you want to indulge with me, try these ideas…and perhaps generate some of your own.
-First, take an inventory of all four areas of the self. Use four separate sheets of paper — or maybe sections in your journal.
Make a list of what you truly like, appreciate, and are grateful for in your physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual life.
-Second, identify the things you are struggling with — things that are challenging you in each of the four areas.
-Third, identify the things you would change IF YOU COULD.
-Fourth, identify the things you feel ready and capable of changing.
-Fifth, rank order the changes on your lists — most important to least important.
Put the lists aside. Go for a long, reflective walk on a beautiful spring day.
Next meditate for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Finally get the lists out again. See what changes or alterations you might want to make, if any.
Pick one thing from each list and plan to act on that change within the next week to 10 days. Be specific about when you intend to put the change in action.
Put a time frame that feels realistic by each change you plan to make.
Each time you successfully make a change, give yourself a reward!
Come back to your lists on a regular basis and evaluate how you think you’re doing. Change anything you feel is not worthwhile or not working.
AND, finally, don’t forget about the basement, the garage, the carpets and the windows…that OTHER SPRING CLEANING STUFF.
And if you want more history on spring cleaning, google the history. The root system ranges from the Jewish faith to the Catholic faith to the Chinese who clean homes to rid bad luck and misfortune!
If interested on cleaning deeper …more can be found in my book YOUR PERSONAL STRESS ANALYSIS.