Spring Cleaning for Your Mind
Spring has definitely arrived and soon there’ll be a general sense of renewal in the air and all around us. All we need now is the sun to warm our spirits up! Soon many people, including me, will be turning their attention away from the cold dark days of winter and the doom and gloom of the recession, and instead focusing on renewing and re-energising their lives.
Although it is customary for people to make New Year’s Resolutions in January, I find that spring is a more appropriate time to set goals and turn possibilities into realities. Spring brings with it a renewed sense of energy and it is a time when inspiration seems to flow in abundance. During the months of January and February both mind and body crave for some quiet time – time to reflect, time to rest, and time to review. However, come spring, and all our senses reawaken to the beauty of nature all around us, and to the higher motivation that rises within us. This seems a more natural time to make new plans, complete unfinished projects, and clear out the clutter both within and without, as a way of clearing the path ahead. Spring cleaning and New Year’s Resolutions share the same principles as De-cluttering – namely, clearing out the old and bringing in new beginning; by clearing out the old we make space for the new, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Spring cleaning isn’t only good for the visible and obvious physical clutter of a home, a room, a cupboard, a drawer or a desk, it’s also beneficial for mental clutter. Just as freshening up our homes or tidying up/organising our work environment frees us from accumulated and unwanted mess, so does clearing out our mind from old habits, thoughts, ideas and behaviours; by taking a critical and compassionate look at our inner life – our thoughts and emotions – as well as our attitudes and behaviour, we can begin to let go of old and limited patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving which are no longer useful for us and serve no higher purpose.
It is only through this physical and mental clear-out – through the process of identifying and releasing everything that drains our energy and burdens our spirit – that we can finally arrive at a place of inner calm, knowing that our world is in order and we are once again in control of our responses and in harmony with out surroundings. From this position of calmness we tap into our creativity and resourcefulness, and become increasingly aware of the unlimited choices we have in our lives; we learn new ways of dealing with the circumstances that present themselves, both the negatives and the positives, and arrive at the realization that it is not only what happens to us that matters but more significantly, how we respond to those events and the meanings we give them that ultimately shape our way of being in the world.
Our daily life and outer reality is a reflection of our inner world, so unless we get our “house in order” we run the danger of cluttering our heart and mind with dust and cobwebs, rather than crystal clear dreams! It is often said that physical clutter is an outward manifestation of what we are hiding from ourselves, and that our life reflects back to us any energy or memory that has been blocked in our subconscious mind, including limiting thoughts/beliefs, and unresolved emotions. So it may be that clutter in our home environment, work environment, and even our current relationships reflect back to us either our inner harmony or inner chaos; and the point to make here is that the reverse is also true – our physical environment impacts our inner world; if we are living in a cluttered and chaotic environment than undoubtedly we would be feeling these negative energies within our hearts and minds.
Have you ever cleared out your car, home, or garage and then noticed how the energy around you and within you suddenly lifted and things begun to flow more easily and freely? Once we remove the physical clutter we free up the energy that was blocking our path, narrowing our vision, clouding our minds. The material possessions we accumulate and we no longer use end up creating a stuck energy in our lives as well as our homes. As Karen Kingston writes in Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: “an ordered home means an ordered mind”. When it comes to clearing out material possessions she suggests trying the clutter test on each item in your space by asking: “Does it lift my energy when I think about it or look at it? Do I absolutely love it? Is it genuinely useful?” If the answer is “no” then let it go, throw it away, give it to charity or recycle it.
As for clearing out mental clutter – which fundamentally means clearing out our subconscious thoughts and beliefs which get in the way or sabotage our best intentions, as well as cloud our ability to focus on the changes we want to make or the goals we want to achieve, the most effective tools that would support the changes we seek are Positive Affirmations and Visualisation. These are both powerful tools that work with the imagination, and ultimately support and create positive changes. Visualising a desired outcome and affirming it as if it had already been successfully achieved in the here and now, releases a new energy that magnetically draws all that we seek into our life…