Spring Cleaning – It’s not just for houses!

If you and I have anything in common then it might feel like suddenly amidst the melting snow and bright sunshine there is some hope for energy and an internal sense that things are moving again.

I find that during winter time I tend to look around at my home, my laundry pile, my to-do list… I look inward to all of the “I want to’s” and then I peak outside, notice how chilly I feel and think, “not today. Where are my sweat pants and what show should I binge watch on Netflix instead?”

Then the springtime starts to show up and I want to move, EVERYTHING. My body, the piles of paper, the junk in the closet and the thoughts in my head that have been sitting around for too long.

This is a fantastic time of year for moving the stuckness. In Chinese medicine this season, spring, is the one that best exhibits an exuberance of energy, creativity, moving toward our vision and taking the actions that get us there. As Joy talked about a few weeks ago, all of our inner flower bulbs are anxious to pop through the ground and reach up toward the sun.

So besides taking on your broom closet and garage, how can you best clean-up the cobwebs in your life that have collected over winter while you rested and percolated about life?

1) Move your body. Most of us are more still starting in autumn and throughout winter. Even if you are a busy person it’s unlikely (unless you are a fitness buff or yoga regular) that in the hustle and bustle of a regular day you actually got to stretch out your muscles well. Now is the time to get the blood moving out of the little nooks and crannies where it’s been hiding out to stay warm. Once your blood is moving again throughout your entire system you will be ready to take on anything! And it will allow your body to start detoxing…you know after a great massage they say to drink a good amount of water to flush everything out? Good stretching and exercise let your body’s organs do their best detoxing job because once you are moving all that blood can be circulated properly.

2) Choose one thing on the to-do list that you’ve been avoiding for months (or one that just didn’t seem like as much of a priority as everything else has) and get it done ASAP. Moving this off the list and off your mind will open up space for a gazillion other new and brilliant ideas and projects. This could be at work, at home…wherever! When you move that one little thing it can actually feel like moving a mountain and then getting going on everything else gets easier and easier.

3) Eat sour foods. Sour is the flavor that goes along with the season. It could be a lime, a lemon or a slightly unripened strawberry! Sauerkraut, crisp greens and veggies…these are all foods that help the organs feel ready to go! And that’s what we need in order keep up with the energy of the season. They especially have an affinity with the Liver and Gallbladder from a Chinese medicine perspective and hence help those organs clean the system, manage some of the acids in the body and pacify moments of feeling overwhelmed so we can get back on track again.

4) “Say what you need to say.” Conflict may or may not be comfortable for you and it’s important either way to let the thoughts and negativity sitting around and taking up space move on. The best way is to check-in about what’s irking you, figure out what nerve it’s hitting and then take some responsibility for it. Find a bit of compassion for the other party by realizing that there are probably 100 other stories you could make up that would explain their behavior. Now, once you find that place where the air is out of the tires, you can go clean to the other party to share the breakdown and propose ideas about future interactions. The other option is to let it sit around inside of your body gathering more and more yuckyness like a dust bunny…on the bright side, it would make a great home for some germs and busted up DNA and you can make some good money renting it out to the best illness on the block.

5) Make a vision board, a “yes i can” list, a dream map or something that lets you explore the future you are creating for yourself. We’ve spent winter with some sense of quietude and resting, now it’s time to take advantage of the growth happening in nature and inspire your own growth! What do you want for yourself this year? Or maybe you even have a goal that takes you 5 years into the future. Whatever it is that gets your energy flowing… that passion you have for health, travel, your career, your family life…whatever it is, this is the perfect inspiration to create the future. Cut out pictures, colors and words that you connect with and place them on a canvas of some kind or write down ideas and desires using positive sentence structures that bring the ideas to reality, like, “In 2015 I am fit, energized and enjoying sunshine every day.”

And of course, a bit of deep cleaning the bathtub and floor boards and a review of your closet to take the stuff you don’t wear any more to the donation center goes a long way too.

Enjoy your spring!


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