My mother was always big on spring cleaning. She’d usually declared it time for this annual ritual during our spring break from school. Yes, as you can imagine, this announcement was met with groans from me and my siblings. But Mom made it relatively fun. We got to sleep in, and the work itself was down with lots of singing and story – our family’s “spoonful of sugar” for those tasks we weren’t thrilled with.
As an adult, I moved my personal spring cleaning ritual to earlier in the year. I do it when the season changes after the long winter months. It’s when I notice the birds singing, the crocuses popping up through the snow and that shift in the air telling me that spring is on its way. I do it when I cannot resist opening the windows and letting fresh air blow through the house.
When we’re living in times like these, when it seems like every week some major shift has happened, I do a second clearing. For me, Spring Cleaning is a spiritual practice that opens the way for new life, new opportunities, new perspective. This year, I extended my spring cleaning to clearing out old financial and business files. You see, I feel a new breeze wanting to move through those aspects of my life.
How do I make spring cleaning a spiritual practice that changes my life on every level? I have a three step process.
Step One – Gratitude for what is.
Like in all rituals, preparation is essential. Setting the frame of your intention is critical. As I’m gathering supplies and making a list of what I want to accomplish, I stay in a gratitude frame of mind. I express my gratitude that I have a home, furniture, window treatments, collectibles, family heirlooms, … that need to be attended to. I remind myself that clearing away will allow the new and fresh to enter my life. I sing – or put on my favorite music or inspirational program.
I make a pact with myself to avoid any self recrimination about the state of things. If I catch myself in ‘should haves’, I stop immediately and re-center in gratitude.
Step Two – Using the Physical to Clear the Emotional, Mental and Spiritual
As I physically clear away dust, clutter and staleness – I consider what I might need to clear away mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I let the physical acts of dusting, scrubbing and sweeping be the vehicles for letting go on all levels. I do this in lots of little ways. Basically, I think about different aspects of my life while I’m doing the physical tasks. For example, as I’m deep cleaning the kitchen (the place where I cook for myself) I ask how I’m feeding myself in other ways and if any change needs to occur. I usually discover that I’m working too much and I make decisions on what I can let go of. It’s amazing how helpful this process is and how naturally the kitchen supplies me with ways to work this out. As I’m doing easy jobs like wiping down the light switches, easy things to let go of around work come to mind. When I’m using all my strength to move the refrigerator and clean behind it, I find myself focusing on any “mountain” of resistance in my work. The emotion of that resistance helps fuel my strength to move the refrigerator. The areas behind and under the refrigerator often become the hidden things that need to be cleared up and let go of. As I wipe the dust and dirt away physically, I release my resistance mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Just let your house become a metaphor or symbol of your current life – and let it speak to you. As you’re washing windows, ask what you aren’t able to see in your life. As you’re dusting the book shelves, notice what titles grab your attention and ask why.
Avoid over analyzing in this process. Just see what emerges. I like to keep a notebook handy in case I receive a really important insight that I want to be sure to remember. I also tend to move through the house in a counter clockwise direction – the direction of undoing.
Step Three: Opening, Blessings and Celebration
When you’re done with the clearing and cleaning tasks, don’t stop there. This is the moment to bless the new, open to what’s coming and celebrate your achievement. I do this after every room and then when the entire house is complete. What does it look like?
Often, quite simply, I take a moment to look at the fresh new space and just enjoy it. I might treat myself with a cuppa tea or a delicious snack while I think of what new things might happen in this space and in my life. I might promise to use my grandmother’s teapot more often and remember how dear she was to me. Or, I might give myself permission (and a commitment) to read that juicy novel after dinner instead of finding ways to work more.
When the entire house is complete, I walk through it (in a clockwise direction) blessing each space, setting my intentions for the season ahead and speaking my gratitude for all that is and all this is coming. This is often the time that I open all the windows as a sign
to the universe that I am open to what new things will serve me. I might put flowers around the house and/or light candles. I might dance through the house in celebration. Depending on my mood, I then snuggle up with a good book or movie and enjoy being in my home – or, I invite friends over for tea or dinner to help me bless the space.
Why do these three steps work so powerfully? Creating space, movement and/or flow in one area of your life opens all the other areas to the same energies. Yesterday, I spring cleaned my financials and business. This morning I was offered an opportunity to double my income in a way that feels easy and filled with grace. Worry left me and my heart sang!
If you have questions or comments about this process, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Please – Like, share, follow, comment and forward to friends and colleagues. I’m Coleen Rhalena Renee – a spiritual healer and teacher. I appreciate you helping me pass along these insights, teachings and thoughts to ponder. I’m deeply grateful to all my readers and thank you for your support and for the work you do to heal the world and celebrate its beauty.
If you need assistance in walking your path visit my website and considering working with me if what I offer resonates with you.
Many blessings, ~ Coleen