After the long darkness of winter, spring has finally sprung in the northern hemisphere. With the vernal equinox on March 20th, we reached a point of balance between light and dark, and on the same day, the Sun moved into Aries, marking the astrological new year. From here until the summer solstice, light, warmth and creativity flood the earth.
Traditionally, we spring clean our homes at this time – but what about spring cleaning your spirituality? Here are six ways you can greet spring with a refreshed and positive mind.
1. Find Yourself on the Map
Winter has its own spiritual merits, but as we emerge from its cozy hibernation, it’s good to re-assess where we are on our path. How much progress have you made towards your goals since last spring? Are you still on course, or perhaps your goals have changed altogether? Give yourself a motivational tune up by spending some time brainstorming where you want to be and how you can get there.
2. Sweep Out Your Closets
The closets of the mind, that is. Spring is the time to let go of fears, anxieties, and resentments. Be honest with yourself about your current emotional state of mind, and stop repressing negative emotions. It’s OK to be angry, jealous or bitter, these are natural feelings – but they will hold you back if you repress them, ignore them and fail to express them. To express them healthily, without hurting others, try journaling your darkest feelings. Once they are out in the light, they will lose their power over you.
3. Throw Away Your Baggage
Who or what is holding you back? Spring is the perfect time for a fresh start. If you need to walk away from a person or a situation, do so. If you need to forgive someone, do so. Remember, forgiveness is as much for your benefit, so that you don’t need to cling to this baggage, as it is for theirs.
4. Purify Your Life
We’re all motivated to get fitter in spring as the prospect of summer days and skimpy clothing looms – but this year, choose to get healthier simply because it’s the right thing to do, to show respect to your body. Start a gentle detox program, take up a new exercise regime or simply resolve to eat and move mindfully on a daily basis. You don’t need to suddenly become a fitness fanatic – just decide to honor yourself through how you treat yourself physically.
5. Greet Mother Nature
How often do you look up from your daily struggles and actually appreciate the magic of spring? Get outside, no matter what the weather. Walk, camp, run or simply gaze. Dig in the earth with your fingers and feel its nurturing power. Soak up the rays of the sun even while they are still feeble. Let the rain drops run over your skin and cleanse your spirit. Feel the wind on your skin and acknowledge its power and mystery. By consciously re-connecting with the elements, you will feel more grounded and more mindful each day.
All around us, baby animals are being born, and learning about their world through play. Spring is the perfect excuse to join them! Create time in your schedule to do the things you enjoy the most, and to be a little bit silly. Remember what it was like when you were a child, and recreate some of those moments, perhaps with your own children if you have any. (If not, you could always borrow some!). Laugh, and enjoy the freedom laughter brings.
As the sun’s rays get stronger and nature stirs, we truly have a chance to appreciate ourselves, our loved one and our world. What will you do to spring clean your spirit this year?