Spring is the season for new beginnings and planting the seeds we want to grow. In concert with nature, our bodies feel an innate tug to shed excess layers and head towards the light. I have a strong sense of coming to life and wanting to seek a fresh start after these dormant months. This feels good.
I am hearing conversations about the accumulation of stuff, and the desire to simplify and let go of the things that become unnecessary. The nature of a long mountain winter requires that we carry around more heavy belongings such as ski equipment, ice climbing gear, shovels, bulky boots and myriad layers. There are more parts and pieces to keep track of, more to pack and more to unload. No wonder we feel ready to jettison the excess, come April.
Like squirrels storing nuts, we go through natural periods of wanting to gather – whether it’s our bank account, life experience, knowledge, shelter, a family, gear or gadgets. There is an element of safety and comfort when we are surrounded by the things that seem important, or give us a sense of security. At what point will the scale tip, and these accumulations become a burden that will inspire us to say, “Enough!”
Each spring we have an opportunity to begin again. Here are some questions to help clar the cobwebs and take stock:
- What have I been holding on to?
- What are old habits that don’t work for me anymore?
- What am I ready to let go of?
- How do the things that surround me affect my inner world?
- What is enough to make me happy?
- What is most difficult to let go of?
Now, make a list of the things you are ready part with, and create a plan to remove them from your closet and your life. Notice how this makes you feel.
Satisfying ways to simplify:
- Donate what you don’t want to a local thrift store or charity.
- Have a clothing exchange with your friends.
- Host a dinner party and put your belongings out for people to take home.
- Clear off your computer desktop and post a new photo that represents something you want to bring into your life.
- Delete the old files on your computer.
- Have a yard sale and invite your friends to sell their stuff, too.
- Host a neighborhood potluck, auction off your stuff and donate the money to your favorite charity.
- Drop it off at the Freebox.
Over time, the material world loses the same importance or meaning it once held. As we evolve spiritually, we start to look inward for peace. It is here that we see the true value of our experiences and our relationships with others. The less time we have to attend to dusting off our metaphorical objects, the more time we have to get to know ourselves and each other, and to relax and enjoy the simpler aspects of life.
Interior Spring Cleaning:
Thoughts: Clear out the negative thoughts from your mind and be conscious of what you choose to think about.
Heart: Notice if you are holding onto events or bad feelings that happened in the past. If you have an opportunity to apologize or forgive, do it.
Actions: Bring kindness and consideration towards others into your consciousness. Practice loving yourself as you naturally love others.
Words: Be sure you say what you truly want and what you genuinely mean. Once your words have a chance to circulate, they will come back to you!
Travel light: Choose your battles and let go of habits that don’t serve you.
Holding on and continually revisiting past events will weigh you down and create less room for something new and fresh to emerge. As you clean out the exterior clutter, notice how this is reflected inside you. When you make more room, your capacity to grow and evolve inherently expands. We can only fit so much in our closets, and the more crowded they get, the less likely we are to find what we need. I often wonder why having fewer choices can create more happiness – maybe it’s because we start to see and appreciate what is already available.
If you are like me, there is always a to-do list for life, centered on work, responsibilities and play. Notice how much time you spend checking off the list versus enjoying the fruits of your hard work. Be aware of this fine balance and learn to say “no” to the things you don’t have time for and look for the appropriate pieces that fit. Most of all, appreciate what you have without wanting more or wanting something different. Sit, relax and smell the roses you have planted!
Kim Reynolds is a Certified Life Coach living in Ridgway Colorado. To learn more about one-on-one coaching, call 970-623-2442. Read more at kimreynoldslifecoach.com.