When you look out your window you see the evidence of Spring’s new birth everywhere. The trees are bright with green again, tulips are blooming and the birds are back with their songs. In harmony with nature, we wish to feel new again too.
It’s natural at this time of year to want to clean house. The cold dark days of Winter leave us feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Winter excess fades our skin and expands our waistlines. Spring allergies may indicate an overworked liver thanks to all those holiday celebrations. Unfinished projects and household clutter impede the flow of energy through our lives. The spirit is ready to wake from hibernation and enjoy new connections.
This article provides great suggestions to begin cleansing your body, mind and soul of the past. Prepare to have your best Spring ever.
Freshen Up Your Body
Spring is naturally the most popular time of year to begin a cleansing program. A cleanse can help us shed unwanted pounds and improve our energy. According to Chinese medicine, Spring is associated with the liver – an organ essential to digestion and the elimination of toxins. Some foods and drink that are especially troublesome for the liver include alcohol, chemicals, drugs, fried foods and meats. An overworked liver may cause low energy, stress, mood swings, and inflammatory conditions.
There are many kinds of cleanses to choose from, based on the needs of the individual. One simple recommendation is to do a few days of fresh fruit and vegetable juices, along with plenty of water. Increase exercise and sweating to help rid the body of excess toxins. Adding more greens to your diet now will help to freshen, cleanse and build the body. In Staying Healthy with the Seasons Dr. Elson Haas also recommends water with lemon, fresh organic cold-pressed olive oil, milk thistle herb and olive leaf extract to support and disinfect the liver.
Along with what you eat, how you eat your food is also important to your overall health. Eating a meal under stress disrupts the body’s ability to properly digest and absorb the nutrients the food provides. Before you begin to eat, take a few slow deep breaths into your belly. As you eat, chew well and stop when you feel full. These subtle changes can bring a great deal of healing to your body.
Clear Your Head and Home
In Winter we spend most of our time indoors and often this leads to a lot of clutter build-up. A cluttered desk, closet or room is usually an indicator for a cluttered mind as well. We hold onto material possessions that we no longer need and this creates 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.” She suggests trying the clutter test on each item in your space. Ask: “Does it lift my energy when I think about it or look at it? Do I absolutely love it? Is it genuinely useful?” If you answer “no” or “sort of” to any of these questions, let it go. Trash it, give it away or recycle it. Make room in your mind and your space for the new. This same principle applies to the clutter of limiting ideas and memories in your mind. If they are not serving the purpose of your life, it’s time to say good-bye.
As you transition your wardrobe from cold weather to warm weather, fill some bags with clothes you haven’t worn and drop them off with your favorite charity. A general rule to follow is if you haven’t worn it in over a year, you won’t miss it.
Nourish Your Soul
The spirit or soul is what connects us with something larger, with Nature itself and with our innate creativity. Feeding your spirit is a very individual experience. For some it means religious celebration and being part of a like-minded community.
Others find inner peace through yoga, tai chi or meditation. For some, a spiritual experience can be as simple as a walk in the park, a day at the shore, an afternoon of gardening or laughing with a child. Whatever your preference, create the time to connect with yourself. Enjoy deep belly breaths, write in a journal, reflect.
Once the soil of your life is replenished, what will you plant? Allow yourself permission to daydream, an oft overlooked but extremely important activity. It is in daydreaming that you learn the most about your true self, your creative wishes and desires. Visualize the life that you want. Create an action plan and take your first small steps. The Spring rain will make your dreams grow and blossom, the Summer sun will give them strength and power, and the Fall harvest will bring you success and achievement. But only if you begin today.