With the advent of Spring, I find myself filled with anticipation, and that feeling is echoed all around me. I attribute this feeling to a shift in our collective psyche, a welcoming of Summer, a sense of winding down and somehow a sense of openness.
To get to that winding down – to a more relaxed state of being and an expansiveness in our mental and emotional space, requires some work on our part. Traditionally, a springclean is associated with getting our house in order – a cleaning and organizing enterprise. However, my current mental and physical state has forced me to seriously consider the value of spring cleaning my life.
In the last week alone, I felt so depleted and drained! I acknowledged with gratitude that the whirlwind of life has delivered much in the form of exciting projects to work on. Because I felt that I was doing better in the areas of creating balance, making time for myself, making time for connections, and also in doing a few passion projects, I could not understand why I had more days where my energy was sapped, and less time to savour the journey so to speak.
An encounter with someone that had been a very close friend once – and who was increasingly demanding more and more of me, under the banner of a positive history and loyalty, got me to pause and evaluate whether in fact I had been doing so well after all. In fact, when this person continuously over a period of two months demanded more of my attention and time, and then when I failed to show up in the way this person desired – started condemning me for being ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ by accusing me of being not sympathetic to them – I had to own up to the fact that my boundaries were actually not as strong as I had thought.
This precipitated me looking more closely at all areas of my life. I decided that I had focused on the positives in my life, and less on the aspects that were in fact energy leaks. For example, in terms of work, I realised that even though I was more discerning, there were certain projects that were no longer bringing me joy, was no longer contributing to my growth and that was taking up time and energy. I was no longer content to just do things because I had always done it, I had to stick to my criteria of doing work that either fulfilled me (and was aligned with my values and politics) and/or was financially rewarding. I realised that when it was not financially rewarding, it had to support growth and learning and stretch me out of my comfort zone.
My springcleaning of life therefore focused on the following areas:
a) Material possessions (books, clothes, furniture, stuff)
Earlier this year, I had moved and got rid of quite a bit of things. Because I have been moving since then, I have used only a third of the possessions I have. I have actually simplified my life, and the things that were in storage were not really things I have missed since I moved in February. For me, this is an indication that there is an opportunity to get rid of even more of the ‘stuff’ I had accumulated because I am unlikely to need or use those things again.
b) Work stuff
As noted earlier, I have realised that I needed to simplify what it is that I say yes to. In my assessment, there were at least 2 projects I had been involved in that I feel no longer add to my container of joy and fulfillment. I have passed them on to another person and have mentored that person to continue to be able to do this work.
At the risk of being accused of being ‘heartless’, ‘clinical’ etc, I have had to make a list of the people in my life. On the one side of the list I have added the people that uplift me, who in fact add to my energy bank account. On the other side, are those that drag, or drain me. These could be people that are negative or toxic people that not only try to make their view of the world yours, or who spew negativity about you or other people. I am now more selfish about who I let in to my space. The decluttering of people in my life and social media has been important as it lifted a weight off my shoulders. It does take a lot of determination, willpower and effort, but the positive feelings far outweigh the feelings that person(s) evoked in me. The decluttering of people should not be confused with closing off your heart. Decluttering allows more space for greater open-heartedness and connection.
d) Emotional baggage
Sometimes without knowing it, what is weighing us down are hurts and wounds from our past. This Spring, identify one wound that you could focus on healing. Your healing could take the form of working with someone to process the lesson or simply to process it and how it has contributed to your journey, or finding another ritual to let go of it.
Spring cleaning your life is important to create more space in your life. Space for your dreams, space to be present, and space to connect. Once you get clearer and more energetic as you complete this process over a period of time, you’ll have less tolerance for things that take that kind of energy: old friendships that feed on negativity, certain clients that drain you and no longer align with your values, rooms in your house that no longer please you. If this starts to happen to you, this is good! It’s an indicator that you’re growing and shifting.