Spring Rituals and Ceremony: Spring Clean Your Life
This time of year many of us find ourselves automatically engaging in some sort of spring ritual. We've got spring break, spring fever, and of course, spring cleaning. Spring is a celebration of renewal and change. Nature wakes up and in the process brings us out of our own winter hibernation. Everything is fresh and new.
Spring is deeply ingrained in our collective conscious not only because we come out of the darkness of winter and into the crisp light of spring, but also because the traditional religious holidays of spring lend themselves to spiritual cleaning as well. Lent, Passover and Easter are steeped in traditions that provide a spiritual window of opportunity to reach another spiritual level and we all can expect to be affected by their influence, whether we observe the holidays or not.
In our lives, many of us ask for fresh starts to gain freedom from challenges of all kinds: relationship difficulties, financial stress, worries about health. We ask for renewal, and the freedom to live how we want to live. To find this freedom, we’ve got to look inside and find those places within ourselves that need to be cleansed—of ego, of anger, of sadness, of any negative emotion. And we do the external work of cleaning our surroundings because the physical effort we make creates a vessel, or a place, for a blessing to reside.
Essentially, we are responsible for our spring cleaning and for planting the seeds for new growth. Spring is the perfect time to eliminate the clutter from the past year and create a clean space inside of ourselves.
Just as we face reluctance in getting started on our physical spring cleaning of the home, it may be difficult to get started on a spiritual spring cleaning. Here's 6 ways to get started moving that mountain of inner clutter!
1. Eliminate what no longer serves you. Get rid of distractions that block your spiritual flow. Are you watching too much television, working too much or going to bed too late? Maybe you have some friendships or a relationship that is toxic. Just as you’d set a broken couch on the curb, you can also curb undesirable personal patterns. Incorporate more activities that nurture your connection with spirit, such as meditating, reading, learning new skills, and practicing self-care. Eliminate clutter in your schedule to create space to focus on what’s truly important.
2. Cleanse your body. Your body is your soul’s temple. Eliminate unhealthy eating or drinking behavioral patterns. Do you find you eat poorly because someone else does the grocery shopping? Volunteer to be the market manager for a while and play with new menu options. If you find you drink more when out socially, order a sparkling water with lime instead of an alcoholic beverage. You can also explore the world of juice cleansing. There is no better time than now to start an exciting cleanse with summer on the horizon.
3. Rinse your mouth. What you say reflects a lot about your inner reality. Not to mention, it shapes how others around you will proceed in their day. Brush out judgment, a bad attitude and negative self-talk and only speak words of positive intention. For example, instead of complaining about being stuck in traffic, give thanks you are safely in your vehicle on the way to somewhere that you chose to go.
4. Get rid of old baggage. Have an unresolved spat or bitterness lingering in the closet spaces of your mind? Address issues either directly or indirectly through personal reconciliation measures. Ask Spirit to help you learn how to deal well with difficult people and those whose personalities conflict with yours. Whenever people offend you in minor ways, be willing to let the issues go. Whenever people offend you in major ways, be willing to forgive them and reconcile if possible. An open mind and forgiveness are the only bags you need.
5. Open your inner windows and let the sun in! Open yourself up to being venerable and you will soon see the walls of others fade away as well. Allowing your inner light to shine will attract more authentic people and personally rewarding opportunities to your doorstep.
6. Top your cleaning off with a smudging ritual. With smudging, you can use sage, sweetgrass or other herbs. You can also use incense, if you like. The purpose of smudging is to use smoke to carry negative energy out of the area. When you light sage or sweetgrass, set your new intentions and allow it to flame for a moment, then blow out the flame. This will leave you with a burning herb bundle, which will create smoke. Declare old, dirty energy is no longer welcome and invite new, love-based ambiance into your home.
Try this Spring Ritual:
Start by connecting to the spirit of your home. Open your front door and introduce yourself. Say, "I am [your name]. Please help me co-create a safe and sacred space."
From there, spritz or sage every room. As you walk around your home, open all the windows. Whenever you feel energy congestion, clap quickly to break up stuck energy.
When you are finished, create an altar for the new energy you want to bring in. I always like to place crystals, flowers, a special candle, and some water on my springtime altar.
Now that your body (your spiritual house) is spick and span, invite others to share the after-effect with you. Call up a friend, join a new class or join like energies at a retreat. The key to keeping clean is the periodical refreshing and reorganization of life.