by Michael Hurley, L.Ac., Co-Founder, Cup of Life Healing Center
Spring is a great time for cleaning, a time where we take the opportunity to clear out the old things that we do not need anymore and make room for freshness. In less than a couple of months, we will be opening up the windows and letting the fresh air and sun into our homes.
In the past, I’ve written about how to live in tune with the winter and the spring in accordance with Chinese Medicine. Today, I want to focus on the significance of clearing clutter from our lives. Cleaning and clutter clearing can mean a number of things to a number of people. But, ultimately it means moving energy. Spring is a time where it is imperative to move energy mentally, physically, and spiritually.
If we do not clean up and organize, we may not be able to fully appreciate the rejuvenating and energizing flow of Qi that comes with the season of spring. This refreshing and revitalizing flow of energy is our gift from the universe for enduring a long winter and for giving ourselves with time to stop and reflect.
On a physical level, people will start improving their diets and get started on fitness activities, if they did not start in January with the New Year. They will also start seeing a brighter outlook on life and personal/professional endeavors. All of this is perfect. Keep the Qi moving. That should be everyone’s mantra for spring.
Much like cleaning out the vents in our homes, we need to clean out the dirt, the junk, and the things that are not serving us in our bodies and minds. This means “cleaning” our unwholesome thought patterns and habits. These are considered clutter too, just in a different form. Clutter, in all forms, will only slow you down and make your life more confusing and stressful.
There are many resources on the internet, in bookstores and libraries, and possibly on your own bookshelf that can help with some of this decluttering and cleaning. Find something that will help you ease into it so that it is not too stressful. A few books our family has found useful are Spark Joy by Marie Kondo and Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself and appreciate the things you have kept and the experiences, feelings, and memories that you have accumulated. And then, take some time to evaluate. Does this bring me joy? Is this serving my current purpose in life? If the answer to these questions is “no”, then it is time to thank them for their service and return them to the universe. You can think of that as literal or figurative recycling.
In regards to decluttering of the mind, there is no better way than meditation to achieve this. Meditation gives us the opportunity to break free from and clear away negative thought patterns and habitual thinking. It literally helps clear the dust and cobwebs in our mind and in our thinking. Sometimes we find ways to do this on our own and sometimes group support can be a fantastic way to get started.
Fortunately, we have several group meditation resources available to us in the Keene, NH area.
- Morning Sun Mindfulness Center in Alstead and their weekly satellite meetup, Keene Sangha, at Keene State College in the Redfern Arts Center.
- Monadnock Mindfulness Center in Keene
- Walking Tree Zen that meets at the Waldorf High School in Keene
Some of my readers may be tired of me continuously suggesting meditation but don’t expect it to stop anytime soon. I firmly believe that if everyone had a regular meditation practice, I and every other medical practitioner would need to close our doors because of lack of patients. It is that effective.
So, let’s make a pact to ourselves to take time each day to declutter a piece of our lives to help us continue to make this a transformative year.
Finally, for a little extra help and another point of view, you can also check out a nice article Tricia wrote several years ago about putting spring cleaning into a spiritual perspective.