If you thought spring cleaning was just for feather-dusting and clearing closets, think again. If you’re feeling inspired to shift and change with the fresh energy of spring, you’re not alone. As the days grow longer and warmer, we’re naturally inclined to mimic Mother Earth and lighten our energetic field. A spiritual spring cleaning could be a nice addition to your usual mid-May purge. Here are three ways a spiritual spring cleaning can help replenish your energy!
Replenishing body, mind & soul: Timing is everything
Seasonal connection is a practice that dates back thousands of years. Ancient Celts and Anglo-Saxons often marked their calendars with festivals to honor the solstices and equinoxes. In Ayurveda, early spring is Kapha season. Elements of water and earth are at their strongest. By the end of spring, we feel called to burn away the heavy, dense energy of Kapha as we step into Pitta season. The inner shifts we feel with these changing seasons are instinctive to us. Though for most, celebrating spring nowadays looks more like cleaning out closets, wearing lime green or basking in the sunshine.
Clearing our physical spaces is an important part of mental wellbeing, but what about spring cleaning for our spiritual and emotional bodies? Just like you would clear your closet of old, tattered clothes that don’t fit or inspire you anymore, you need to make sure your mental and emotional bodies are also regularly evaluated and tended to.
Are there any big life shifts that still need to be integrated? Do you have visions for the future that you’re ready to start creating? By working with your mental body (known as the Manomaya Kosha) in this way, you’re able to feel present rather than existing from the stories of the past and future. You train your mind to slow down and fully experience life rather than coasting through it.
Here are three easy practices for spiritual spring cleaning.
1. Embodiment with Ecstatic Dance
Dance can be a diversion from the more structured practice of yoga, but still serves to get you into your body and “out of your head.” Unlike the aligned form of yoga asanas, ecstatic dance is all about uninhibited movement and the full expression of emotions.
To practice, set yourself up in a space where you feel comfortable and can move freely. Turn on some music that has a strong beat. Traditional drumming or electronic music are both common choices. You want music that can help initiate a hypnotic headspace. Music with strong repetition guides you into a trance state, where you’ll be able to move more freely and think less. Alternatively, you can turn on any music that lifts your spirit and makes you want to move.
Close your eyes and let your body guide you. Try not to worry too much about what you look like or if you’re doing it “right.” Just move in whatever way feels good to you. This kind of physical embodiment is an accessible and fun way to practice mindfulness and work through emotions. Plus, movement is a natural way to release endorphins, which increase your energy. All of this will help facilitate your spiritual spring cleaning.
2. Cord-Cutting Meditation for spiritual spring cleaning
If you feel like you’re giving too much energy away and never have time to refill your own cup, then a cord-cutting meditation may be able to help. Cord cutting meditation can use energy attunement and visualization practice to help you regain your energy.
In this form of meditation, you visualize all the many ways your energy is being drawn away from you. Then, through focused breathing and visualization, you release what you no longer need, “cut the cord,” and draw your energy back to you.
Need some help? Try this guided cord-cutting meditation.
3. Have Fun
We spend so much time trying to be productive or squeeze value out of every bit of our day. When was the last time you did something just for fun?
Go to an arcade. Paint a picture. Host a game night with your loved ones. Activities like these give you a boost of serotonin, the “happy hormone” that helps regulate your mood. Too little serotonin is often linked to psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and low self-esteem, as discussed in this 2016 article published in “Clinical nutrition in metabolic care.”
In a 2018 article published in Clinical Psychology, Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association reviews a number of studies indicating the importance of well-being for doing more than just reducing ill-being. He found that the study of happiness (aka Positive Psychology), has a number of external benefits, including better physical and mental health. Its importance is highlighted as the study continues to spread beyond just psychology into neuroscience, health, psychiatry, theology, and even the humanities.
In other words, happiness and play are both an important part of clearing out the cobwebs and creating growth in all areas of life.
Prioritize your happiness and try one of the activities listed above. Or give yourself permission to do something you’ve been wanting to try!
Growing with spiritual spring cleansing
The practice of spiritual spring cleaning can help prepare us for the high energy of summer, and help us feel more capable of accomplishing our big dreams. After practicing some of these examples you may notice you’re more receptive to the energies of spring. Hopefully, that newfound sense of openness can carry on through your day-to-day life, leaving you feeling more joyous and lighthearted.
Do you have any spiritual spring cleaning practices you love? Share some of your favorites in the comments below!