Spring Cleaning.


New Years is often the only time people take the time to make resolutions. Oftentimes, those resolutions last a couple weeks before tapering off. We have a tendency to fall into a rhythm of complacency and excuses, much of this stems from a resistance to change. Growth and adjustment can be terribly uncomfortable, but if you are having the urge to set goals, make changes, and those nagging voices in the back of your head won’t quiet down, it’s time to straighten up, tune in, and get busy.

My first tip for transitioning from winter to spring is classic “Little House on the Prairie” type work. Open all the windows in your house, open the doors, clean the entire place top to bottom. Let some fresh air move through your home and into all the nooks and crannies. Put on your working clothes, roll up your sleeves and wipe down all the surfaces, move your furniture, clean underneath and around everything. Don’t be afraid, clean the entire toilet, around the bowl, down to the ground. Pull your couch out. Clean under the bed. It’s good to know what kind of weird shit has been lurking in the corners, plus it’s insanely cathartic to watch it all vanish. Go through your closet and start purging. Really take a look at everything you own and make the decision as to whether it’s worth keeping or not. Do you wear it? Did you forget it even existed? Be honest with yourself here. Clutter, even in the physical sense, can bog us down. Less is more, always. After I turn the house upside down, I always smudge with some sage or palo santo.

Second tip, clean yourself. Start from the inside out. I usually do this around the Spring and Fall Equinox, but do whatever feels best. I like to take a week off from indulgences and let my body have a natural reset. For me this means cutting out coffee, chocolate, cheese, and peanut butter. Those might look different for you, so whatever your vices are have a good look at them and allow yourself to set it aside for a couple days. Stop drinking, slow down on caffeine, and make some home cooked deliciousness. I switch to green tea and fill my daily menu with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables. I no longer crave thick, heavy soups or curried vegetables as days lengthen and the world begins to unthaw. Think light, bright, colorful foods in the fridge: beets, brussel sprouts, shallots, avocados, spinach, lettuce greens, rhubarb, radishes, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, asparagus, limes…

Third tip, clean yourself on the outside. Get a haircut, get a wax, schedule a facial, exfoliate from head to toe, take an epsom salt bath, purchase a massage, whatever superficial self-care looks like for you. In my world it’s chopping my locks, scrubbing away those dead skin cells, and cutting out an entire day to unplug from obligations and plug back into the things I’m trying to manifest in the coming season. I do this by taking epsom salt baths, meditating, and getting clear on bigger goals, rather than getting swallowed by the micro. Shut off your phone, your computer, tell your people you’re taking some time, etc.

Fourth, get outside. You might live in a city, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find places to tune back into the rhythm of nature. Find a park, take a drive, or just go for a walk with no agenda or destination— use this time purely for observation. Look at how nature emerges from its slumber, kick around some dead leaves, rub cottonwood buds between your fingers (it smells amazing), watch how grass struggles to the surface and color begins to emerge in the sea of grays and browns. At the end of the day, we’re just another piece of nature’s genius, when we tune into the flow of our surroundings then the rate and quality of our own growth accelerates. If it’s a warm day, kick off your shoes and plant your feet on solid ground. Close your eyes. Get into it. I swear, moments like this can have such a dramatic impact on your heart and spirit.

Lastly, when you are done with these things— write it out. Now, let’s be clear, this isn’t a “Dear Diary, Today I put my feet in dirt and went grocery shopping," kind of an entry. Don’t describe what you did, describe how you feel. What big lessons came from the winter months? How did you struggle and how did you succeed? What do you want to let go of in the next season? What needs to move, change, be rearranged? What are some actionable steps you can take towards your goals? What is serving you? What isn’t serving you? What are you struggling with? What is scaring you? Now here is some interesting stuff. Fear, our number one road block is something that requires constant assessment. What are three small things (or big) you can do to lean into what is scaring the shit out of you? Writing it, versus thinking it, is a critical step. It integrates deeper into our conscious and subconscious brain allowing us to really solidify the lessons and move forward. Writing gives us clarity that talking or thinking can’t provide, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to put a pen to paper.

I find that cleaning our environment and body creates more transparency with our inner workings and has the power to leverage us with increased certainty and direction for the upcoming season. Stagnation is boring, and you weren’t put here to be complacent, you are here to be brilliant. Do some tidying, have a self-care day, and get back to being your fabulous self.

SpringAnna VanugaComment