Turning over a new leaf takes on a literal meeting each April when Springtime rolls around. The grass is greener, flowers bloom and bare-branched trees begin to sprout leaves you never thought you’d see again. Its the time of year that Nature instinctively knows hows to clean house and begin anew. So, where do you start when attempting your own inner spring cleaning? Try these five introspective Spring shedding secrets as your first steps toward a brighter you.
1. Out with the Old, in with the New – Sometimes we have no idea that the mental and emotional clutter mucking around in our heads is keeping us from a clean, fresh start. With the sweet smell of Spring air, we are pleasantly reminded that a clear mind is a focused one. This is the time to shed negative thoughts that plague our psyches, let go of old fears and reach out toward a brighter, lighter future. Jettisoning these dark spots weighing us down clears a path for us to envision a healthier and prosperous future. Start by making a list of all your troubles, fears and concerns and emptying your head of the mental ping-pong game keeping you from moving forward with a singular purpose. Make this list as long as you like and bring it to a place outside that represents new life to you. Take a minute to read it aloud, and pause to reflect on truly letting these burdens go in your life. Make this moment the turning point for your desire to focus on the one important thing that will propel you forward instead of those thoughts holding you back.
2. Breathe – They say breath is the source of life. Well, what happens when our breath becomes imperceptible from the things we let tighten and lay heavy on our chest? You can bet that your quality of life seriously declines. Springtime is Nature’s gentle reminder to breathe in new life as you look around and absorb the beauty growing everywhere. This is the time to come back to your breath and fill yourself with life-giving energy. Try this simple Yogic breath with the mantra “So-Hum.” So-Hum means “I am” and is a great reminder of your unity with nature and all life. It is a simple practice that promotes mind-body balance through breath. Find a place of inspiration by the beach, in your garden or maybe just in a quiet room in your house. Sit down, close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. With each inhale, think “So,” and with each exhale think “Hum.” Try this for five to ten minutes and reconnect with your self, literally for a breath of fresh air.
3. Surround Yourself with Positive People – Perhaps you’ve heard the Beatles song “I get by with a little help from my friends?” We often underestimate the positive power of community in our quest for a healthy life. Take this time to reflect on the people in your world who are lifting you up towards your goals and identify the ones who are bogging you down. With a little resolve, you can take steps to rearrange your circle of friends to include positive thinkers and persons determined to support you on your journey. Reach out to those people and open up by thanking them for being such an inspiration in your life.
4. Find the Joy – A truly wise teacher of mine once asked “what brings you joy in your life?” She made me take great pause and revisit the obstacles that were sucking the life out of me and prohibiting me from experiencing my greatest joys. With some time and soul searching, I identified the key things that were truly draining my energy and blinding me from my happiness. This Spring, peek inside, search specifically for the vine thwarting your growth and pluck it out. You’ll be surprised how freeing it can be to feel true joy again.
5. Share the Love – In your personal garden of growth, underneath the turmoil, you have the seeds for new life. Coming out of a dark, cold winter, it may feel impossible to transition to your new self. But for new buds to bloom, you need to start from a place of love. This is the time to revisit your true purpose in life. What are your goals and how do you bring your innermost self to reach them? If you’ve tried steps one through four, you probably know by now that you are motivated by love. Most of us walk through this life trying to make other lives better. Whether it’s through work, family or friends, we aim to spread the love in our hearts as our foremost offering for healing. Sometimes, our goal becomes lost or buried beneath the snow. Pick yourself up this Spring, shake off your dark coat and discover again the love you have to share. It’s all the impetus you need for a new beginning.