I’ve never liked the idea of Spring Cleaning. First, I have terrible allergies, so cleaning around dust is a physical hell to me. But this, while weighty, is the superficial part of the equation. Far more substantial is the reason why a Spring Cleaning might even be necessary.
What transpired during your winter to create such a mess? Were you homebound and frantically destroying your home? Were you hibernating so deeply that nothing was tended to? Were you in a creative frenzy and paint and chalk and clay are covering your walls?
To me, it seems artificial. While I sympathize with all my friends suffering in the Polar Vortex of 2013/14, we just don’t hibernate any more. Now we simply seem to distract ourselves with Facebook and movies on Hulu or Netflix. Few of us are going to sleep at sunset and rising at dawn to milk the cows, so there’s no reason for your home to be a complete nightmare. Short of depression, of course. And I don’t say that lightly, even if a little tongue in cheek. If wintertime depresses you so, then please take a sunny holiday next year, do some UV tanning or get a better therapist. We must never allow our environments to trap us.
This comes to the crux of the issue for me. “Out with the Old” is what most people seem to say about springtime. But what was Old about Wintertime? If you read my last article, you’ll remember that I always encourage taking the holiday spirit with you into the New Year, and not letting that sense of wonder, fun and pure joy dissipate. If that’s the case, there would be no reason for getting rid of the old, or cleaning out your home of its wintry heaviness.
What is the problem with the Old? Did all of the nostalgia of the holidays and, hopefully, the joy surrounding it allow you to delve too far into the past? Did it throw off the balance of the present? Did you have too much fun?
Here’s the key. I’ve been doing a lot of scientific research lately about how we create our own reality. Mostly, it comes down to maintaining awareness in our daily lives. Self-awareness is the next step where we can gain some perspective of our current situations and start making real, conscious decisions about whether or not we’re happy being in these situations. Once awareness is actively engaged, we can start to really LIVE in the present.
The only reasonable next step is simple: Purpose. We are called all of the time to live our Purpose. Many of us choose to ignore the call. Some of us only respond to bits of the call, the ones we were raised with or that seemed to be pre-programmed into us. That is, the ones that are simply comfortable to us. Many of you reading this are seeking a fuller purpose, and I congratulate you. Fulfillment, perhaps even Enlightenment, is what you choose to discover. What is your Purpose then?
And this is what rubs me wrong about “Out with the Old.” We are, all of us, evolving. Hopefully, we are growing wiser from our experiences, making strong, better decisions and experimenting more with creating our own realities instead of perpetuating humdrum routines. The “Old” must be celebrated, and built upon. I don’t ever want to throw it out, unless of course it’s holding me back.
But one season in the year (i.e. Spring) is not an indication that something is stopping my evolution. Ok, you might call it a reminder. I would reply that it is still artificial. If you don’t want to clean because it’s Spring, then don’t. Continue to read, cook, ski, hike – whatever it is you love to do. The only time that you must undertake something like this is when you are sincerely called to do so, by your inner higher power, because it deeply serves your Purpose.
And for the love of Life, don’t throw out the Old. Unless it truly doesn’t serve you. Celebrate the
Old, thank the Old, learn and grow from the Old. And let that provide you the roots to stay completely, fully present. In with the Old, I say, and keep doing what you love to do today. Happy Spring.