We all need to spruce up after a long, trying winter. There are gardens to plant, closets to clean and clothing to swap. But while cleaning up your outsides, don't forget the most important part: your inner soul. Here's a guide to doing a "spring cleaning" of your spirit!
1) Start With Gratitude
Always, always, always! Gratitude clears the path for positive energy to flow, both to and from you. Try a nightly gratitude list of 5-10 things that happened that day. It will keep you consciously on the lookout throughout the day for the good things, improving your attitude in the process.
And speaking of attitude, check to see if yours might need a little readjustment. The winter doldrums and hibernation make it easy for us to see the glass a bit more empty. If you find yourself complaining more than usual, check to see if this might be a habit you've acquired that is worthy of a spring toss-out. And if all else fails, go back to #1.
Values are our building blocks -- they are the foundation of what makes us "us." When was the last time you wrote yours down? A good thing to do is to make a list of your top 10 values and post them -- on your refrigerator, your desk, your bathroom mirror. This way, the next time you have to make a decision, your values will show you the way.
Being of service helps both you and those you serve. By giving back you are raising your vibration and putting out positive energy. And serving gets you out of your head -- someplace that can at times be a dangerous neighborhood.
Make sure that your winter hibernation has not turned into spring isolation! As Diana Ross would say, reach out and touch somebody's hand! Or do it virtually. Reconnect with those that make you feel better. Take a look at the relationships in your life and see if a little weeding may be in order. Positive relationships give you energy and negative... well, they just aren't worth it.
6) Mind the Temple
It's easy to cut yourself some slack during the winter in regards to your eating and exercise routines. After all, those big sweaters can hide a multitude of sins! But remember that your body is your temple, and deserves to be treated as such. Get back to a healthy lifestyle and it will thank you for it!
It's not a luxury, it's a necessity! You need your sleep to stop the flow of those stress hormones, and to renew and refresh your organs, including your brain. With a good night's sleep, your body is better able to respond and act appropriately on your behalf. It even helps with losing weight!
As the proverb says, "If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy." Laughter, besides being enjoyable, has several positive benefits. It strengthens the body's ability to fight disease, it can reduce blood pressure, and it can increase energy levels. And it helps us bond with others -- see #5.
Now that the weather is better, you can get outside and enjoy nature. Spring brings so much rebirth and beauty. Being out in it renews the spirit and works to stimulate that part of the brain associated with balance and happiness. Exercise also seems less stressful when done outside in nature -- see #6!
10) Practice, practice, practice
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? The same way you get to spiritual enlightenment: practice, practice, practice. Life doesn't happen in a day, nor is it done perfectly. Establish a daily spiritual practice that works for you. And if you fall off the beam? Get right back on and try again. It's all about the journey and you might as well make it a good one!