04/01/2016 Mind-Body Health
The spring season is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Follow these five tips to help clear out any literal and metaphorical cobwebs that gathered over winter—and make room for fresh beginnings.
The spring season is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. As beautiful spring flowers slowly emerge from the earth, humans, too, must slowly emerge from the heaviness of winter and embrace this season of sunshine and blossoms. Now is the perfect time to integrate the lightness and energy of spring into your body, mind, and spirit, and like a rebirth, shed that which no longer serves you to create space for growth and new experiences. Here are some helpful tips to add some “spring” into your life.
1. Do a Cleansing Fast
According to Ayurveda, India's ancient system of healing, seasonal fasts are excellent ways to align with the season while releasing last season’s remnants, which can show up as excess body fat, emotions, and even stress. Especially coming out of wintertime, just like an animal shedding its coat or skin, you need to take a layer off.
An easy, one-to-three day detox fast is a great way to shed some unwanted seasonal baggage and give your digestive system a break by digesting mainly juices, water, or light soups for a few days. In his book, The Hot Belly Diet, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar recommend, “you can choose to fast for a day and consume only liquids in the form of warm water, hot teas, and brothy soups. Fasting is an excellent, quick way to center yourself and get focused.” Whether you’re feeling physically or mentally cloudy, or both, a simple fast can help you to resurface with more clarity and vitality.
On at least one of the fasting days, have only green juice for breakfast and lunch. Try to go as late as 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. drinking nothing but the juice. Nowadays, fresh juices are readily available, so don’t overwhelm yourself by feeling like you must prepare your own. Grab a juice and go. Take a moment to notice how you feel. Your body will enjoy the downtime from having to digest a huge meal (or two).
Much like tidying up your physical body through fasting, organizing your living spaces or anywhere you spend time (i.e., cars and offices) has proven therapeutic as well. The recently popular book by Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says “…when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order too.” It’s important to start with a vision of what you want your life to look like and then begin organizing from there. For example, ask yourself: What do successful business people have in their space? How does that space look or feel? Every so often, take a moment to reconnect with your vision to help kindle inspiration. Letting go of the past and starting the season anew is extremely refreshing. Thanks to social media, there are “clutter cleanout” sites on which you can post unwanted items for others to bid on and enjoy. You can start by searching for a clutter cleanout Facebook page in your area or posting on Craigslist.
If something in your space doesn’t bring you absolute joy, get rid of it. By allowing only the things you absolutely adore in your space(s), you can begin to see what you need and how much you really don’tneed; creating more opportunities to just be. Go forth and make space!
Meditation has tremendous health benefits and can also help you to reconnect to your higher self. Did you know it also helps free you from undesirable patterns that may be stored in your mind, body, and spirit? This is called Software of the Soul—through meditation, you are actually de-bugging your own software to create new patterns that support expanded awareness around self-realization and achieving overall happiness in life. As a result, it’s truly beneficial to include a meditation practice as you move through this time of renewal.
It’s impossible to focus on your breath while thinking about anything else. This is why breathing techniques (called Pranayama in Sanskrit) are such valuable tools in yoga and meditation. You can focus on your breath any time throughout the day to come into the present moment. It’s easy to spend time either ruminating about something that has already happened (past) or anticipating things to come (future). It’s hard to be actually present, right now.
By using your breath to bring you to the present moment, which is all there really is, you are able to fully enjoy what you already have. You can give up your attachment to how you think things should be and begin to accept things as they are. “The root of suffering is attachment,” the Buddha once said. So breathe and detach!
5. Spring Deep Clean
When is the last time you did a thorough dusting and deep cleaning of your physical space? Use this time to clean your windows, vacuum up the cobwebs, change the filter in your air conditioner—all of the deep cleaning you may seem to never have time for—set aside time on the calendar and make it happen. By doing this last bit of deep cleansing, you create a fresh canvas in which the portrait of the next version of your life can appear.
Last but not least, enjoy the new view—the new perspective in which to build the next phase of your life.