So far in our journey of Spring Cleaning Inside & Out we have explored ourselves from a holistic perspective – body, mind, emotions and spirit. Today, we will shift a bit to a more traditional approach to Spring Cleaning – our Outer Spaces!
It’s interesting that Passover starts later this week. Some researchers trace the origin of spring cleaning to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleansing the home in preparation for the Passover holiday, which celebrates the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt. Due to the hurriedness of the escape, the bread of the Jews was unable to rise and so during the period of Passover, only unleavened bread, Matzoh, is eaten to commemorate this great transition from slavery to freedom. Not only is leavened bread not eaten, but the whole house is cleaned so that not a crumb remains.
In other religions and traditions, there are similar practices. The Catholic church prepares for Good Friday with a thorough cleaning of the church altar and everything associated with it It is also traditional to clean the house thoroughly either right before or during the period of Lent, which may also be referred to as Clean Week.
Also, once the warm weather sets in, it is natural to fling open the windows letting in the fresh air and sunshine. This seems like a perfect time to clean and clear out the dust that has built up during the winter months. In the UK, National Spring Cleaning Week is celebrated each March and their website offers lots of great ideas and resources for freshening up your home and your life this time of year. Visit www.springcleaningweek.com to learn more.
I am always so fascinated by the interrelationship between our inner and our outer spaces. What I noticed during Part I of this retreat is that as I explored my body, mind, emotions and spirit, I naturally gravitated toward cleaning and clearing certain areas of my home. And, as my outer spaces became clearer, then my mind became calmer and more focused; and my energy increased, too. It’s pretty amazing!
For today’s exploration, take some time to look around you home and your garden, too…
- Are there areas of clutter that you are ready to be clear in your home ? What are you ready to let go of to create a sense of spaciousness in your home and your life?
- Sometimes it all feels too much. Rather than diving right in, take some time to simply make a list of the cleaning or organizing projects you’d like to get done. Then, begin to schedule them into your calendar over the next couple of weeks or even months if need – do it in a way that is manageable.
- Sometimes just tuning into how you would like to feel helps to initiate a process of change. Take some time to write about how you would like to feel in your home. Write a story about what it feels and looks like when you walk into the door of your home. Be creative! Explore!
- Are there weeds or old growth that need to be cleared out from your garden for the new growth to come in or be planted? Perhaps you can take some time each day or once a week to work on this.
- Suggestion: I have a hard time pulling weeds. To me, they are still living things. and I’d rather just leave them, but some of the other things growing in my garden need space to grow. Awhile back, a friend suggested this practice: “With each weed that you pull, say a prayer for someone or set a positive intention.”
- What one change would help you to feel more peaceful and happy in your home today? Explore how you can make it happen!
Looking forward to continuing to explore Spring Cleaning Inside & Out with you. Feel free to share your reflections or suggestions on in the comments below.