Perhaps it's a bit of nature's course to make us aware of that which has run its natural course in our lives through the meditative nature of winter. As we sit in recognition of that which is lost or run stagnant, there's an impulse the percolates, becoming ready just as spring emerges. The universe seems to know just when to give us the impulse to lift open the windows and let the fresh spring air come racing into our spaces. In that moment, the juxtaposition of old versus new comes into full view.
The ritual of spring cleaning is critical to the flow of abundance and arguably has been practiced as such on some level throughout history. Some suggest that the practice can be traced to the Iranian Nowruz, the Persian new year which takes place on the first day of spring. Yet others attribute it to the Jewish tradition of cleaning in preparation for the springtime festival of Passover. In either instance, there seems to be an element of clearing the old in preparation for the new.
Several Law of Attraction texts address this idea of clearing in various ways, and it seems that after such a year of loss, dormancy, and destruction, we could use a little clearing. Some of the universal laws seem so simple and yet the wisdom can be difficult to put into practice. One such law is the Universal Law of Release, which I've mentioned before. It suggests that we ought to let go of anything that we no longer need. It seems reasonable, for arms that are filled with things that aren't of value are unable to receive. They're simply too full, and as a result, abundance cannot flow into them. So, we must practice releasing that which is no longer of use to us in order to make space for that which we would like to flow into our experience. Now, on a spiritual or philosophical level, this may be resonating with you, but what might this look like on a practical day-to-day level?
Our Home and Possessions:
The Hindu Goddess, Lakshmi, known for bringing wealth and good fortune, is believed only to enter into clean and well-decorated homes. So, every year before the festival of Diwali a significant amount of cleaning and decluttering takes place. The belief is that in cleaning your home and clearing away that which is no longer needed, you are making space for Lakshmi to bring abundance into your experience. This cleaning represents ridding ourselves of any negative or stagnant energy and inviting positivity. This works not only philosophically, but in practicality as well. There are many objects in our homes that we hold attachments to as a method of preserving the past. Now, I am a bit of a historian that adores my family and cultural background, along with objects of significance in that arena, but there are so many objects that hold negative value in our emotional and psychological experience. We hold items gifted by former friends with whom we've parted ways. We keep items that we don't use or care for simply because a family member gifted them, and the list keeps going. I've recently felt the impulse to begin sorting through my bookshelf, an area of weakness for me. I've recently brought a couple of physical books into my home that I truly love, and yet I don't have a place to honorably store them because that space is being filled by others that I've completed my journey with. At one point many of these books added value to my life, and some of them still do. Others would be better suited elsewhere because, with me, they've run their course. These objects deserve to have a better life than the one I'm giving them. So, perhaps they're better suited for a donation. Now, I like to dispose of things in a manner that I find responsible but I also don't feel responsible for knowing each individual item's final resting place. I will simply donate to what I find to be an appropriate outlet. In doing so, I open up space to house an item I love, or simply allow the space to remain open. Remember, open space is space where you've left room for abundance. If every space is full, you haven't left room for that which you truly want.
There's also something remarkable about walking into a space that is clean and only containing things that you love. When is the last time you had that experience? What space provided you with that experience? Was it your own space? If it wasn't, why not? How would it feel if every time you entered your own space you felt positive emotions? The higher on the emotional scale you are vibrating, the higher your level of attraction to that which you want. Wouldn't it be wonderful if your physical space brought about feelings of gratitude and abundance?
Moreover, the act of holding onto things you don't want is a marker of scarcity mindset. Scarcity mindset is essentially a limiting belief that suggests to you that you must hold tight because the things you want/need are in limited supply. The very act of holding on is abundance repellant. The best antidote may by to simply let go. If you love it, keep it. If it adds value, keep it. Otherwise, let it go.
American culture is steeped in the glorification of busy. We hustle ourselves to the edge of exhaustion, but to what end? A two-week vacation on which we're finally able to live our best lives. But what if we could live a life right now that we didn't need a vacation from? If you want to know about someone's priorities, look at their schedule. When you read that did you immediately think about your own schedule? Did you immediately feel the need to make excuses for why you added that "extra thing" into your week? Honestly, you're not alone.
Several years ago, I had been working a lot of extra programs at my school. I did so for a few years in a row and was really among a core group of teachers that were always participating in such things. These extra programs added a lot of value to my life and the lives of my students. I benefitted monetarily and felt good that students were able to get the extra support they needed. Eventually, I became exhausted. Once exhaustion sets in, it's really difficult to do something as joyfully as you otherwise could. Regardless of my exhaustion, I put my best effort forward and continued to the end of a particular school year. At this point, my partner brought my exhaustion to my attention and suggested that I not take on these extra items the next school year. I really struggled with the idea because I had gotten really used to being that person at work. When a task starts to muscle it's way into little pieces of your identity, it's really difficult to let go. But ultimately, I agreed with my partner. At the beginning of the school year, most people assumed that I would continue to participate in these things as I had always done. So, I had to explicitly say that I could no longer commit to doing so. Again, it was very difficult. Finally, a few days before these programs were to begin, there was a meeting for all staff members that planned to participate. I knew that would be the final "No." My heart was racing as I deliberately made my way down the stairs to exit the building instead of down the hall to the meeting. I made it. I stepped onto my bus and started the journey home. About half an hour later, I was playing on my cell phone and noticed an email. It was a notification that the column I had been working to have created had been approved, and I was the columnist! When I looked at the time stamp on the email, I realized that it had been sent ten minutes after I deliberately elected not to join that meeting. You see, it was in that moment with that decision that I created space for this opportunity to come into my experience. I had been asking and asking and asking the universe to bring something to me, and yet I was filling my time to the gills, leaving no room for it. The second I opened up a space for it, it flowed in.
Now, I bring this back to our attention. Look at your schedule? Is there anything that needs to be cleared out of it? It could be something that served you well, but that you need to move on from. Be grateful for the positive space it's had in your life, thank it, and release it. Maybe it's something you said yes to without really thinking it through. Apologize for not being more careful in your response, explain that you really can't commit, and move on. You're making space for something valuable.
While it's out with the old and in with the new, perhaps springtime is a good time to review our habits. Is there anything that you do out of habit that isn't serving you well? Is there anything that you aren't doing, but would love to make a habit of doing? Though it may not be obvious, our habits are deeply interconnected with our openness to abundance and also extend their reach into other areas on this list. Some habits absorb our thoughts and time, and if they aren't serving us by allowing the flow of abundance in and out; they may need to be cleared. Moreover, it must be recognized that abundance, not only implies monetary success, but also wellness in all other aspects of life. These things are terribly interconnected. Clearing even a small portion of unwanted habits in the area of health can have tremendous implications where the abundance of energy both physically and spiritually is concerned. While that should be enough in and of itself, it is also worth mentioning that when we are abundant in health, as well as physical and spiritual energy, we've also cleared space for abundance to show up in other ways such as inspiration, creativity, and relationships. As for myself, I have a number of habits that keep me feeling in alignment, and circumstances have caused a few of them to be thrown off this winter. My sleep has been a bit off, and it is impacting my morning exercise routine. These are both critical to my sense of peace throughout the day. Now that spring is in the air, I am committed to regaining my balance with these items.
Incomplete or Dormant Tasks:
Are there any items that seem to keep moving from one "to do" list to the next? Is there anything you've started that you haven't finished? Having things sitting there incomplete or dormant take up energetic space, much like possessions do. These things are often more difficult to recognize because they're not always tangible. But if we want space for abundance to flow into our experience, we can't afford for dust collectors to take up all of our bandwidth. There are a few of these in my own life that need to be cleared out. There are a couple of forms that I need to submit for various things. If I'm honest with myself, I must admit that I have reminded myself to submit these forms many times. The amount of mental energy I have spent not doing them could have first off gotten the task accomplished, and secondly be used for other things. Another such example from my own world has to do with my desire to see things to completion. This is one of my best qualities in many ways, but I could certainly use to practice evaluating whether or not the task is one I really want to complete or whether I might just let it go. So, I'm currently in the middle of several books; I either need to finish them or commit to the idea that I'm simply not going to. Sitting in no man's land with it isn't serving me well. They're taking up bandwidth in my mind by being there in a state of incompletion. If I just said to myself "I'm not feeling it. I'm done with this," I could reclaim that space in my mind, or I could accomplish this through their completion The forms to be mailed in are much the same way. They aren't really the kinds of things that make sense to opt-out of, but by allowing them to remain in a place of "incomplete," they are taking up my valuable space. What if that mental space could be used for something more meaningful?
Old Financial Accounts and Debts:
This one feels pretty similar to "incomplete tasks," but I categorize them on their own because they seem to take up space in additional ways. Are there any financial tasks, old accounts, or debts that are just sitting there taking up space in your wallet and mind? Can they be cleared out? There's one particular bill in my life that appears once a year, and its deadline isn't very strict. So, sometimes it just sits there. I have the money and I know when (roughly) it'll come, so what gives? Sometimes these one-off financial tasks are ones that we drag our feet on simply because they aren't being streamlined like the rest. Most monthly bills are on autopilot; the same goes with investments. Others like bills that come annually, filing taxes, completing student loan payment forms, and many others require conscious effort to complete. Well, let me give you a tip: they're taking up space in your mind even if you aren't completing them. By not prioritizing these things, we're giving them valuable storage space in our lives that could be used for other things. Did you tell yourself five times to pay that annual bill or organize your tax papers? If you just prioritized the act of doing it, you could save yourself the repetitive energy of continuously reminding yourself of it. Do you need to consolidate accounts because you have too many different ones (whether it be checking/savings or IRAs)? Sometimes we collect these things and we'd be better served to streamline them. Besides, some of them might function better for us than others. Old debts are another one. They really do take some time and energy to deal with, but have you ever stopped to think about the time and energy that gets spent on them anyway? If we take positive, inspired action toward their elimination, we can clear away the mental space and reclaim the money they were once absorbing.
Spring is certainly in the air and it inspires a sense of renewal in me, as it does so many. I find myself ready to throw open the windows and allow abundance to flow into my home. Perhaps that was always the essence of Spring Cleaning, a ritual that I believe correlates to the art of allowing.