Spiritual Spring Cleaning

After months of lethargy and holiday indulgences, we are feeling anxious to be active again. We are suddenly more alert, attentive, antsy, enthusiastic. We feel a surge of exuberance and verve. Our sap is rising, too.
04/21/2013 11:00am ET | Updated June 21, 2013
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A woman rides a galloping elephant, bareback, in a photo depicting freedom, success and possibilities.

Spring is Mother Nature's wakeup call. She sounds her bugle for reveille and the sun comes running back to us with light and warmth on its heels. "Rise and shine," she orders. And it does.

The Earth awakens in the solar radiance. The living energy, which has stayed hidden underground during the long, deep sleep of the dark season, now shifts and starts to stir.

The dirt thaws. The sweet sap rises. Poking and peeking, it seeks the surface, the space, the air, the light. Stretching skyward, life breaks new ground.

Bulbs burst forth from the Earth, sending up tender shoots. Buds appear, looking all pink and rosy before the sun turns them green. Seeds sprout. The first early flowers explode open, exposing their delicate flesh to the still-nippy air.

Mother Earth gives a whistle, and the birds and insects return from their lazy days in balmier climes. Her hibernating creatures turn over, give a good stretch and then emerge groggy and bleary eyed from their long winter's nap.

And so do we. After months of lethargy and holiday indulgences, we are feeling anxious to be active again. We are suddenly more alert, attentive, antsy, enthusiastic. We feel a surge of exuberance and verve. Our sap is rising, too.

All of a sudden, the whole world is in the throes of a contagious spring fever, a dizzy, delirious dance of motion, emotion, and hyper-animated activity. The season is shot through with boundless spirit, vibrant enthusiasm, ardor, and potential creativity.

Spring forward!

Step lively!

Shake a leg!

Get a move on!



It is definitely time to shake things up. Our houses are stuffy. We are chubby. Our muscles are mushy and our joints are rusty. Our brains are filled with sawdust. We are running in low gear.

Shake it up, baby!

  • Throw open the windows and let in some fresh air. Do a good old-fashioned spring cleaning to rid the house of accumulated dust and stale musty smells.

  • Exchange the flannel sheets for cotton ones. Wash the blankets and woolens and pack them away until the next cold day, come fall.
  • Dust and polish the leaves of your indoor plants. Put a couple of pots of hardy flowers on the windowsill, the porch, or the terrace. Buy fresh flowers to bring bouquets of spring fragrance inside.
  • Move your things around -- your furniture, your art, your knickknacks, and your treasures -- to give you a new perspective for a new season. De-clutter your space. A mess can feel real cozy in the winter, but in spring it just feels like a mess.
  • Leave your winter den and go outside. Let the sun touch you with cheer. Breathe deep!
  • Walk briskly, a welcome pleasure without fear of ice and the odd tumble. Leave off the heaviest layers of mufflers and mittens and let the vigor of walking warm you up.
  • Spend more time outside. Go to a park or to the country. Visit an arboretum or a botanical garden. Watch the natural world come alive. Or stroll through the city streets and appreciate the ascendant energy as folks emerge from their lairs.
  • Liven up your environment and your wardrobe with brighter, cheerful colors. Lighten up your mood, as well. Spring can be delightfully frothy, giddy, giggly. Run out to meet it, to join it, to enjoy it.
  • Lighten up your menu, too as long as you are at it. Ease up on all the heavy stews and roasts and casseroles that we crave when we are cold. Gorge on all the gorgeous, fresh, new greens and baby vegetables. Take a spring tonic.
  • Make the effort to lighten your mental load. Exhale deeply to rid yourself of all that you don't wish to carry forward with you -- negative attitudes, grudges, resentments, guilt, bad habits. Release all the fears and doubts that have been holding you back. Exhale again. And once more.
  • Lightened now on every level, and cheered, we feel as though we can fly forward with the sun and the birds. Like the first robin of spring, we are eager to greet whatever awaits us in the new season. We are ready to spring ahead.




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