Spring Cleaning

IMG_0354Yes, it’s that time of year for your mental, emotional health and growth, to clean the cobwebs and take out thrash that has bogging you down and holding you back. After all, it is hard to move forward if the weight and rented space of negative and unproductive aspects of your life are blockades. Just like spring cleaning your closets and garage, evaluating what is important and needs to be kept in you life and mind, clears both room and energy to be happier, more focused, healthier relationships and able to reach your goals.

My goal for myself is to try and due this at least twice a year, with the optimum goal of being every season. There are years, where I accomplish my every season goal, but am equally satisfied if I reach just twice a year. This will also vary depending upon your life and what is going on. Some years and seasons are more cluttered than others.

I encourage my clients to do this at least once, but hopefully twice a year. It’s amazing what lingers in our mind and life, often items and issues that serve no purpose other than to hold us back. Like that worn out pair of shoes that are comfy but need to be tossed, it’s not always easy but well worth it. Believe it or not, we can become attached to the negative space fillers that can fill our head just like the items no longer needed in our home.

A question that we must ask ourselves, each time we clean is “what are we afraid of if we take this item or issue and toss it out?”

The answer is simple, it is our fear, fear of the unknown, fear of what to do in my head and my life if these items and issues are removed. Just like the early stages of recovery with any addiction, suddenly the time fillers are gone. What do I do now?Obviously, if something is useful, truly important or serves a positive purpose , as with your physical house you should hang on to it.

One of the easiest ways to declutter your mind is to use the tried and true method of the pros and cons list. I always encourage people to grab that pen or pencil, along with a piece of paper and get started. I know in the electronic age, I’m asking you to do this the old fashioned way. But there’s a simple reason for this method. We humans are sensory by nature and studies support that tactile learning helps us in many more ways than one can imagine.

What is tactile learning? It is using if not all, as many as possible of our 5 senses in learning, gathering information and making decisions. Using the pen and paper method, allows whatever issue or decision to go from just being in your head to being real to your other senses.  It’s almost magical in a way. The shear ability of writing, drawing or any other method of being able to access it with more than your mind makes it more alive. All of our senses have memory, we have nerve/muscle, touch, sight, hearing and smell all learning and remembering. Writing it down on paper engages the mind, muscles/nerves for writing, sense of touch with the pen and paper and sight for looking at the written words. If you read it out loud to yourself you’ve just added hearing/speaking. By making it real, it is often harder to ignore than just being able to push it aside in one’s mind.

So, now that I’ve done the spring cleaning of my life and mind, now what? That’s actually up to you, though for myself, I often write up a list of goals, dreams, ideas and thoughts. I encourage my clients to do the same. I go through my list throughout the year or season, which as life is ever evolving and alter and change whatever needs or I feel is still important to me. After all, this is a list, your list and not a contract.

Let me know if you use this, how it works or doesn’t work for you.

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