“Just as there are seasons in the world around us, so there are in our interior life,” Teresa of Avila wisely observed. “We cannot expect it to be otherwise.”
Spring is a time for cleaning out and clearing away old clutter and making way for fresh possibilities and new opportunities. It’s a time to revive our senses and expand our horizons. It’s time to begin again.
In English we have the expression, “Spring Cleaning.” In Judaism, the holiday of Pesach-Passover is defined as a Spring holiday (the actual date of Passover was originally determined by the Spring season). Passover is also a time of cleaning. There is a fundamental relationship between Springtime and its blossoms and house cleaning which crosses cultures and is ingrained in all of us.
This Spring allow your thoughts to transform the process of sweeping the floor, folding clothes, painting the house and all other relevant labors into a spiritually uplifting process where although we are dusting the furniture we are actually removing the dust from ourselves and the shining sheen of polished silverware actually reflect our personal labor of self assessment and cleansing which serves to makes us better people.
In this season of renewal and rebirth here are some suggestions to hasten an interior rejuvenation. As outside, so inside.
1. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever-Wash the windows of your house or apartment. Then, spend some time in meditation clearing away the dirt that clouds your vision. Let go of any hurts, grudges, and resentments. If there is anyone you need to forgive, do so, including yourself.
2. Walking Meditation-Go outside on a beautiful Spring day and walk slowly, in a relaxed way. Be present with each step you take, being mindful of your walking.
3. Energy Fast-Try a 24 hour period to participate more directly in the earths rhythm of light and dark, use no electric lights for 24 hours. To get back in touch with the smells and textures of your food, use no appliances while cooking for a day. To experience the true sounds of Spring, don’t turn on the television, radio or computer for a day.
4. Clean out Closets-If you can’t fit into it, or you haven’t worn it while Obama has been President, donate it. Clean out drawers and reduce clutter and as you sweep and clean, be mindful of the all the old habits that are not serving you and strive to clean those out too.
5. End Your Spring Days with Prayer-Here is a Native American prayer my grandmother would say each Spring.
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep with rain.
— Ute prayer