Spring has finally sprung with a powerful New Moon and Solar Eclipse on the Vernal Equinox. I’m not actually sure what this means (there are great astrologers out there who do!), but something about new beginnings – always an appropriate lesson/intention for spring. Spring represents renewal, life after the “death” of winter, which we know is not actually death, but dormancy. Retreating and resting is important for all planes and facets of life – including our minds, bodies, and souls. Unfortunately, allowing ourselves to take some time off and hibernate is a challenge in this busy age – especially in the city I call home, New York City.
Personally, I have been spring cleaning inside and out. Organizing, sweeping, scrubbing, etc. Ever notice how when you clean, there’s a point when the place looks messier than it did before? Dust is flying, junk you’ve been meaning to go through is pulled out from its hiding places, even all of the cleaning supplies lying around add to the feeling of chaos. This is a perfect metaphor for my internal life. A few weeks ago, I began feeling that weighed-down, yet restless feeling that, for me, denotes the end of winter. There’s too much going on in my life. I’ve over-extended myself and am feeling burned out and exhausted. So, I started to reexamine where I have been putting my energy and, in the process, have actually experienced a substantial amount of confusion as I’ve taken on new jobs and then discarded them. I have found solace in the realization that even though I keep messing up and making mistakes, at least I’m taking chances and trying to figure it all out! However, now I am desiring and focusing on bring clarity and simplicity to my inner world as well as my outer world.
Just like when you spring clean and stir up the mess and find all of these corners you’ve left unattended for far too long, so has my life felt a bit messy and I have discovered places that I was not giving my best. When you have so much to do, it’s pretty darn difficult to give 100% all of the time! Most of this can be excused to having a busy schedule, but whose fault is it that I have such a full lifestyle? Mine and mine alone. We can choose where we put our energy and attention and not let ourselves wilt under the pressure of a busy life.
I am working to let go of the notion that busyness equals success and even that being a hard worker means being busy. I also have to let go of the ideas that I am the only one working hard (yes, I know this is totally not true, but when you’re burned out, your mind tells you crazy things so that you’ll just keep working hard without taking a breath) or that I can’t rest until something is done. I can do what I can do. But, as some old adage (and the medical world) says, “You have to inhale so that you can exhale.” I want to be part of the movement that encourages people to slow down and bring mindfulness to their own lives. I have to be that change.
So, I am making self-care a priority. I have to take time for myself. This includes at least a little bit of silent, meditative time every day as well as a day off or two often. The former I’m decent at; the latter, not so great. This is a lesson that gets thrown in my face every six months or so when I’m about to lose it and break down!
What are you spring cleaning? What are you letting go of? What is blossoming in your life?