Spring cleaning! April is the time to declutter and air out, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Always with the inventory is the question, “What no longer serves me?” whether we’re talking about an old idea or an old pair of jeans.
Initially terrified of the 4th Step, listening to tales of woe, I now welcome the process as an opportunity to dig down on whatever manifestation of my “ism” is causing distress in the moment. Not 10 years ago, or when I was a kid, but today. The Steps aren’t a magic wand, but, for me, the act of putting pen to paper heals in a way that simply thinking about a problem never does. The sharing with a trusted other post-inventory, sometimes adding in ritual or ceremony, allows me to breathe into my higher self (which includes forgiving my humanness). Some of those pesky defenses/defects keep popping up, but the edges are so much softer now. I’m better able to (finally) say, “Oh, there you are again (fear, self-centeredness, grief, etc). What do you need?” Often, merely naming the emotion, giving it just a moment’s attention, is all that it takes to release the hold. Breathing in, breathing out...
In the physical realm, I’ve been on a paper-reduction project at work, recycling pounds of paper no one has touched in this century. Why do we hang on to so much? Because you might need it someday – the refrain of many raised by Depression era parents. True, maybe someday, but these days I'm applying the closet rule – if you haven’t worn it (or used it) in a year (ok, two) let it go. My new refrain is “someday is now” and if there isn’t an immediate need, farewell! I’m not a total Marie Kondo devotee (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) but I definitely utilize some of her methods – do my possessions bring joy? Are they useful? Are they validly sentimental? I have a long way to go, but “progress not perfection” is very much in action.
I’m posting a day early before leaving on a long weekend adventure with my two best traveling buddies. Vacation, even a mini, can feel like a clean start. There is the going away, completely out of my usual element and routine, and the sweetness of homecoming, usually with a fresh outlook on my work, my relationships and my home. What no longer serves me? What do I want to celebrate and honor? What would today’s inventory show?
Thank you for reading, near and far. Where are you, in this 4th month, with the inventory process? Is it time for an annual housecleaning, metaphorically or actually? What is telling you that it needs releasing?