Column: Spring cleaning for the soul

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Commentary by Amy L. Stewart

I LOVE spring — don’t you? The changing light that makes everything sparkle, the enthusiasm in the birds’ songs, the color of new green everywhere, the flowers and fragrances, the warmth on your skin — the sense of unlimited possibility. In every way, spring is a time of new beginnings, rebirth and fresh starts. Nature seems to understand the essential cycle without be taught: The need for change, for old to give way to new, for tender new shoots to emerge tentatively but courageously from the forest floor, for the ancient tree to sprout new buds.

For our part, spring inspires us to clean. Sparkling surfaces and liberated closets appear everywhere, a glistening reward of freedom and accomplishment. Isn’t it just as natural for us to take this time to declutter our inner space, to jettison the old and outdated and to make way for the new? We don’t need to clean the whole house — just one corner will do. It’s amazing how much can come from one little seed.

Peek inside. What calls for your attention? Could your relationship benefit from some freshening up? Could an old rotting resentment be forgiven and let go? Has a habit outlived its usefulness? Would you like to start practicing more gratitude or kindness? Could you be a better listener? Want to try meditation? Rekindle a friendship? Would you like to spend more time with family or take more time for yourself? Do you have the courage to descend the basement stairs and examine a long-held belief that you’ve never questioned? Open your heart to something that makes you uncomfortable? Or is this the year for the big remodel – are you ready to take on loving yourself or living a life of real joy?

In this season of renewal, may we all tackle that one project that lets us shed the damp, dreary overcoats of winter and burst forth with a smile in our hearts and spring in our step.


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