How to Make Spring Cleaning a Spiritual Grounding Ritual
Flowers are pushing through the newly defrosted earth, trees are blossoming, and the birds are coming back. Signs of spring are leaping up everywhere and for many this means participating in the ancient tradition of spring cleaning.
Purifying your living space is the perfect way to get in sync with the planet and honor tradition. In Iran, the Persian New Year tradition of Norouz translates to “New Day”, which falls on the first day of Spring. It consists of “Khane-takani” which means “shake the house”. It’s a spring cleaning ritual where carpets are washed, the yard and attic are cleaned, and the whole house is washed from top to bottom. I take a slightly less intense approach when tackling my one-bedroom apartment, but the impetus behind it is much the same: any negativity from the old year is washed away with the dirt and grime from the past, and bright new energy is welcomed into the gleaming tidiness of a freshly cleaned household.
If you’re like me, you have a lack of zest for the whole “cleaning everything from top to bottom” idea. Even though the outcome is rewarding, it can still be challenging to undertake. There are a few ways to get around this, and the benefits definitely make it worthwhile.
The first thing you should do is make sure to use only natural, organic cleaning products. Even better, make your own. The chemicals cleaning product companies use are nothing short of poison. The ingredients in these products are toxic to you, your pets, and the planet. Natural ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda are not only just as effective, but they’re cheaper and won’t harm your living space environment.
Be Mindful, One Room at a Time
One way to get serenity as you clean is to concentrate on one room at a time. If you start in the kitchen, forget the bathroom for now! The active word here is mindfulness. When I’m in the kitchen cleaning, I ground myself mentally as I’m scrubbing the floor. It feels good to connect with the energy of the earth, and just to be physically closer to the ground in that way gives one a stronger sense of connection to the planet. As I’m on the floor, I imagine the energy of the Earth rising up through my body. It feels centering, and I have more balance.
As I sweep errant crumbs and search hard to reach places for wayward pieces of food that have found their way outside of my normal cleaning routine, I remind myself to be grateful for having enough nourishment, and I thank the Universe for providing me with all that I need. I’ve noticed that when I think thoughts of being centered, time can just fly by, and before I know it, the kitchen has been cleansed and I’m ready to move on to the next room!
Next I start on the living room, where I read, socialize, and the entrance to my home is located. As I pull up the area rug and take it outside to hang in the fresh air while I mop the wood floor, I think about all the activity that took place over the colder months, how I’ve grown, and where in my life I could be doing better. As I dump the dirty water, I imagine that it is carrying away all blockages from my past: fear, feelings of unworthiness, and judgment. Before I know it, I’ve participated in a deeply effective ritual, and later as I am enjoying tea in my fresh-smelling living room I feel as if I’ve been cleansed from the inside out.
In the bedroom, I take out all my old winter clothes and replace them with a spring wardrobe. There are brighter colors and lighter fabrics, the shoes are less bulky and the jackets take up less room. I flip the mattress and again, take out the rug and mop the entire floor. I put drops of lavender into the mop bucket and for days afterwards the air is lightly scented to lull me to sleep. As I work I put a less frenetic energy into the task, I move a bit slower, and infuse peaceful thoughts and feelings into all that I do. When I’m finished mindfully cleaning my bedroom there is a calm energy that has permeated the entire space.
When you think of cleaning as a renewal of your living space energy, it becomes more of a ritual. Rather than thinking of spring cleaning as a mindless chore, being centered and balanced as you sweep and scrub adds to the integrity of your home’s atmosphere. Move into the new energy of Spring with a sacred attitude by being present in your body as you clean, then as you go about your daily life, the flowering energy of your sparkling home will burst forth into everything you do.