As the weather warms up and spring cleaning fever hits me with a vengeance, I am more than ready to declutter my closet and deep clean my sadly ignored refrigerator. However, this year, I want to do something a little deeper than wiping down surfaces in my home and vowing to get on a steady cleaning schedule.
This year I want to take the idea of spring cleaning and bring it into my spiritual life. I spend at least a few times a year going through my clothes and cabinets, tossing things that are worn out or aren’t useful to me anymore, but how often do I practice the same level of care for neglected aspects of my spiritual life? The answer is simply, not enough.
So if you’re thinking about diving into a bit of spiritual spring cleaning this year, don’t forget to include these five areas on your list as well.
My heart is where my desires lie, and if I’m being honest, this is probably the area I leave unchecked most often. I don’t spend enough time examining why I want what I want, or why my priorities fall the way they do. In theory, I want to spend more time with family and stay in touch with good friends, but in reality my actions don’t reflect that. Getting the excess desires out of the way (like clambering for more high profile jobs or focusing too much on the things I don’t have) will leave room for the desires that truly matter.
My mind can easily become a junkyard of worry, stress, and negative thoughts – especially when I’m not paying close attention to the information I’m feeding my brain. Clearing my mind means being more mindful of how I consume media, giving myself a break from the toxic stuff that loves to invade my head come bedtime. Knowing every bit of awful news or keeping up with celebrity divorces isn’t essential or healthy for me.
My words really shape the way I view and value myself, and I could definitely stand to clean up my language a bit more often. I’m not talking about washing my mouth out with a bar of soap here, because bad language can take on covert forms that sneak in unnoticed. Negative, jealous, or damaging self-talk that stems from insecurity is what gets me stuck in a bad mood most of the time. I need to make sure my words are uplifting for myself and for others.
Creating space is about more than simply clearing clutter from your countertops. I also want to clear room in my environment for things that help create a more fulfilling spiritual life – like journaling, prayer, or spiritual reading. Making room for more meaningful activities in my daily routine – like reaching out to a friend who needs me or doing more volunteering – means clearing away time-sucks like spending hours scrolling Facebook or Instagram, and establishing a small corner of my house to dedicate to time with God.
All too often I’ll fall into pits of not taking care of myself, and it’s time to clean up my act. Eating food that makes me feel badly, or neglecting exercise for weeks at a time in favor of binge watching Netflix is a surefire way to make me miserable – yet my bad habits are still hard to break. I need to be aware of my physical health as I “spring clean” my whole lifestyle in order to build a happier life.
Originally published on March 19, 2018.