Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Cleaning

It was a slate-gray, windy and rainy Sunday, and I was home in my pajamas and robe, snuggled in my chair, coughing, blowing my nose and suffering from aches and chills. The weather and my body seemed to be accurate reflections of each other. A spring cold was not on my to-do list. While I missed several scheduled events due to this unwelcome cold visiting me, including singing in a choir concert that afternoon, I decided to use my quiet time to spring clean. Unlike the physical exertions of washing windows, removing clutter from closets and scrubbing down cupboards, this spring cleaning involved ridding myself of the clutter in my mind. First of all, I searched for those things that were lurking around in the recesses that didn't contribute to my well-being. I found that I had a more than generous load of assumptions, expectations and sorrows that were only weighing me down. As I searched some more, I uncovered grudges, judgments and over-commitments. There were stresses, uncertainties, fears, worries, negative thoughts, sad memories and statements I wished I could take back. With eyes closed, I visualized unloading these burdens that were causing me so much harm and creating in me a sense of dis-ease. I evaluated each concern and worked to frame it more positively, turning fear into hope, sorrow into gratitude, stress into peace, uncertainty into clarity, worry into joy, crisis into opportunity, old hurts into new understandings. I was amazed at how hard it was to let go of those burdens (Why did I still want to own them?), but as I released them little by little, my mind, body and spirit felt healthier. Who would have guessed that a cold, in all of its untimeliness and unpleasantness, could actually end up being the gift of such necessary spring cleaning?