set of daisys in fresh green grass and sunlight

Spring Is Here!

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 

The cold weather is receding and the first flowers of the season are peeking out among the brown grass and dead leaves. As the earth renews it’s self so should we. We can start to declutter our lives both physically and spiritually and here are seven rituals suggested by Abigail Brenner M.D.

  1. De-clutter your living space.
    1. Get rid of anything you no longer need. Donate clothing, books and household items that are in reasonably good condition to an organization, charity, library or hospital.
    2. Clear out kitchen and medical cabinets of items that have expiration dates that have passed. 2.) Clear out mental and emotional clutter.
  2. Clear out mental and emotional clutter.
    1. Allow yourself to let go of the past to make room for new things to come into your life.
    2. Commit to making decisions you’ve been putting off.
    3. Challenge limiting beliefs about yourself and about how things should be.
    4. Think positively. When you have had a bad day, vent about your troubles and conclude with finding three blessings. By the time you find the third one you have a smile on your face.
  3. Start a Practice – A daily practice affords you a “time-out” from your everyday routine. This breaking up of a fixed routine can allow you to find a peaceful way to center yourself.
    1. A spiritual practice such as yoga, meditation, or chi gong are easy to find almost anywhere and relatively affordable.
    2. Another practice that you can do on your own is researching and reading sacred texts from many cultures and traditions us.
    3. Walking is a wonderful way to help your body while clearing your mind. Walk instead of drive. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. And remember to change your route! We all are so programmed to do the same routine every day. Change the scenery, change your perspective!
  4. Begin something brand new. Focus on spring as a time of new beginnings and resolve to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never felt you had the time.
    1. Assess your health. Create an inventory of your health including diet, exercise, genetics, and stress Begin slowly, one change at a time, eventually incorporating others.
    2. Explore your creativity. Learn a new language, take piano lessons, awaken the diva within, take a computer class, or go back to school. It’s never too late to fulfill a dream.
    3. Volunteer your time. There are so many ways to give of yourself.
  5. Spend time outdoors and breathe the fresh air.
    1. Plant a flower or vegetable garden. Plant an herb garden in your kitchen or pots of flowers to bring the outside into your home.
    2. Plant a tree with your child and watch it grow together.
    3. Hang a birdhouse or birdfeeder and watch the inhabitants come and go from year to year. Connect to the earth and continuity in the life.
  6. Take a trip, make it something to look forward and reconnect with yourself emotionally and spiritually.
    1. A personal retreat away or a weekend that you give to yourself every year to reflect on your life, the past year, and what new things you may want to incorporate into your life moving forward.
    2. A family reunion, to meet extended family at different destinations each year, allows people to stay connected and affords a sense of belonging and continuity for younger family members.
    3. A family vacation can do the same thing for the immediate members of your family. Camping, hiking, or fishing, visiting an historic site, or a part of the country that’s very different from your own can help family members bond and reconnect from their busy, daily lives.
  7. Simplify your life.
    1. Slow down. As life moves so quickly we need to find a way to quiet our minds and make quality time for ourselves.
    2. “Downshift”, or streamline your life Reevaluate your priorities and commitments. What do you value most in your life? How much quality time do you spend with the people and the things you care about the most? What is the best way to use your time to create the life you want to have?

These seven rituals for renewal can help you to improve the quality of your life.

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