Spring Clean Your Mind And Body To Make Room For Joy!

Spring is here and it’s time to CLEAN UP, CLEAN OUT and MAKE ROOM.

This winter in New York City was brutal. It was one of those winters that felt never ending! I found myself hibernating — loading up on comfort foods, having a hard time getting motivated, and feeling guilty about that.

But in the last few weeks, as the weather finally started getting warmer, I really started to get excited. When I feel the sunlight hit my skin, I immediately think about stripping off all the extra layers — and I’m not just talking about the coats and winter clothes!

Now is the perfect time for a new beginning, whether that’s renewing our goals from January 1, or renewing and rejuvenating ourselves in other ways.

But before I make room for all the new things I want to do, I have to give myself permission to clean out some old things, like the guilt I felt about hibernating this winter.

If you’re like me, there are some extra layers somewhere in your life that you don’t need anymore. Maybe they’re a few extra pounds filling out your waistband. Or maybe it’s some negative thinking that’s not serving you anymore.

A great way to clear away that baggage is to take a moment — right now —- and identify three things you want to clean out or clean up in your life.

It might be tackling some spring cleaning — like going through your closet to make room for all your spring dresses, cleaning out your cupboard for lighter, fresher food, or even cleaning out some painful emotions.

Whatever it is, let yourself be guided by joy, not obligation!

In my case, when I first felt the sun come out, I immediately thought about cleaning up my diet.

My mind went to a childhood memory of going to the farmer’s market with my mother and having her teach me how to find out if a melon is ripe by thumping it with her thumb. And how to tell that if that corn is ripe — you just pull back the leaves, prick the corn, and if white milk comes out, it’ll be sweet corn!

I remember the amazing smells and the joy of the experience — and they’re all tied in with healthy eating. That’s a kind of motivation that’s in a whole other world than depriving yourself for the sake of losing weight.

The same goes for exercise. Now that the weather’s getting better, you can take your workouts outside, or explore your city by foot and notice things you hadn’t noticed before.

Early mornings, I run from my apartment towards the Statue of Liberty when the city isn’t really awake yet. I watch the birds flying over the Hudson River, and see the trees and the flowers. There’s something about being in nature — even in NYC — and what it does to you. Once the city gets going, there’s so much distraction, it’s easy to miss those things.

Last spring, I was on my way to meet a client and noticed that tulips were blooming everywhere. I started taking pictures of the tulips all over the area and showed them to her when we met later.

She has a very intense job and runs around all day. The photos struck her. She said if I could also run around all day and still take time to notice the tulips, instead of blocking everything out, she could as well.

It’s great to have a wonderful career — but if you’re not taking time to enjoy your life and have fun, what’s the point?

Take the time and really pay attention: There is beauty all around you. But you might need to clean out some old patterns before you are able to see it.

What are your three goals to Clean Up, Clean Out and Make Room? I’d love to hear them!