by Gaylah Balter
As you turn your mind toward spring and the sure to
follow spring cleaning that might include a garage, a
back entry, or a front porch, add something new to your
usual activities. Look a little deeper, go inward and
reap the benefits of some spring cleaning for the soul.
"Why, you ask, would the soul need any spring
cleaning?" As our daily life unfolds we lose track
of our soul’s needs. Why? Noise, clutter, stress, or
life chaos seep into our life and dim our ability to
care-take our soul. Would a spring cleaning help to
bring some light to the situation? A lot of spiritual
clutter accumulates in the soul which interferes with
achieving a full and satisfying life for yourself. I
will explain shortly.
What is the soul and why would it need or benefit
from some sort of cleaning? We think of the soul as a
timeless, eternal, or divine aspect of our persona.
Denise Linn, says, "Soul is a word we use to
describe the central or integral part of something; it
is the vital core. In its most profound sense, it also
describes the essence of every human being."
How would I go about spring cleaning my soul? First,
I will introduce you to some concepts that you might
never have associated with spirituality or your
spiritual bank account, and then I will show you how to
go about the process of spring cleaning the soul and why
it’s so important.
Let’s look at some aspects of spiritual clutter
first. Here’s a quiz to get you started:
- When I look at my physical clutter do I understand
how my mindset, emotions, and lack of self-nurturing
have contributed to the mess around me?
- Do I understand the interconnection between the
physical clutter in my life and the mental,
emotional, and spiritual issues that are present?
- Do I have a hard time breaking habits that no
longer serve me?
What is spiritual clutter and why do I have to be
concerned about it? It is the inability to nurture and
support your purpose in life and prevents consistent and
conscious behavior and decision-making. It limits your
ability to fully develop values and actions that are in
sync with your innermost desires.
Here are some things to do that will get you thinking
in the right direction. Go over these and refer back to
them when you need to.
- Take a positive attitude towards life.
- Learn to forgive and forget.
- Let go of past experiences so they don’t
continually go round and round in your mind.
- Learn to let go of past grievances, bitterness,
- Become aware of how your inner world is not sync
with the outward manifestations of your life.
- Learn to take risks.
- Decide to live in a manner that is consistent with
your desires, goals, and values.
It is important to take responsibility for your
cluttering ways. The truth is simple. You have spiritual
clutter in your life because you have given importance
to other matters rather than taking care of the status
of your surroundings, your thoughts, or your behaviors.
Honesty with yourself and your goals is one of the most
important things to begin to do. Are you living your
life in accord with your goals, desires, and values?
When you don’t, tension and anxiety take over your
life. These spiritual issues have kept you depressed and
drained of the ability to think positively. Restoring
consistency between your outer and inner worlds will
help resolve all forms of clutter, restore your personal
power, and elevate your self esteem.
Frances Vaughn, in The Inward Arc remarks, "A
genuine confrontation with the truth … demands
authenticity and personal integrity. When one feels one
way and acts in another, one creates conflict rather
then coherence and experiences stress and disharmony or
WAYS TO CLEAN UP SPIRITUAL CLUTTER:
- Think more positively.
- Seek the valuable lesson in all situations.
- Simplify your life.
These are deposits for your spiritual bank account.
As you visualize what you want your life to look like,
more ideas will present themselves. Be sure to write
these down and post them in places where you will see
Spring is the time changes are occurring all around
you in nature. You can use this energy to help you make
spiritual changes for yourself. Phrases such as,
"It does a soul good and its food for the
soul" describe what you can look forward to. Set
aside time to write down goals you have been thinking
about for some time.
Now visualize what your life would be like if you
instituted some of these. Would you begin to attract the
friendships you desire? Would you feel less guilty
because your values have not been expressed in your
everyday decisions? Would you have more energy because
the bitterness and old grudges you hang onto would no
longer weigh you down?
The changes you institute will be noticed by other
people; so be prepared for comments suggesting you are
different, happier or have more energy.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
- Write down what you are most longing for.
- Do a lifestyle survey.
- Evaluate your time commitments.
- Deal with unresolved conflicts, angers, and hurts.
- Where has your life clamored for de-cluttering?
Speaking, Thinking, and Acting:
The ways you speak think, and act impact every facet
of your life. It is important to look deeply into how
you speak, think, and act. In addition, your body hears
everything you say and can pick up some negative images
from your speech patterns. This could influence your
Creating clear and positive ways of speaking is the
result of the inner work you are doing. Language is
always the result of your thoughts, habits, and inner
directives and has the power to influence you and others
positively or negatively. Could you change, "I'd
kill to have that" to "I would really love
You attract what you think about. Think more about
the abundance in your life and not the lack.
Meditating, praying, spending time in nature, and
finding a like-minded spiritual community are all ways
to begin to find spiritual sustenance and bring the
action part of the process to your everyday life.
When the motifs of your life consist of random
choices or a lack of conscious living, then your
thoughts, actions, and decisions create barriers to the
free flow of energy. This in turn brings stagnation and
blockages to the easy and clear flow of energy that can
invigorate and nurture the soul.
Sometimes we allow our fears to dominate our choices.
The near relative of fear is a high level of anxiety and
stress as well as mental upset. Feed your mind, body,
and soul with positive messages that work to allay the
anxiety and stress that builds up. A student of mine
noted, "I’d remember the anger. I was hanging
onto negative energy. Am I living in the past or am I
living in the present? Clearing out clutter means
accepting yourself, where you are in your life at the
moment … it eliminates guilt and embarrassment."
Here are some other questions to ask. They will get
you thinking about goals you might want to achieve or
some that you have put aside in the past.
- What areas of your life feel overextended?
- What creates the feeling of being overwhelmed?
- Do I feel trapped in a lifestyle that doesn’t
- Watch to see where you are being pulled in two
- Are you secretly afraid of slowing down, because
that will mean getting to know yourself better?
- Do you stay busy in order to stuff your feelings
and ignore them?
The soul is fragile and needs nurturing and care. We
tend to neglect its needs as we dash about working,
playing, and taking care of our responsibilities. Spring
forces us to look at, focus on, and experience change.
It is also a good time to look at our inner landscape;
take note of our souls’ needs. Spring cleaning aims to
dust off accumulations of grime, set things in order,
and restore the former brilliance of objects and ideas.
We can apply these concepts to our soul searching
activities. The author William James observed, "The
greatest revolution of my life is the discovery that
individuals can change the outer aspects of their lives
by changing the inner attitudes of their mind."
The soul loves active participation in the goodness
of life, its spiritual pursuits, and the ways we have of
feeding our core, our essence. If we rush about, live
with too much stress, and give chaos a home in our
lives, we deny our soul its path to help us fulfill our
purpose in life.
Soul searching is good to do occasionally. Clearing
the cobwebs of old habits, mind sets, and tapes needs to
be done every once in a while. Taking a thorough look at
our lives, goals, and values is good to do. Spring
cleaning for the soul will undoubtedly cause some
emotional upset as you clear the dust and debris of old
thoughts, language habits, and ways of acting. This will
go away as you reap the benefits of the changes you have
instituted and your life will surge forward with lots of
I love spring and the new vistas that it brings to my
life everyday. It makes me look inward and see where I
can jostle up the cobwebs a bit, make some long desired
changes, and be kinder to myself. All this feeds the
soul. You won’t regret taking the time to do some of
the exercises I propose. Good luck on your soul journey
and happy spring cleaning.
© Copyright 2005 Gaylah Balter. All Rights
Gaylah Balter grew
up using acorns as dishes and talking to the massive
oaks under which she played. Sitting with her dog Pal on
the hill outside her home she chatted with him about all
sorts of things. She used to pick the irises and lilies
of the valley that grew on the property where she lived,
and she talked to them as well. It seems she was always
talking with some part of the natural world.
As an adult, Ms.
Balter traveled to many faraway places and lived the
ordinary life of most people, marrying, working, raising
two children, divorcing, and discovering more about
herself. She became an occupational therapist, educator,
meditation teacher, and massage therapist, specializing
in energetic techniques for healing.
She now lives in
Olympia, Washington, and has what she calls her ‘English
Cottage’ with a window in her living room looking out
onto the expanse of her garden. She enjoys her meals
there and gazes out quite often with her treasured dog,
Gaylah is active in
social action and environmental organizations and has
participated in numerous projects to lobby governmental
agencies and increase public awareness about important
Ms. Balter is the
author of two books, Clean Your Clutter, Clear Your
Life: A Practical Manual Using Feng Shui Principles
and her newest, Gardening with Soul; Healing the
Earth and Ourselves with Feng Shui and Environmental
Awareness. She is a Feng Shui consultant and teaches
classes on meditation, Feng Shui, cleaning clutter, six
healing sounds, and gardening with Feng Shui. Visit www.learningtreebooks.com.
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