I’ve always seen January and March as close cousins, but not because of their proximity on the calendar. It’s because they inspire similar feelings of rebirth in me. March has an air of hopefulness about her as she begins to bloom and shed her winter grey. There’s a discernible shift in energy when March begins to play peek-a-boo with the weather, stepping in, stepping out, sometimes blooming ahead of schedule in anticipation of spring.
March, like January, makes me believe in second chances. It’s a do-over, another opportunity to rekindle our commitment to ourselves, to be kinder, to exercise more, to work harder and love better. But March brings less pressure than January and more hope.
I think this is because we are more likely to take action in March and do something positive to move our lives forward. Even if it’s just cleaning out the garage.
Decluttering our closets, our drawers, our homes, is one positive way to welcome in the shifting energy of spring. Many of us call it spring cleaning; I like to call it spring clearing.
Last year I learned a Feng Shui ritual and I’m going to use if again in spring. It goes like this: for nine days in a row, throw out or give away 27 things in your house (that’s 243 things). Go through your drawers, your closets, your attic, your pantry and declutter everything. I did it and it was positively liberating. (As an aside, I could spend all nine days in one bathroom drawer where I hoard half-used tubes of lotion and toothpaste, rubber bands, old bottles of nail polish, combs, expired medications…well, you get the picture.)
This simple exercise will teach you the value of simplicity while helping you let go of what no longer serves you. As you clear out the old, you clear out the stagnant energies of the past and make room for something new.
There is a real opportunity with this kind of “decluttering” to not only bring in more space, but to bring in more light. Much in the way the days shift their schedule in spring to accommodate more light, so will clearing our homes, our hearts, our minds of stale energy, make us more radiant.
Light dissolves the darkness. And it accommodates the truth. When we are willing to pull back the curtains on our lives, to look at the truth, at the dust and the dirt with honest eyes, there is no more hiding.
I sometimes see spring as a metaphor for midlife. It is a time of growth yes, but it is also an opportunity to step out of the shadows and make space for new interests or long-denied passions. Sometimes, like spring, it is a beautiful but stormy, turbulent season, a time of undoing and unearthing. Sometimes, it is a period of shedding, as we begin to question. The questions may start small but invariably grow like a sprout, seeking, searching for life. Searching for spring.