Lisa’s Guide To Emotional Spring-Cleaning (8 tips to de-clutter your heart)
I almost missed the turn —the one that takes me each day to my office in the country. Down the lane, through the rolling hills, pastures and fences, trees and rock walls. The same road, the same path right by the Halfway Market where I see the same men stroll in for their morning breakfast before heading out on their way.
I almost missed the turn because my eyes were fixated on a beautiful cherry blossom tree in full bloom, nestled comfortably in the swell of the landscape, the pond echoing the tender white blossoms in its reflection.
Spring is here. I can sense it. Everything is in full bloom. The cadence of my heart quickens, what was grey and brittle now seems pregnant with color, with life. Hope.
Yes, spring awakens me from the winter’s slumber and energizes me for what’s ahead. With windows open, I can feel the cool breeze drift inside, breathing new life into the stale air that has hung heavy for months in every corner of my home. My heart.
If we’re honest, we all need moments, seasons, where we can open our soul-windows, pull back the curtains, and clear out what has grown cluttered, dim, and down-right dirty. Something inside beckons us into a new season and we must make room for what lies ahead.
Here is my guide to emotional spring-cleaning that will lighten your load, fill your tank, and maximize your wellbeing.
1. Clean out the past.
Sometimes I love hiding underneath the warm weight of blankets in the winter, almost as if the layers have quilted my unprotected heart. My unmeasured dreams. My unbearable losses.
Set aside time this week to release past hurts, wounds, anger, resentments, or guilt that are holding you hostage. Surrender them to God. Offer forgiveness. Pray blessing. Invite healing. We can’t experience the hope of the new season as long as we remain trapped in the confines of the old.
2. Dust off the future.
Surrender worry, doubt, anxiety, and stress over the future. Focus your energies on the present. Enjoy where you are and what you are doing. Trust that God is working in all things to bring you exactly where He wants you. Release every expectation, every dream.
I Cor 2:9 (NIV) tells us , What no eye has seen,what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived , the things God has prepared for those who love him—
3. Clear out the all of the mental clutter.
Write down the things you want to accomplish. Identify the things that are within your control and the things that are not. Focusing on the items you can control, prioritize #1 - #5 the first things you would like to finish. Starting with #1, make a plan on how you want to meet your goal. Put in on the calendar and get it out of your head.
Organizing our priorities and our time frees us to be fully present in each moment. Getting it on paper prevents it from cluttering our mind and overwhelming our heart.
4. Assess your success.
Sometimes we start the new year with a lot of goals, resolutions. We add things to our schedule that seem doable at the time, but as spring moves in, we surrender to the exhaustion, realizing that all of the “to-do’s” have become “to-don’ts” because everything has simply become unmanageable.
Clean up your schedule. Do an inventory of what needs to stay and what needs to go. What activities are throwing your life out of balance? Be done with them. There are many good things in life, but we can’t do them all at once. Only hold onto the things that provide the greatest meaning, value, or purpose.
5. Do a gratitude inventory.
Why wait until Thanksgiving? Why not take some time to write down things you are grateful for since the beginning of the year. The good things, perhaps the difficult things, the successes as well as the failures.
Developing the practice of gratitude multiplies our wellbeing and keeps us centered on God’s plans, purposes, and presence in every aspect of our lives. CLICK TO TWEET
6. Seek out solitude.
Give yourself 15-20 minutes one morning or afternoon where you silence yourself, practice your deep-breathing skills, and connect with God. Solitude isn’t easy, the rush of thoughts, feelings is right there to distract, to numb, to shame, and to silence your deepest soul-needs. Do it anyway.
Allow the thoughts, the feelings, the despair and discouragement to pass by. Acknowledge them, but don’t hold onto them. Don’t. God is waiting for you farther down the road. Move past them and focus on Him and Him alone. Rest in His presence. Breathe. Come home to all that you are, all that He has created you to be. His peace is alive in this moment. CLICK TO TWEET
7. Set small goals.
Forgo huge goals in favor of small ones. Instead of trying to get up at 4:30am every day (that will never happen, uggh!!!) set a goal of getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Instead of focusing on losing 20 pounds to fit into your swimsuit, focus on eating healthy and getting out to walk and enjoy the beautiful weather.
If you get up late or blow the diet, don’t shame yourself, there is always tomorrow. Be kinder with yourself. Perhaps apologize to yourself for how condemning you have been.
8. Enjoy spring.
Find small ways to celebrate spring, to embrace its wonder. What I have learned through the years is that spring passes quickly and in the blink of an eye, the sweltering summer heat is here.
Don’t let this moment, this season pass you by. Welcome it, witness its beauty, and soak in everything God is unfolding in nature around you.
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891