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I write to you from just past the middle of March, from just past the middle of the United States. The equinox has arrived and the Midwestern prairie and its rivers have risen to the occasion, in their usually demure and ever undulating way.
For those of us living in the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, spring is upon us, or will be when the weather finally cooperates. For us, it’s time to shake off the lingering effects of the passing winter and look ahead to the lushness of summer.
Regardless of the hemisphere or latitude you inhabit, the prospect of spring to large numbers of people in the world is a compelling reality to consider in your own life, at any time of the year. In fact, it’s a chance to take notice of the new season of health that is waiting, right now, in all of our lives.
You’ve likely heard the expression “spring-cleaning” before, but have you ever actually done it? It’s a practice from a time before ours, before electric vacuums and miracle cleaners, when cleaning was hard work and had a seasonal rhythm.
Spring-cleaning was a notable and hopeful time in communities for centuries, when the improving weather beckoned us to clean our homes and yards, to air our rugs and linens and selves, and to reconnect with neighbors and friends. It was a time of physical and spiritual re-emergence into nature after a bout of stagnating and unhealthy winter living.
With this tradition in mind, I’d like to propose to you today a spring-cleaning of our spirits, regardless of what month it may be or what season you are in. With the prospect of a gathering spring possible at any time in any of our lives, now is the perfect time to literally and figuratively air our homes, unbolt our doors and let new light in, and search for dust and clutter we may have overlooked in an earlier time of haste.
Here are some ideas for your spring cleaning of body and spirit, whatever climate and season you are in:
- Open your windows – your eyes and senses are your windows on the world, and need to be unshuttered and cleaned and made sunlit, again and again, so you can see and sense clearly and truly what is new around you, and discover what around you can be seen in new ways.
- Air out your rooms – in the bright clear spring air that regular calisthenics offer in our lives, take in fresh air and push out old atmospheres and moods, shaking yourself free of the staleness of comfortable habits and placid living.
- Clear out your kitchen – what unnatural foods and unsightly leftovers remain from an earlier autumn or from a storm that may have blown winter winds into your life? Might these foods, real or metaphorical, be finding their way into your body too? You will not eat what you do not hold onto.
- Dust the soles of your shoes – if the weather is good around you, and perhaps even if it’s not, it’s time to walk again, today, with redoubled steps and new distances in your eyes, on new paths and in new directions, in search of fresh sensations and unexpected turns in the way – always with the hopefulness of spring as your companion.
All of us at HumanaNatura wish you a new season in your life, and health and spring in your body and heart every day of the year.
Mark Lundegren is the founder of HumanaNatura.
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