I am one of those people who washes the outside of the windows on my house the first +10 degree day that we get in the spring. I can’t stand looking through glass that is all dirty and smudged. Then I make sure that there are window hangings and dressings so that the crisp and clean windows don’t fool the neighbourhood birds into thinking that they are flying into a continual nature scene. It’s not that I get annoyed by having to clean a window again after a bird has committed accidental suicide against it. It is that I would really rather not have the bird die at all. And feeling the life of a bird slip out of its body as you hold it after it has plastered itself into your window pane is an absolutely horrible experience. But I do digress.
The reason that I clean windows is so that I can see Spring time erupt around me much more clearly. And as it does so, I get the itch to clean the heck out of the house. This becomes an opportunity to put away Winter decor and bring out Spring and Summer decor. It is kind of like Christmas for your home, only in reverse. The most recent thing that I brought out of storage is a gigantic wooden bird cage, into which I have placed one of my house plants. It is now sitting on top of the plant shelf unit in our living room. It looks fabulous. I also do a space clearing and blessing for my home each Spring that is more extensive than the standard once-a-week one that I do through the rest of the year.
Windows are washed, some walls have been washed, and interior projects are coming to a close so that we can move on to outdoor projects (if warm weather ever decides to arrive…it bounces around here is Saskatchewan). We are all set. But as I was doing an intensive stem to stern cleaning this last weekend, I found myself thinking about what other ways there are to do Spring Cleaning.
I am continually taking things to the Thrift store that I don’t want to put energy into selling on my own or that I don’t have anyone in my life who might use said items. That is another form. But that goes on year round. I am constantly de-cluttering. When the weather turns nice for a consistent period of time I will be cleaning up some of the dead stuff in the yard and garden. I have already brought out my Spring/Summer clothes and put away my Winter attire. But there is one thing that I have not done…the Spring Liver Cleanse.
Why? Well, I am admittedly more likely to commit to a tattoo than I am to the Liver Cleanse. First off I just don’t like it. I don’t like the taste and it also throws my blood sugar off in very dangerous ways. I am more of the “cleanse as you go” sort of guy. So I would most likely do it gently over a longer period of time and still eat as I usually do, because my diet is actually quite healthy and I should never fast for any amount of time. But I do like to give the liver a gentle assist now and then. It is just that this time of year is when the liver is more geared for cleanses. So I may start that in a week or two. Again, the weather has to warm up a bit more because, even with a gentle cleanse, my body gets very cold. So it would be nice if I was not freezing within while it is still mostly freezing outside. For me, who usually runs quite hot, feeling like I can’t warm up puts my entire system into crisis mode. I do not like crisis mode. And I will do anything in my power to avoid it.
Now I know that there are all kinds of supplements one can take to get through a cleanse. Here’s the thing. I know that this sounds like whining and resistance, but I know my body. My body does not like taking pills. My body reacts strongly in a very allergic fashion to “natural foods” that also contain soy products and by-products and anything from the sea. I like life. I want to live. And I don’t think that I should have to do that by taking antihistamines or, in some cases, an epi. So generally speaking, a lot of what is on the market, both over the counter and from private distributors, is more likely to kill me than it is to help me through a silly cleanse. So the cleanse becomes not so important to me in terms of a “go big or go home” attitude about it. Some have actually called me lazy because of that. I challenge them to snort cyanide and see how it feels, because soy and sea food have pretty much the same effect on this body.
There are other ways to do a Spring time cleanse of the internal system. I have found that there are some teas that work well with supporting and cleansing the liver, and some of them I do not have an allergy to, so that is where I go. There is also simply adding a slice of lemon to your drinking water through the day. This builds up the alkaline in the body which diminishes the acid in the body and helps the liver to do its work easier. So that is the sort of thing that I will be doing. But I do encourage anyone who is not riddled with allergies to use whatever products work for them. The fact that something does or does not work for me does not mean it will be the same for others.
Another form of Spring Cleanse that I like is the ability to get more active in general. I have already, on the warmer days, been working out on the back deck and practicing my Qi Gong out there, as well as martial arts. When the ground is warmed up I plan on moving that out onto the grass as well. I do these workouts barefoot, so stepping onto still semi-frozen ground is too uncomfortable, yet the deck is just warm enough with the Spring sun, and has the space that I need to do the practice, which the house does not necessarily have.
But what about cleansing the mind? What do we do for that? I have certain things that I do to help with that. My altar has been cleaned up and simplified, allowing for more serenity to flow through and around it. My meditations become more Zazen meditations, focusing on the breath moving in and out of the body instead of focusing the mind on any particular inner project. This allows the metabolic rate to slow down, lowers the blood pressure, and creates an overall sense of peace and serenity. It only takes a few minutes, so then I am able to go on to the other Spring activities of the day. I also have rituals that I do in the Spring in which I release the energies that no longer serve me well and welcome in the energies that will nurture and build me. This way I am able to go deep in my cleansing and not just skim across the surface of things. I also find that as the plants and trees are waking up they are much more communicative. I love communing with plants and trees. So welcoming them back to “life” as they awaken is absolutely joyous for me. And as soon as things start blooming in the Spring it is like an inner celebration takes place. An energy erupts from within my soul that dances and rejoices. That is a really good feeling.
So all of these things help me to cleanse my mind during the rest of the Spring cleaning. I know that there are multitudes of things that others do, and I have only named just a few of the things that I do. The thing is to DO it. Dive in!