Step Forward Calendar: Spring Cleaning!


I left an appointment yesterday at 6:00 pm.  Something was different.  Something was better, lighter.  THE SUN WAS STILL OUT!  The promise of Spring is here!

Maybe you’re like me and find the dark days of winter appealing for a brief moment.  And then the twinkle lights downtown go away and all we are left with is dirty snow, dark afternoons and a heaviness that can take over your attitude.

Welcome to March, 2018!  We’re going to SPRING CLEAN for 31 days…doing things inside and outside that will clear your mind, clear your spaces, give you some space to breathe and restore.  I hope you’ll enjoy some of these experiments in lightening your life and lightening up your emotional load.

GET GROUNDED:  Is a weekly (and I’m hoping you’ll dare to go DAILY!) experiment in standing outside and just soaking up sun, fresh air, sounds of the day while getting grounded and solid.  We all say we don’t have time…but you do.  Research on grounding (or “earthing”…yeah, it’s a thing.  Read it here.) is pretty powerful.  By standing (barefoot is best!) on the ground, we actually reconnect and reground our bodies (and emotions) for positive results.

GRAB A BAG:  I’ve spent the last 45 days de-cluttering and opening up spaces in my house.  Closets, drawers, tables and car…nothing was left untouched.  The effect is powerful.  Gratitude for what I have (instead of what I want), efficiency in the morning when I need to find shoes or papers, a sense of relaxation and calm when I come home.  Try it.  You don’t have to throw anything away.  Just take out a bag each week and store it.  Notice what you experience in having less stuff blocking your life.

CLEAR YOUR MIND: Our thoughts are our wings or our anchors.  You may find that you get to a place of trying something new, asking someone out, or wanting to make a change that is obviously best for you…AND YOU GET STUCK!  That’s what we call “maladaptive thinking”.  We live with old thoughts and ruts in our mind, and when we encounter something challenging those ruts, we go for what we know.  BUT we don’t have to prisoners to our old, limiting and unhealthy thoughts (honestly…I call them LIES because they really are!).  Not sure you believe me?  Try the experiments throughout the month…and read a bit of background: 

OPEN SPACES: Maybe you’ve heard of “Sabbath” or other practices that set aside a day to rest, restore, reconnect.  This is a weekly opportunity to try a rest stop for one hour each week.  No tech, No TV, No chores…just enjoy a nap, a conversation, a meal, a walk without hurry or schedule.  You may find that you want to expand this hour into an afternoon or a full day!

TECHNOLOGY CLEANSE: You may have broken into a cold sweat just thinking about putting tech aside for a while each week.  It’s true…technology and social media have become the life blood of our culture.  Have you looked at people in restaurants or movies?  phones…even when they are sitting across someone!  If you’re struggling with sleeping through the night, there is big research out there you need to put your phone to bed AWAY FROM YOUR BEDROOM!  Don’t believe me?  I get it…I didn’t believe it either.  Then I put my phone outside of my bedroom.  Yeah…I’m sleeping again.  Link here for research!

INBOX CLEAR: I promise I’m not anti-technology! But part of clearing out our lives so we can feel balanced and happy and connected really does depend on what we are doing with our computers and phones.  This experiment is just clearing out the stuff you don’t need or want in your inbox and in your social media feed.  There is so much junk slipping through the cracks!  Become best friends with UNSUBSCRIBE!  Give yourself a break from Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat (yikes!  break a streak????  Dare you!).  Here’s a HEALTHY SELFIE QUESTION:  Who’s in charge?  You or Instagram?  If you can’t start or end your day without scrolling…if you can’t enjoy a dinner or movie without sending out photo and location…you just might be a little bit controlled.  Take charge!  Live your life!  Do something wonderful and DON’T send it out…just enjoy it and be present!

HIDDEN NUISANCE: Have you ever tried to walk with a little stick or pebble in your shoe?  It will drive you crazy!  But it’s tiny!  Why does it bug you or hurt you so much?  These experiments for the month of March focus on the little annoyances that break us down, discourage us, distract us from living a full life.  Did you know you can say NO?  Did you know that speaking your thoughts to someone directly is actually a GOOD thing?  yeah…Here’s your chance to clean up a few nuisances that may have piled into your thoughts, decisions and relationships.

Spring is a time when surprises appear!  Flowers show up in surprising ways…birds suddenly come back for their seed in your backyard…the air begins to smell fresh again…and the light stays around.  Welcome this Spring with a renewed sense of YOU.  Take the 31-day Spring Cleaning Challenge.  Clear out old stuff, old thoughts, old habits.  Give yourself space and quiet and some connection.  At the end of the month, I’m thinking you’ll be ready to slow down and enjoy life a little bit more.

Here’s the Step Forward: Spring Cleaning Calendar Link!

Have ideas for the next Step Forward calendar?

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