Feel Grand: Spring Clean Hearth & Heart
This week, I walked into the yoga school and inhaled fresh scents of lemon and orange. Shinny, clean windows bordered new plants and bamboo in the entry way flower pots. Two volunteers spent the morning scrubbing down the walls, the trim, floors, shelves and props. Even the storage room was cleaned and organized! The classes taught since the spring clean feel fresher and brighter somehow.
Last fall I joyfully took on a house remodel. With all floors replaced, many with wood and all walls painted, the “freshness” still resonates. Beautiful new stained glass windows at the sides of the entry greet me with eastern sunlight. I see sparkles of red and crystal when I walk downstairs to begin the day. “Yes. (I really do think this) I welcome the miracles of this New day.”
It took a few years for my business partner, Karim, and I to create things the way we wanted them. We’ve learned to negotiate budgets and meet our preferences with our dear landlord, who willingly installed a fresh oak wood floor. It’s the best for yoga practice. And it stays so clean!
The metaphor of new and clean permeates my heart and head. I find little “residues” of clean up: Old hurts from old betrayals; old shames from old mistakes; old regrets from past failures. When I felt a sense of wanting to hold onto it, the light bulb went on as to why I chose red crystal for the windows. Stop. Listen. Caution. Pay Attention. How could I forgive that person for stealing money from the school? Choose! How could I forgive him for the hurt and criticism he dished out? Choose! How could I forgive myself for feeling so humiliated! Choose! As a wise one said, “The one who never leaves the prison is the warden. If we choose to not forgive a person, place, or mistake, you are the one who stays in prison.” Forgiveness sets us free!
The wise friend suggests the next step is to forgive us for allowing this into our reality. We are human. We make mistakes. We may choose to grow from the mistake to learn from it, becoming stronger and more aware. If we self-recriminate or self-judge the energy sits inside like a quagmire of mud.
I ask for intervention as I sleep. “Clean up any subconscious or unconscious attitudes or habits blocking my happiness and success. Heal me to love.” These words have become a bedtime ritual.
In spring, nature is rich with metaphor. Tulips and daffodils and lilacs grace our yards and greenways. Choosing to clean our homes, offices, and hearts and minds is rich with potential. Yet its still chilly some nights and we are not always sure if we want to shake lose from our cocoon. To spread our wings and make a difference choose to be “clean” in every thought, feelings, attitude, choice and action. Be awake! Be deeply awake, responsible, and conscious as possible.
This change from the inside cleans us like the spring rain cleans the Earth. We feel renewed from within all the way to our very bones.
Suzette Scholtes is founder and Director of Teacher’s Training at Yoga School of Therapeutics. She is author of many national columns and articles as well as published by New Leaf, Atlanta. She has earned over 8000 CEUs in her many studies worldwide. The school is a National Yoga Alliance Teacher’s Training School. The staff teaches classic yoga and related therapeutics to help each person strengthen inner resources for ongoing health, happiness, and quality of life.