So it’s that wonderful time in South Africa, where the buds start pushing through the branches, birds start becoming more vocal, skies have a warmth to them and a definite smell of freshness surrounds us. Spring is in the air and almost upon us and with it comes the feeling of renewed strength and life! It truly is like a second chance three-quarters of the way through the year… an opportunity to kick things up a notch and maybe even start over. Mother Nature is doing it and so should we. It’s time to spring clean your body, mind, and soul.
It’s time to shake off the Winter skin – interpret that as you will – and reveal ourselves in our most grand and beautiful state as we face the magic of the Spring and Summer months. Those few Winter months are just a short interlude, a little gap where we get to hibernate with our families and snuggle up away from the cold. But now is our time to shine. It’s time to wake up and Spring clean your body, mind and soul.
Spring Cleaning The Mind
I start with Spring cleaning the mind because I know that where I’m concerned, if my mind is not in it, then it’s pointless even trying to commit to something. Yes, I might give it a go for a few days but I will lose interest. I need to be fully engaged first, aware of why I’m doing this, what I want to get out of it and how it’s all going to happen. So perhaps you need to start with those questions before you get to the actual Spring cleaning aspect:
- Why are you doing this?
- What do you want to get out of it?
- How are you going to tackle it all?
Why? From my point of view, I’m doing a personal Spring clean because I know how great I feel when I’m my optimal self. When I’m vibrating with health and exuding exuberance! I feel like a goddess of the most wonderful proportions and why should I feel anything less? I deserve to feel as magnificent as I possibly can and I wouldn’t want to shortchange myself in any way.
What? My personal experience over decades has given me the insight I need into what works for me. And maybe it isn’t the same for everyone, so you need to find your own perfect ingredients, but I need to do something physical everyday. Whether it be walking to school to fetch my little boy, going for a run, doing a yoga session or even just rolling out my mat and doing some crunches, press ups and bum exercises… I need to feel like I’ve expended some energy during the day.
Added to that, I need to know that I’ve nourished my body with at least some form of positive nutrition that’s as close to natural as possible. I steer clear from processed foods and foods that don’t carry much nutritional value… but there will be days when I go headfirst into those types of foods, and that’s fine. I don’t beat myself up about it. But as long as I’ve given my body the best that I could manage for that day in terms of delicious, nutrition-rich food, then I’m happy.
How? A little bit of physical activity every day – and each day will be different to keep things a little more interesting. Fresh, delicious, as close to raw and natural as possible foods. I’ll also try and keep it all in balance with some daily meditation. This, for me, is the key.
In getting the mind into gear for a change or even to simply cope with life, I find that daily meditation is the missing ingredient that many people overlook. For me, it’s an essential element to my day, a starting point that gives me everything I need to push forward with kindness, grace, patience and positive energy. It allows me to be more tolerant of rambunctious kids and more patient with myself too. We all have our own demons and crazy thought patterns and meditation helps me cope with that with clarity.
Spring Cleaning The Body
Spring cleaning the body is easier when your mind is in the right place. Once you’ve committed to the journey then the physical aspect becomes the fun part! As I said above, I need to feel like I’ve expended some amount of energy throughout the day. If I’ve been lethargic, then I’ll generally find that my vibration is low too and everything moves at a slower pace, even the smile that springs to my face takes its time to creep there. I find that by energising myself physically, I also set fire to all the other elements of my being and it has a knock-on effect that is boundless in its positivity. Simply doing a quick workout will transform my entire day.
Call it endorphins, call it a higher vibration… however you want to package it, the fact is that when you’re physically active and loving it, it shines through you like a blinding light. And THAT… is an incredible feeling and place to be.
It doesn’t help being active and exercising to improve your state of being, if you’re fuelling yourself with junk food and overly processed nothingness. If you think of food in terms of energy and fuel, you want to be able to put the purest, freshest, and most nutritious foods into your system so that you continue to operate at your most optimal level.
As a vegetarian, that includes as many fresh fruits and vegetables as are available and in season at the time, loads of water, rooibos tea, herbal teas, my delectable raw chocolate coconut balls, salads, nuts, wraps, freshly squeezed juice, and smoothies too. In terms of cooked foods, I love pastas with sauces that are bursting with flavour, freshness and lots of different fresh ingredients, Thai food is also a winner as it’s cooked every so slightly and it’s so simple in make up. I adore pizza and definitely have at least one a week, but I smother it with loads of raw avocado to make myself feel better about eating it! Steer as clear as you can from those fizzy drinks, the sugary foods, the baked and processed stuff you find on the shelves and anything that is low in nutrition but simply something to consume.
It’s different for everyone, so you need to find foods that you love to eat and will always enjoy. Life is definitely too short to be restricting yourself too heavily, but you also want to know that you’re not damaging the way that your body works in favour of a fleeting romantic moment with a foodstuff.
Spring Cleaning The Soul
This is the part that most of us ignore. We pound away on the tarmac giving ourselves the workout we need, we make sure that our bodies are receiving the right nutrition in order to carry out the day’s activities, but we forget to show ourselves some love. We forget to look deeper into how we feel, where our hearts lie and what we actually need in order to feel grounded and centred.
Very often, emotional stress can be building up inside us without us actually acknowledging the fact that something is wrong. I used to be your typical “bottle-it-up-inside-until-you-explode” type of person, but years have taught me how to effectively become aware of my emotional state of being and also how to acknowledge this inside me without letting it control me.
Again, meditation is so important in this space to help you feel grounded, but also for you to reconnect on a spiritual level, if that’s your thing. I also find that yoga is an amazing anecdote for days when I’m feeling like I need a little bit of a hug for the heart. Spending time alone is also key, and as a mom, it’s really difficult to find that time to be by yourself, but it’s super important that you try. Even if it’s a half-hour bath with the doors closed (no bath toys, bums in your face or splashing for once!). Light some candles, pour some essential oils into the bath and even sprinkle in some rose petals and bath salts, and place some crystals around you. Make a big occasion out of small events with the sole purpose of feeding your soul!
Are you ready for it now?
Spring isn’t even here yet so let’s get a head start on the Spring cleaning sessions and rebuilding our bodies, minds and souls after the Winter hibernation period. Are you with me? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your stories of reinvention and rebirth this Spring!
Photos by kike vega, Anna Pelzer, Omid Armin and madison lavern on Unsplash.