I believe that Spring Cleaning is essential for your mental health.
Trees do it. Reptiles do it. Birds do it. Mammals do it.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about letting go. I’m talking about the natural rhythm of growing, shedding, and then growing again.
In the book, Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, he says:
“Leaves sprout, transform, and drop. Reptiles, birds, and mammals shed their skins, feathers, fur. Letting go is a big part of the rhythm of nature, as is rebirth. We humans cling to stuff–people, ideas, material possessions, copies of Marie Kondo’s book–thinking it’s unnatural to purge, but letting to is a direct route to space (literally) and stillness.”
Letting go is a direct route to space and stillness.jay shetty
This is a wonderful new perspective on the blessings and opportunity of decluttering. All living things “declutter” as part of their life cycle, and the cycle of the seasons. Should we not do the same?
Why do snakes shed their skin? It’s because they are growing, and the old skin doesn’t fit any more. Did you know they also can shed their skin before reproduction, or after birth? In other words, they’re doing it to grow or to create new life. Shedding also helps remove parasites that could harm them.
Why do trees shed their leaves? As winter approaches, shedding leaves helps the tree conserve water and nutrients. It also makes it easier for the spring blossoms to be pollinated. Without leaves in the way, the pollen has much easier access to the flowers. Once again, the shedding of leaves helps provide the tree with nutrients and water, and facilitates the creation of new life in the spring.
Can you see how “shedding” your clutter would have a similar effect on your life? Do you see how you could grow without the “old skin” of your possessions or past confining you? Do you see how you could create something entirely new when you strip off the old?
I used to have a photo studio in my basement. When we moved seven years ago, I switched my focus from professional photography to my online businesses. All my photo equipment has been sitting in a corner, gathering dust for seven years. Expensive light boxes and backdrops. Props, tripods, and myriad other things.
Yesterday, my husband and I put these items up for sale. It was a little bitter-sweet, realizing that the physical evidence of what I’d worked so hard for (to become a Certified Professional Photographer) was going away.
But another part of me was glad. Because I’ve moved on to things I feel will make a bigger difference in people’s lives, and things I personally enjoy more. I’m shedding that old part of my life because I’ve grown and am living a new life. It’s all part of the natural process.
As humans, we want to fight natural processes, like aging, and growing. (I often told my youngest daughter to stop growing, and she would always answer, “It’s Jesus’s fault!”) But letting go is a natural, healthy part of life. Desperately clinging to our past, or our possessions, will not allow us to grow or create.
Most of us are familiar with the scripture that was made famous in the song Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”
As you read the rest of the words of the scriptures in Ecclesiastes, you will come upon this verse:
“A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”
Isn’t it time now for you to cast away? What can you cast away today? Leave a comment!
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