Spring Cleaning and...

By Courtney B. Miller – April 2016

“Life is a journey, not a destination” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of my favorite times of year is the spring in Cincinnati.  The weather begins to warm up and so do I!  Invariably there’s an urge to purge.  It isn’t planned on a particular day; but every year the need to do a spring cleaning emerges from deep within and feels quite necessary.

This year, I was pondering the notion that seems to be universal in us all to do a thorough cleaning once a year (perhaps more for those of us with a pinch or a punch of OCD).  Is it just a climate thing in places that have more seasonal weather where we awaken with the warm weather after being in the cold all winter?  Or is there something deeper within us that is triggered to clear space and allow for new growth?

I was feeling writers block and quite stymied with writing an article for this newsletter.  What would be the topic?  No matter how hard I tried to come up with something to contribute, nothing came through.  Feeling stuck, I decided to focus on what’s next.  As I looked around, I realized clearly some things needed to be cleaned up around the office.  Maybe if I focus on “doing” something, it will come to me?  But then, in the midst of allowing myself to let go of the plan, I simultaneously realized my topic was right in front of me.

Cleaning up things and checking old projects off the to-do list is so rewarding!  At least, that’s what I tell myself as I gear up to accomplish large projects that are tedious and taxing.  As I check off the lists, I do feel a fleeting sense of joy as a task master.  And, I feel a sense of wonder about how it might look if I went with the flow a little more – with that particular project of the moment and in life?  What about being instead of doing?

There is an undeniable sense of clearing out the old and opening the space for the new when you clean your space, no matter how big or small of a space you’re cleaning.  For those of us that love to “do” and see results, if we can allow ourselves to be present to what is happening there is much to be gained.  We can clear not only our physical space and check that off; but also our minds and hearts – thereby “accomplishing” so much more!

I’ve found that attaching myself to a goal/outcome for cleaning my space doesn’t always yield the return I would like.  When I exceed my goal for reorganizing something (which is most of the time), if I’m in a doing mode instead of a being mode I find myself asking “what’s next?”

There’s no feeling that sense of accomplishment I originally hoped I could feel when I checked that “one last project” off the list as I tirelessly drive myself towards the next goal.  And, how many of us can say if we do feel a sense of accomplishment, it’s only there for a moment before we realize there’s something else to do? A word of caution to my fellow accomplishment junkies: it will never be enough – and – there are always more projects…

Fleeting sense of accomplishment pales in comparison to what you really “accomplish” when you stick with a looser script.  While I would not take away the power of writing things down you’d like to manifest and a good spring cleaning, I’m finding more power in riding than driving.  Depending on the level of expectation set, I’ve found when I just start with an idea with no attachment to the end, I’m always pleased with the take away.  And ironically, the feeling I have when I am being with it all – far exceeds what I could’ve ever “planned to feel” while doing what I thought I had to do to get there.

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