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How To Declutter Your Past And Re-Vision Your Future – Six Signposts To Being In Sync With The Energy Of Early Spring

Written by: Penny McFarlane, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Penelope McFarlane

So, you’ve taken down the decorations, dragged the Christmas tree outside, finally got rid of all the leftovers, changed the unwanted Christmas presents and now what? The television is advertising amazing sand and sun-kissed holidays, the internet extoling the virtues of losing weight, taking a self-improvement course, or redecorating your house and you’re spoilt for choice. What do you really, really want? And how to find the motivation to get started on any of it? Declutter your mind and set your intentions for the new year.

woman works as volunteer, preparing clothes for the donation

1. Begin by brushing out the cobwebs

Nowadays, early spring is often when we feel a desire to get rid of clutter, both material and mental, that has collected over winter. Before we can let in the new, we must sweep out the old with a spot of spring cleaning. If we can’t bring ourselves to spring clean the whole house, just clearing out a drawer can be amazingly therapeutic. And as for the mental cobwebs, the mind often appears in dreams as a house and we can clear out its clutter through visualisation. In their Brainz article, Tatjaner Gaspar advises, ‘Clear your emotional minefield and allow your brain and soul to breathe, just like your body.’ The exercises in this article are taken from my book Writing in Rhythm available through my website.

  • Begin to breathe deeply and regularly, feeling your body relax.

  • Imagine that your mind is like a house and see yourself opening the doors of various rooms. Over the past months your mind will have become packed with sights, sounds, smells and touch sensations. Take an imaginary broom and brush these out one by one.

  • Take your time, making a note of what you find in each room, noticing your feelings and how pleased or reluctant you are to get rid of the clutter.

  • To make the exercise more effective, you might like to write down what you found and your feelings on de-cluttering.

2. Feel the whispers of new beginnings

Historically, this time at the beginning of February was known by our ancestors as Imbolc, and was the celebration of the end of winter. The name derives from ‘sheep’s milk‘, the first lambs traditionally being born just after this festival. This milk, and the butter and cheeses made from it, made the difference between life and death for the very old and young at this time. At this time of year, we put an emphasis on the newness of life, on clarity and decisiveness, on the virginal and pure. Imbolc represents beginnings, the first stirrings of the life force underground.

  • Go out into nature, face north-east and feel the beginnings of change in the air: the promise of springtime and new beginnings.

  • Take a long walk in the countryside or a park and look for signs of renewal: tiny shoots of bulbs breaking the earth’s surface, catkins, forsythia or the increased sound of the birds.

  • Plant late spring bulbs in a shallow round bowl. Make a wish for the coming year as each bulb is planted. Add white candles and make wishes as you light them.

3. Dream the impossible

Imbolc was, for our forebears, a festival dedicated to the female to the feminine attributes of love and intuition. It is interesting how close it lies to Valentine’s Day in the northern hemisphere. Having got rid of unwanted dross we can begin to work with intuition, allowing ourselves to dream, plan and express our visions through whichever creative medium appeals to us: writing, drawing, singing or dancing. This is a magical and fertile period, good for clairvoyance and for imagining the impossible without allowing the rational side of the mind to consider the consequences. This exercise needs to be done as quickly as possible to record your first thoughts.

  • Write in no more than two short sentences: What would you try if it were not too crazy? What would you try if it were not too selfish? What would you try if you had a week to live?

  • Write down ‘I wish…’ ten times and then complete the list as quickly as possible.

  • Plan a perfect day. How would you spend it? Who would you spend it with? Write about it in as much detail as possible.

4. But be careful what you wish for

Although this is a time for visioning and planning our future, it is, however, important to be aware of our motives and the implications of our wishes. It goes without saying that fantasies that do not involve the hardship of others, but which contain a humanitarian element, are more likely, in the long run, to be successful. See yourself accomplishing some of your dreams or even your perfect day. Be strictly honest with yourself. You may feel empowered, strong and contented. But you may experience negative feelings. Do you regret losing something  your independence, your standard of living, a person perhaps, that the fulfilment of this dream would entail?

5. Use anger wisely

The element linked to the season of spring in Chinese medicine is wood, which symbolises new growth. Look at early spring as a crucial time in the emotional spiral  an opportunity to create new behavioural and emotional patterns rather than remain trapped in old ways. In order to break out of old patterns of behaviour and start afresh, we need a surge of strong energy or emotion (emotion as energy in motion). The emotion connected to spring is anger. Anger is often not considered to be a positive quality, but in circumstances in which people have been literally ‘stuck’ in depression or denial, anger can be a strong motivating force in becoming ’unstuck’.

Anger is recognised as particularly helpful to those trapped in distressing emotional states such as bereavement, fear of inadequacy or of an inability to make a difference in the world. In bereavement, anger is a feeling which is thought, in many cases, to be necessary to the process, if there is to be life after loss. While we remain trapped by our fear, we can feel that there is no point to our existence. Those who persist in these beliefs, may continue downwards on a negative spiral. The clean, sharp thrust of anger the thought that we deserve more or better can jerk us out of our static state.

  • Remember a situation in which you felt angry. Write about the event and the feeling.

  • How could you have used this anger to bring about a positive result without harming anyone? See yourself achieving this and remember the feeling of empowerment.

6. And take back your power and declutter

The negative side of the stillness of winter is this capacity to be ‘frozen’ in fear. Spring brings with it a power surge of energy along with feelings of anger. Used rightly, this anger can be transformed into the will to live and fulfil dreams in summer.

Spring is therefore the point at which you can break out and start over, harness the essence of anger and feel its strength. You can bring into being your wildest dreams: of who you want to be and what you want to do. You do not need to be being pulled down by the old self-defacing restraints induced by fear of shortcomings. It is the ‘fight or flight’ concept in which you can choose to fight, but fight wisely.

In my next article we will learn now to bring plans to manifest our visions as the Spring Equinox unifies the intuition of the female with the rationale and logic of the male.

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Penelope McFarlane Brainz Magazine

Penny McFarlane, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Penny McFarlane is an ex-teacher, author, children’s therapist and holistic complementary medicine practitioner. With an MA in Professional Writing, a post grad diploma in Dramatherapy and registered qualifications in Yoga, Kinesiology, Reflexology and Reiki, she combines, through her books, the two things she loves best: writing and healing. A lifetime’s interest in the mystical and magical has led her to exploring potential: what we were, what we are and what we are capable of being. Her books reflect her mission: to reconnect people to their innermost selves; to finding peace and potential to dance on the softened edges of life.





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