04 May Self Awareness Spring CleaningReading Time: 3 minutes
-get rid of anything that creates confusion
-physical, digital and emotional clutter
-keep only what adds value to your life
-listen to the birds
-clear space in your schedule
-clear space in your mind
Spring cleaning seems to me to be a wonderful practice of mindfulness. I’ve grown to believe that a decluttered environment leads to a decluttered mind. I hate to stereotype astrology signs, but I’m very Virgo in this way and organization is in my nature. I also believe very strongly in living seasonally and spring is the perfect time to start anew. Normally I do a lot of external decluttering. Get rid of unnecessary clothes and make room for the new. In one way this gives you space to breathe and in another way you discover an abundance of useful things that you could never have found in the pile of things you never use. This year I moved to Barcelona with a suitcase and I haven’t collected too many things to declutter; so what I found to focus on was my mind.
I think that mindfulness is about awareness and eliminating unnecessary thoughts allows space for life in come in. Decluttering your mind is a beautiful practice of mindfulness and for me it’s a good visual metaphor. It makes it feel more tangible, like actually going in with a broom and sweeping out all the dust.
I think that self awareness is another word for mindfulness. Self awareness is noticing the stream of thoughts and feeling that are going on all the time, and distinguishing which ones separate you from the world and which ones connect you to it. Simple right? Maybe, but I know for me a lot of these thoughts have always been subconscious, and so practicing self awareness is about bringing my attention to them. Just like an external spring cleaning it is about letting go anything that does not add value to your life.
Practices to Develop Self Awareness
Spring cleaning your mind is an exercise in self awareness. You start to pay attention to your thoughts and notice which patterns catch your focus and how often they distract you from the present moment. Which brings me to my second point; the small ways you can use this exercise to practice presence.
Listen to the birds, open the windows, notice the way the leaves are growing rapidly, the way the light falls in the morning. Maybe it’s biased but sometimes I think the world is the most beautiful in spring. It’s something about the newness, the way you appreciate it all over again. These details of existence connect us to reality, they remind us to wonder at the world and be a part of changes of the seasons.
Mindfulness on Social Media
I hope you guys enjoyed the post. I most definitely enjoyed writing it, from my first journal entry at the start of spring to a deeper contemplation of mindfulness and seasonal living. Please leave a comment if you found the post insightful I would love to hear your thoughts.
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