Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Cleaning For The Soul

In about an hour spring will arrive. At least according to the radio. It's a little hard to believe with 5 feet of snow on your lawn and 7 feet of snow along each side of the driveway. "Baby it's cold outside." But, heedless of what it looks like or feels like outside, spring arrives. I always dreaded 'Spring Cleaning' ... with it's enormous tasks and the crazed look that Joe gets in his eyes as he decides to 'spruce up' the house. I try to sit quietly here in my office or slink unnoticed into the bedroom to read, but suddenly he's there and obviously cleaning while I am equally obviously not ... it's never a nice time in our relationship.

But this is a different kind of spring cleaning. It's a 'welcome the warmth by creating warmth' project that takes 7 weeks. The goal is to brush away the cobwebs in mind and heart. The way it works is that you chose one day a week, for seven weeks, and on that day you do a 'spring cleaning' project. I'm doing it this year and will blog in seven weeks time about the project. Several people at my place of work, Vita, are taking on the project at work ... I'm going at it both professionally and personally.

Here's the tasks, note you will not neet a mop, a bucket, or a glare at your spouse to accomplish any of these.

1) Thank someone who has been kind to you, someone who has provided you with support, someone you have leaned on. Even if you've thanked them before, thank them again. Tell them that they matter in your life, that you appreciate what they do for you.

2) Do something nice, anonymously, for someone who is having a bad day, a bad time or is going through something rough. Let them know that there is someone out there who is rooting for them, who wants to bring them a moments joy. Never tell them it was you, keep it a secret not only from the person you did it for but from everyone.

3) Call someone you don't see often enough and go out for tea, or coffee, or a beer. Reconnect with them, when together share a happy memory from the past. Remind each other why you are friends and why it's important to get together every now and then.

4) Send a funny card, for no reason at all, to someone who lives far away. Jot a note inside about how often you think of them and that you hope all is well in their lives. Giggle about the card, giggle about your life, giggle. Forwarding an email doesn't count here, it's gotta be a card, something that arrives in the regular post.

5) Vary a routine. Drive a different way to work, sit in a different seat at a meeting, have a different breakfast, We all get into patterns where we don't have to think or notice much, shake things up, rearrange pictures on a wall, the stuff on your desk - look at the world with new eyes.

6) Do a random act of kindness for someone you don't know and won't ever see again. Just something small, they may not even notice much, but do it just for the joy of being nice, of being kind ... spend a day saying 'please and thankyou' get back in the habit of being grateful.

7) Forgive yourself, for a whole day, be kind to yourself. Brush away negative thoughts about who you are and what you do, love yourself the way you want to be love, accept yourself the way you want to be accepted. Negativity creeps in, steals self esteem, and leaves bitterness behind. Push it aside for the day. Be glad you are you. Wish only to be authentically you.

Well, that's it, not so daunting is it? It's a heck of a lot better than washing windows (?) and sweeping out the garage (??) isn't it? Let me know if you are in, and how it goes.

Welcome Spring ... did you bring me something?


Anonymous said...

I'm in! I've got a lot of clutter, cobwebbing and chaos banging around in the "upstairs". :)

Can I link this post to my blog? I think it is a GREAT idea and other people may love it and want to do it themselves!

Dave Hingsburger said...

of course, link away, Dave

Anonymous said...

I'm in.... and have just suprised myself as I have been doing some of these things this week anyway. Spring must be in the air!
Happy Easter Dave and Joe x

Lola x

Shan said...


Your 1st paragraph made me laugh.

Lily said...

Do you think if I do all those nice things for people, one of them will come and clean my messy house? lol.

tekeal said...

i'm also in. puts more structure to my beginning attempts at inner spring cleaning... thanks.


Anonymous said...

me to and I'm going to link it to my blog as well. Great idea Dave.

Belinda said...

I'm in too! Did you think I wouldn't be? :)

Number 1) At a time when I felt like I had no safe person to confide in, you happened to email one day eight years ago. You never completely knew the situation I was battling and probably don't remember it at all, but you made me feel that who I was, was "okay" and promised to pray. You have no idea how much that meant. Thank you!

All 4 My Gals said...

I'm in too! :)

Anonymous said...

WEll I am working on number one!
I can think of someone who is thoughtful and thought prevoking and forgiving and honest and sometimes a risk taker with his vulnerability. Someone I "see" everyday and get to know.
Why it's YOU Dave! Thanks for all you do to uplift us and teach us!
I am wondering just how many dust Buffalos I have under my bed! EEEKKK!
I'll get someone right on that!

Anonymous said...

oh yeah I am in too! LOL!

Susan said...

ARGGHHH! I didn't have enough to do? Now I have to remember to be nice too? With intentionality?

All right. I'm in.