How to Use Your Spring Cleanse to Clear Out Mental Clutter and Find Inner Clarity
I know when I need some mental cleansing by how high my laundry has piled! This may seem odd, but for some reason, when my laundry appears manageable my life feels easier too.
Now, don’t get me wrong, as I have three children and two dogs, we ALWAYS have laundry! Yet I experience an inner level of clarity and steadiness that seems to be directly correlated with my visual perception of this simple household task.
We all have external barometers that we use to assess our mental status. My sainted mother, Ruthie, used to say that if she was able to have “a strong mind and enough energy” to make her bed every day, then her life was “good enough.”
Mind you, we lived through earthquakes and seven moves before I was in high school, along with deaths, births, and plenty else along the way. But Ruthie always—and I mean always—made her bed for most of her 95 years.
Why are these simple markers so important for so many of us? Because we need both internal and external anchors to contribute to a sense of inner stability. The simpler the better!
Ayurveda recognizes and endorses this idea throughout its ancient teachings. It is why you hear so much talk about dinacharya, or daily routine, as an essential element of a healthy Ayurvedic lifestyle. Even larger external markers are the seasonal changes that occur every year and the practices that go along with those transitions. We call these practices rtucharya, or seasonal routine.
Create Mental Clarity with a Spring Cleanse
Ayurveda suggests we do a seasonal cleanse every spring to reset our digestion and renew our energy and health. I call mine "The BIG Spring Cleanse" as it goes far beyond my physical system—I use my springtime cleanse to clear out all the layers of my body and mind.
Ayurveda reminds us that while our jathara agni, or digestive fire in the stomach, is key to all other digestive fires, all imbalance begins as a thought wave in our mind. WHAT? Yep, Ayurveda is talking about the many highways, or patterns of thought, that accumulate in our mind.
These neuropathways are created from habit and reinforced by repetition—over time, they can create clutter or unhealthy thought patterns in our mind that play a direct role in our physical health and well-being.
Clean Out Old Thoughts and Stories
I call this mental aspect of springtime cleansing the “cleaning out the closets” phase, which is intended to remove mental clutter and habituation to create more mental and emotional space.
Once we do this, it becomes much easier to offer ourselves a fresh start. We have more room to listen to our heart’s desire and recognize our dharma (life’s purpose).
This means the old stories that we wrap around ourselves must be revisited and adapted, put up into the mental attic, or even tossed out all together. For the memories we want to preserve, we can mindfully do that while we detach our day-to-day actions from them so we do not organize our lives around them any longer.
This is where that idea, “change your thoughts and change your life,” becomes a very powerful tool. With a clear mind, we can consciously pick and choose the thoughts we want to live by.
Make Space for Empowering New Thoughts
Cleaning out our mental closets and stepping forward with new, empowering thoughts is no easy task. But with springtime cleansing, with diet and lifestyle changes that are focused for one to three weeks’ time, we can jump start this mental cleansing process.
The body has a finite amount of energy, and when a good deal of that energy is used to digest all types of foods, experiences, and feelings, there is very little energy left to clear the mind.
Incorporating a gentle, cleansing diet with an Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse kindles our agni, or digestive fire, and leaves us with more energy to dig into that mental closet. Once there, we can examine old thoughts, stories, or memories to decide what we want to keep, toss, or re-write.
So go ahead—give yourself the gift of a "BIG Spring Cleanse." Working with an Ayurvedic practitioner or signing up for a guided cleanse can be a great way to go through the process, led by someone who has been down the road before.
Both physical and mental cleansing can stir things to the surface and bring challenging moments, but they also provide long-lasting results of clarity, self-acceptance, and living with a greater sense of meaning and contentment.