It was a bit of an issue at Customs in 1986 when I brought a small millet broom back from my travels.
My friends laughed at me. ‘Why would you . . . ?’
It wasn’t just a souvenir. I’d been staying in an ashram in India, and my ‘seva’, the service I was assigned, was to clean the toilets and sweep the paths.
Sweeping the paths could easily go on all day (just like toilet cleaning), because using a soft millet broom was slow. The trees dropped their curved leaves like yellow smiles almost as fast as I could sweep them away. But once I fell into the rhythm, the task was meditative. I loved the little broom.
The locals laughed too, in high-pitched giggles when I went to the village to buy one. No-one was set up to sell. These brooms were throw-away items, bound together from the spent millet stalks and discarded once they wore out. But I persisted. To me the broom stood for peace, rhythm and simplicity.
Has it happened to you yet? You know that feeling, when suddenly a fresh fine day arrives, you surge with energy and become totally intolerant of mustiness, grime and clutter. You throw open the windows and doors, shake the dust out of mats, drag mattresses into the sunshine, wipe the ledges and scour out every corner.
Spring cleaning is an old tradition, and with good reason, for there is something about this season that inspires renewal.
On the inside too
It doesn’t just happen on the outside. Some naturopaths recommend that you start the season with fasting, liver-cleansing herbs or colonic hydrotherapy. In Chinese medicine, a shift away from the heavy foods of winter to leafy trees and sprouts is said to help harmonise the body with the energy of spring.
On the mental and emotional levels, you may need to do some clearing as well. In order to make a transition into a new season, inner or outer, first it’s a good idea to clear away debris in the form of unfinished business, resentments, old grudges, and so on. Once this is done, it’s surprising how much energy is released. Now it’s available for growth and new ventures.
In a course I’m teaching, one woman found herself dancing with joy after completing a ritual of transition. Another found that her unfinished business was bigger than she thought. As she gradually worked through it, she had an insight: ‘I’ve never cleared things away so I can move forward,’ she said. ‘And that means I’ve accumulated more and more “stuff” inside me.’ It was a revelation to discover that she could use ritual to spring clean her life and make a fresh start.
How ritual can help
Would you like to learn to incorporate ritual processes into your life, so that you can move lightly with the flow of change in your body, feelings, mind and soul?
The Sacred Art of Ritual course may be just what you need.
This is what you will gain (and much more)
- A grounding in the principles, with the freedom to add your own creative ideas
- Confidence in creating rituals for yourself, your friends and family
- A way of spring cleaning your energies by clearing away residue and moving into new possibilities
- Ease with crossing thresholds of change, by learning to sweep them clear as if with the softest of millet brooms.
You may read more below, or on this page.
I’ve had a glimpse into the power and magic of the sacred art of ritual – a new and incredibly beautiful experience for me. I am delighted to have discovered how creative and enjoyable ritual can be, while simultaneously being powerful and profound.—Amy C
This post is extracted from the Seasons Newsletter, which is sent out to subscribers every two to four weeks. If you would like to receive the newsletter, you may sign up on the Home Page of this website and receive a free gift.