If you’ve tried a few of the 7 Ways to Renew You — Part 1 of Spring Cleaning Your Soul — I hope you’ve felt a little lift and a sense of rejuvenation.
Now, we’re not yet done with spring cleaning. There’s a bit more to do.
We’ve done some renewal; we’ve scrubbed the bathroom grout and it is bright white again.
Now we’ll focus on creating space in our souls. Like cleaning out bathroom cabinets, we’re going to unearth what’s been hiding there for the last year… abandoned hair products, dried out beauty supplies, expired vitamins, even dust bunnies. Let’s get rid of stuff that no longer serves you.
What Does It Mean to Create Space in Your Soul?
When I talk about creating space in your soul, I mean clearing out anything that’s preventing you from being fully present in your life. Because when you’re not present you miss out on things, like moments of true connection with loved ones.
Creating that space may take some time and elbow grease, depending on what’s been hiding in there.
4 Ways to Create Space Inside of You
Here’s how to free up some space inside of you to make room for the good stuff, like connection, laughter, joy, pleasure, wandering thoughts, or no thoughts at all.
#1 Banish Negativity
It’s normal to have negative thoughts from time to time. But if yours are more frequent, it’s important to get a handle on them. We know that poorly managed negative emotions can be detrimental to your health, not to mention your relationships.
Start being mindful about what precedes feelings of negativity or negative thought patterns. You might want to ask yourself questions like:
- Do I surround myself with positive people?
- Do I listen to or take part in gossip?
- Do I have a habit of complaining?
- Do I balance my consumption of news with stories of hope and inspiration?
- What would my self-talk sound like to someone who cares about me?
If you realize you’ve been absorbing the negativity around you, you may want to limit time with certain people or the time you spend watching and reading the news. When you catch yourself in a complaint, try counteracting it with something you’re grateful for. Make a habit, instead, of practicing gratitude. And finally, if you find you’re being unkind to you, make an effort to start treating yourself like you treat your best friend.
#2 Forgive Someone
Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be one of the hardest things to do, but boy, can it free up some valuable real estate in your soul. And you don’t have to write or speak the words “I forgive you” to practice forgiveness. Instead, you can work on releasing the sadness or anger you hold towards the person who wronged you. Vent, then reflect in your journal about the situation. Put into words what you can appreciate about the relationship or the experience as a whole. This exercise may provide the release your soul needs.
Perhaps you don’t need to extend forgiveness. Maybe you need to ask someone for forgiveness or you need to extend it to yourself. Forgiving or being forgiven will release a burden you’re dragging along from your past. It will create space for something that brings joy and happiness and opportunities to live in the moment instead.
#3 Remove Stresses
Even when you’re in your home, you know, the place that should be a respite, you may feel stressed. Whether it’s reminders of unfinished tasks or technology and its constant nudges, you feel pressure to be productive or on-call all the time. All that stress isn’t good for your soul. Luckily, there’s some stress you can eliminate.
We know that things like piles of papers pepper our brains with constant stimuli, cluttering our minds, and preventing us from focusing on the task at hand. Studies show it creates stress, particularly among women. And we know that prolonged stress can affect our well-being and lead to overwhelm. Try using that as motivation to do a little physical decluttering, and rid your space of things that no longer serve you — or never did in the first place.
Declutter your mind of additional distractions by taking a true break from the stresses of work or other obligations. Start by disabling notifications on your cell phone, computer and tablet or turn off these devices altogether after working hours, if possible. Taking these steps will transform your home into the respite you desire and create space in your soul for good things.
#4 Let Go of Guilt
Guilt is a heavy, unnecessary burden that we put upon our souls. And women in particular carry a lot of it. We’re caregivers by nature, and our desire to help or please others can make it difficult to say no to requests for our time and attention. Some of us overextend ourselves, chasing a superwoman status that we know is impossible to achieve, let alone maintain.
Unburdening ourselves of guilt starts with learning how to say no without explanation. If we allow our priorities to frame our choices instead, saying no becomes much easier. For example, say one of your priorities is to finish work every day before your children get home from school. You want to be fully present once they walk in the door. But because you work from home, people assume you have flexibility so you get a lot of requests for your time. And the more you say yes, the less present you end up being for your children.
From that perspective, saying no is really saying yes to yourself and your priorities. There’s no room for guilt when you frame it like that, right?
The Release Experienced from Clearing Space in My Soul
Sometimes you don’t realize the magnitude of what you’ve been carrying on your soul until it’s finally released.
I felt an incredible release just a few weeks ago when I finally finished a nagging project that I was reminded of every time I walked into my bedroom.
Every day for over a year I felt guilty and defeated because I couldn’t find a way to “take care of it.”
But that’s what happens when work and life get in the way, right?
When I was finally able to tackle the remaining mess from my master bath remodel, filling and organizing my new cabinets with the things from boxes that had been sitting on my bedroom floor for all of that time — well, the release I felt is hard to describe. But, I’ll try.
I felt like I could breathe. I felt like I could tackle anything. I felt lighter. And I felt that sense of peace again when I walked into the sanctuary of my bedroom.
Now, I’m talking about a literal cleaning project here, but I reclaimed space in my soul and regained a sense of calm and happiness that I’d been yearning for.
That’s what I want you to experience when you do a little spring cleaning that creates space in your soul.
How Will You Create Space in Your Soul?
I hope you’re inspired to release any negativity, stress, and guilt that’s crowding your soul and keeping you from experiencing as much joy, happiness, and laughter in your life as possible. Click here now to claim your 25 Ingredients that Bring Wellness and Bliss to Your Life checklist in order to maintain your emotional well-being and the space in your soul between deep cleans.
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Until next time,