Spring is about getting the chance to start over. We all want to be renewed, to experience the power of renewal. We all live with the collective results of our mistakes, rash and ill-informed decisions, disappointments, unwise assumptions. A do-over is naturally seductive. Spring offers up that promise. The fresh newness of the scene outside the window invites it. It’s the time to seek out clarity, divest stagnant and old thoughts, old ways of being. It’s the time to try new projects and open up to new possibilities.
Our lives are defined by our daily actions. With these simple daily habits, you can begin to create spring cleaning for all areas of your life: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
Asking these questions of ourselves right now when we are thinking about how to clean out and clear out, provides a road map to where we want to be this season. Remember: there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. This is an exercise in free-association and just seeing what comes out of your pen or pencil as your hand moves across the page.
Who am I? (What ideas have brought me liberation?)
Where have I come from? (What beliefs have I outgrown; what are my achievements?)
Where am I now? (What is my daily purpose?)
Where am I going? (What are my unfulfilled goals and desires?)
Twists are not only an excellent way to wring out bodily toxins, but they can also help you to detox from overindulgence in emotions—anger, fear, sadness, guilt—that can accumulate when we are coping with the stuff of life. The liver is associated with holding anger, hence, we have as a figure of speech, “my bile is up” to describe having anger. Yogic twists will help you to make space inside yourself so that you can breathe out what is not serving you or working for you anymore.
Twists have a squeeze-and-soak action. The organs are compressed during a twist, pushing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When a twist is released, fresh blood flows in, carrying oxygen and the building blocks for tissue healing. Twists stimulate circulation and have a cleansing and refreshing effect on the torso organs and associated glands.
Use your hands and arms to gain traction against your legs and the floor to deepen the twist. Emphasize your exhales as a way to release the resistance in the body, but also to help push out stagnant emotions. With each inhale you bring cleansing air and thought into the body and begin the squeeze and soak action again. Stay for up to two minutes on each side.
Juniper berry (Juniperus communis): Juniper is recommended to detoxify both the liver and gall bladder bringing balance and harmony to the body. It stimulates the immune system to bring rejuvenation and vitality to the body after months of winter inactivity. Juniper is renowned for its diuretic and detoxifying properties, and will help to eliminate toxic wastes and release sluggish body fluids.
This powerful oil is a purifier, and helps avert nervous tension. Its spicy aroma helps to strengthen and fortify the spirit during times of low energy, anxiety, and emotional overload. As it detoxifies the body, so can juniper detox the mind.
Place a little of the essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale. Or combine a few drops with 4 ounces of purified water in a spray bottle and spritz all around your face and head when you feel sluggish.
Spring Veggie Smoothie
Beets, radish, and garlic cleanse the liver and gall bladder, organs, and tissues that are working hard to breakdown stored fats, oils, and sugars. The pigment that gives beets their bright color helps to neutralize the toxins from alcohol and balances blood chemistry.
1 or 2 radishes
1 beet, cut into pieces
1 soft avocado
1 clove of fresh minced garlic
5–7 basil leaves
¼ to ½ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 lemon slice (to squeeze at end)
1–2 cups purified water (more for a thinner consistency)
- Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
- Squeeze an extra dash of lemon into the drink for brightness.
Included above are excerpts from A Year of Living Mindfully: Seasonal Practices to Nourish Body, Mind, and Spirit (Motivational Press, 2016)
About the Author
Holistic wellbeing expert, green-living entrepreneur, and author Randi Ragan is the founder of GreenBliss EcoSpa, Los Angeles’ only award-winning mobile spa and wellness service. For more than twenty years, Ragan has led yoga and spiritual retreats, created experiences for healing and wellbeing and guided groups and individuals with rituals and ceremonies to mark life milestones. Her new book, A Year of Living Mindfully, grew out of her popular blog, Randi Ragan’s Mindful Living Almanac (Twitter feed (@randiragan). All her work strives to provide readers with ideas, tips, and inspiration for creating a mindful, sustainable life.