In this post, I want to share some steps for cleansing, clearing, and rejuvenation in keeping with the spirit of spring. The energy renewal and rebirth were celebrated by many this weekend just gone by. It's a time of emergence from the darkness and cold of winter. For me, I've just completed a novel, and the final weeks before its release have involved intense work where I barely crawled out of its pages long enough to eat, sleep, and refill my coffee mug. Similar to a bear in spring, I too, am re-emerging from that season.
Now the project is complete. It releases on Tuesday 4/19, which is tomorrow as I write this. There's no more I can do to it. And now I have to let it fly on its own.
So here's my plan to shake off the energy of the cycle just finished. I need to refill the well. One cannot water a garden from a well gone dry. So now it's time for some self-nurturing. And these steps can be taken after any time of intense focus, regardless of the season, to renew.
Step 1: The magical cleansing bath.
Fill a bathtub with hot water.
While it's filling, light some candles in the bathroom. White, yellow, light blue, light green, pink, all pastels work. Avoid red, orange or black. As you light each candle, invite its light to fill you like the light of the newborn sun.
Have soft, soothing music playing.
To the bath, add 3 drops of lavender oi 3 drops of sandalwood fragrance oil. The lavender brings peace. The sandalwood raises the vibration. Add a tablespoon of honey, to bring sweetness to your life, and add a tablespoon of milk (I use oat milk) to symbolize the sustenance and plenty that surrounds you.
Stir the water clockwise with your powerful hand and chant,
Spirit of water now unwind
Tension from my body, Worry from my mind
Soak all darkness out of me
By the Lady, blessed be.
Step into the tub and lie back.
Roll up a towel to pillow your neck.
Soak and let the hot water pull the old stale energy from your very pores.
When the water begins to cool, pull the stopper. Stay in the tub while the water drains. Stay until the very last drop has gone. As it drains, imagine it pulling every bit of stress and tension, every worry, every doubt from your body and mind. It drags all of that down the drain, leaving you light and clean and clear.
Take away all stress and pain
Fear and worry down the drain
Confidence and faith remain
Rise and dry off when the last of the water has gone. Before you dress, gaze at your reflection by the candlelight. Behold, the Goddess incarnate!
Step 2: Refill the Well
Now that you've released all that stale old energy, you have to refill yourself with the energy you wish to carry forward into the spring. Rub your favorite lotion, or a little mineral oil diluted with a few drops of essential oils you've chosen.
Get dressed as the person you want to be. Become her right now. Do your hair as the person you want to be. And in doing so, become her now. Fix your makeup, if you use it, as the person you dream of becoming would fix hers. Make her a little more real right here and now.
Step into your day as the new you. Or if your bath is a nighttime ritual, slide into fresh clean sheets and fall asleep as the new you.
Fill your post-bath time with things you love. Nurture and pamper yourself and experience things you treasure. Pay attention to the parts of your life and home you love best. Watch your favorite movie. Eat your favorite treat. Listen to your favorite music. Sit in your favorite chair, wear your favorite things. Talk to your favorite people. Just BASK.
It's crucial that, after cleansing away the old, you refill yourself with the new. Nature hates a vacuum. So fill yours deliberately. Sample fine chocolate, favorite foods. Dress in luxuriously soft fabrics. Surround yourself in your favorite colors and textures. Bask in the very best things in life. Take a day to do this immediately after your cleansing. Refill the well with awesome sauce!
Step 3: Mainline Meditation
During times of stress and intense work, we often let our meditation practice slide. (And by we, I mean me.) Now that the big project or dark season is finished, the time to renew our practice is right. And we can inject new life into it by mixing up our methodology.
Basic meditation: Set a timer for 15 to 20 minutes. Sit comfortably. Inhale to the count of 3. Exhale to the count of 5. As thoughts come, gently nudge your focus back to the breaths, to the counting.
Walking meditation: Go for a walk. Walk in grass, dirt, or sand, not on pavement or sidewalk if you can help it. Walk barefoot. As you walk, put your full attention on feeling the ground with the bottom of your feet. Feel the force of gravity holding you firm. Feel the abundance of Mother Earth all around you, sustaining you. Taste the life-sustaining air and know that breath is how spirit moves in the physical world. Life force, Consciousness, "God" rides the air we breathe, permeates our blood, feeds life and consciousness into every cell of us, down to the smallest bits. So as you walk, really breathe and feel your breaths, and feel the life force, the god-force you are inhaling and be fully immersed in your senses.
Bedtime meditation: This helps me fall asleep. As you lie in bed, be conscious of each body part, one by one, from the toes to head. Sometimes, I flex and relax each part, but it's enough to just put my awareness on it. Part by part, I focus, I feel. By the time I get to my head, I'm barely keeping my eyes open.
Floating meditation: Just what it sounds like. While relaxing on a flotation device of your choice, on a smooth, still body of water, such as a pool or pond or lake, quiet your mind. Make sure you can't float away anywhere first. Be safe and smart. But close your eyes, and just feel the way the water holds you, supports you, the way it moves you, and sometimes seems almost to play with you. Water has consciousness. It is aware and it responds to our feelings and thoughts about it. So be in that awareness for a while and just feel that. Feel the water's consciousness. Let your hands or feet dangle in its coolness and be one with the water.
Blessings meditation: Sit quietly, quiet the mind, and begin to list the good things in your life right now. But you have to pause after each one to really bask in how good it is. Doesn't matter if it's present in that moment, just bring it into your awareness and relish it. Then list the next thing and really feel how good it is, how much you love it, how glad you are you have it. If you can, imaging how it would feel if you went to bed not having this thing, and woke up and there it was, fully formed. Feel the delight and excitement you would feel then. This will steadily raise your vibe. Spend 10 or 15 minutes on this.
Rainbow meditation: Rather than counting breaths, imagine colors as you meditate, in the order of the spectrum. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, deep purple. Sometimes I add the visual of a spiral staircase descending into the earth, where each step is one of the colors. As I step onto each stair, its color fills and infuses me. Often, by the time I reach the bottom step I'm in a deep state of meditation and can relax and just be there for a time.
Meditation shuts off mind chatter and attunes us to the vibration of Source energy, our Inner Being or Higher Self. Call it our Soul. The nonphysical part of us. And when we tune that in, there's an instant re-alignment that happens. The static fades and our signal is clear. All the systems of our bodies are pulled into balance. All the holes in our knowledge get filled in, things we need to know for our lives at that time. All the pieces we need to complete our dreams get lined up, and if we can relax into knowing their inevitability, we will be guided to them.
Yes, all this and more can be ours with just fifteen minutes a day. One would think it would be easier not to periodically let the practice slide.
Step 4: Go where the heart leads
As you fall into your meditation practice, you'll feel your feelings more. And this is good, because you need to figure out what you want to do next. What will be your next big goal? What is the cycle you want to begin with the new season? How will you grow? What will you create? As soon as you settle into this newer, better version of you, this question arises. Where are you going from here? Because we can never be still. We are constantly evolving. That is the whole point of life. Expansion.
To begin again, we must first check in with our hearts. Let them lead us. Things that feel good mean "Stay on this route." Things that feel bad mean, "Get off the next exit. You're off course." It's that simple. And it will never, ever steer you wrong.
Perfect Love and Perfect Trust: Following your heart only works if you believe your heart incapable of steering your wrong. And the only way we can ever believe that is by proving it to ourselves over and over again. So begin. Just begin. Do what your heart desires, and see where it leads. And notice when you do the opposite and the results are bad.
Step 5: Gift yourself
For having completed a cycle, reward yourself with a gift, whether it's a gift of doing something wonderful you've been putting off or buying some little thing that makes you happy, indulge in something wonderful. There are multiple benefits to this practice.
It cements the value of what you have achieved inside your mind.
It clearly marks the transition point where you move from the past goal to the next.
It validates that you value yourself and appreciate yourself and love yourself.
It should be considered a gift to you from your Inner Being.
It celebrates your achievement, something we often forget to do.
Imagine you are the Goddess. Imagine you are gazing at this little human that is you, loving her beyond all imagining. Imagine being as proud as a mother of her precious child. What gift would you give to that child, to express your pride and delight in what she has just accomplished? It would be something she really wants and loves, right?
Well, the truth is, you ARE the goddess. The very consciousness within you, your soul, the life force that makes you alive is Divine life force. It is Source energy. There's only one, and you are a beam from its limitless light. And you deserve to be refreshed, renewed, and reborn with every spring, be it literal or figurative.