This is part 2 of a 3 part series in how to “Spring Clean” the Body, Mind, and Soul. If you didn’t catch the first one on how to spring clean the body, check it out HERE.
Today we are going to be exploring how we can prepare the mind and emotional body for all of the abundance and luscious experiences we are inviting into our space with the coming of Spring and warmer days.
Now is the time for letting go of old thought patterns, heavy baggage, and anything else that could potentially keep us from being aligned with our own souls.
Without further ado, let us explore a few techniques for letting go, allowing in, and flowing freely.
If I could name one practice that has single-handedly transformed my life, it would be (and is) meditation.
Meditation has helped me grow closer to that space within myself where I can taste everlasting peace and clarity.
This practice has enhanced my relationships with others, motivated me to take meaningful action within my life, helped me to see the ties I could do away with and connected me with the direction that fills me with joy. That is to name a few.
There are many forms of meditation, so I encourage you to explore and find one that works for you. Here are a few worth trying with the intention of balancing the mind and emotions.
A mantra is a statement, slogan, word, or sound repeated to aid concentration. This can be something like Ram Das’s famous “I am Loving Awareness” or something traditional like “Om.”
It is helpful to explore online mantras for different purposes (i.e. mantras for abundance/release/relationships/etc). One of my favorites for balancing the mind and body is “Om Namah Shivaya.” It means “O! Salutations to the auspicious One.” This mantra is far deeper than it may seem at surface level, and helps to connect one to their own source of empowerment and divinity.
Another option is to come up with your own mantra that resonates with you and what you are personally working through.
To practice mantra:
- Set a timer and chant for the desired amount of time, or
- Use mala beads to count and keep track of your chanting, repeating your mantra once over each bead until you have completed the circle.
The most popular type of meditation is mindfulness meditation. The technique is simple enough. All you must do is sit in lotus position, legs crossed and spine aligned with the chin and shoulders ever-so-slightly tilted down, and focus on your breathing. When the mind runs astray, return to the breath and keep the focus there. One could also focus their attention (with eyes closed) on the tip of the nose or the third eye (the space between the brows).
Though this technique is fairly simply in theory, it is considered a more advanced type of meditation, as many of us will become quickly frustrated or feel we are doing it “wrong” when starting out.
The Monkey Mind will race with many thoughts and try to grab our attention, and that is okay. The mind grows easily bored. All we must do is forgive, let go, and surrender deeper to the rhythm of our own breathing.
I recommend everyone at least try mindfulness for a week, if only 5 minutes a day (though the greatest benefit may be found in 30+ minutes) before shunning the practice.
If it is still not for you, guided meditations will work just fine.
While in mindfulness, the goal is simply to keep focus on the breath and not to control it, prāṇāyāma takes it a step further by utilizing the breath as a tool for awakening and healing the body. The point is to have control over the breath and channel it in different ways for various purposes.
Prāṇāyāma is popular in Kundalini Yoga traditions, a yoga focused on awakening the kundalini energy. This energy is the energy of consciousness; our life force, prana, or qi. It rests at the base of the spine, and is able to move fluidly throughout the body when our breath (prana) is able to move freely and fluidly through the body.
There is far more that goes into it, but I hope this gives you a basic idea of what prāṇāyāma is and how it can work for you. Here are suggested techniques to get started, as well as further reading if it is something that interests you.
Breath of Fire – Strengthen the nervous system; purify the bloodstream; energize, stimulate, wake up, and increase vitality.
In the last post on Spring Cleaning the Body, I offered a description on how to practice Breath of Fire. Check it out HERE.
Cannon Breath – Cleanses and strengthens the parasympathetic nerves.
This Kriya (completed action/set of practices) is the same as Breath of Fire, except instead of breathing in through the nose one will breathe in through the mouth.
Set the mouth in an “O” shape that is not too rigid while remaining firm. The cheeks will not puff out while the breath moves forcefully in and out of the lungs.
Long, Deep Breathing – Calm the mind; balance the emotions; harmonize the body, mind, and spirit.
Many of us breath on autopilot, not fully exhaling or inhaling. With long, deep breaths, we make it a point to fill and empty the lungs to their fullest capacity.
Simply breath in slowly until the lungs are at their max, hold at the top for a few moments, then slowly release the air fully and draw the navel gently in toward the spine.
As this is a calming kriya, it is recommended to do this as slowly as is comfortable and work towards lengthening the inhales, exhales, and time between them.
Alternate Nostril Breathing – Energize and calm the nervous system. Balances the Left and Right Hemispheres of the brain, the masculine and feminine.
- Begin seated with legs crossed in a comfortable seated position
- Place the left hand on the left knee and exhale fully
- Use the right thumb to close the right nostril and inhale slowly through the left nostril
- Pause at the top of the inhale
- Switch to closing the left nostril with the pinky of the right hand
- Exhale slowly through the right nostril
This is one round
This practice should never be forced. It is a smooth transition of breathing. An easy way to keep focus and track the breath is to do this practice in counts of 4. Breath in for 4 counts, Hold for 4, Exhale for 4.
Do as many rounds as it feels comfortable for you.
Kirtan Kriya – Intuition, Emotional Balance and Mental Calm
This prāṇāyāma technique combines breathwork and mantra into a simple 30 minute meditation that connects one with their true, eternal nature.
This meditation revolves around chanting “Sat Nam” (true name) in 3 different voices.
- Sit upon the calves and the heels if it is comfortable, if not, lotus or a chair with feet flat on the floor will work just fine.
- Chant Sat Nam out loud for 5 minutes
- Chant in a whisper for 5 minutes
- Chant silently for 10 minutes
- Chant in a whisper again for 5 minutes
- Finish by chanting out loud again for 5 minutes
For more Prāṇāyāma techniques, I suggest checking out “Everyday Kundalini” by Kathryn McCusker (not sponsored). This book is a simple, easy-to-follow guide on how to utilize the breath to enhance various areas of the life.
Just as the Autumn season encourages us to shed our baggage, so too does that space between Winter and Spring.
The Spring season symbolizes growth, new life, awakening, and abundance. To invite in all of these amazing forces, we must first release anything that could potentially hold us back from accepting and integrating these blessings.
Here we will highlight rituals and practices and forgiveness, release, and invitation to bring greater harmony, reciprocity, and flow to our mental and emotional bodies.
Meaning “to make right relationships,” this ancient Hawaiian healing practice is used to support harmonious relationships between people, nature, and Spirit.
I personally use this practice regularly to heal relationships and past traumas within my own life. It is incredibly freeing and has allowed me to move forward with greater strength and gentleness from all harm and ill will I have experienced. I cannot guarantee it will work this well for everyone, but I do highly recommend trying it and sticking with it.
This practice can help one to recover interactions with people, themselves, this planet, and Spirit and experience a deep peace and forgiveness toward that experience.
The Prayer is as such: I Love You, I am Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You.
This can be combined with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
EFT utilizes the end points of energy meridians throughout the body to recall and release memories and emotions that have been stored within the body.
One can combine Ho’oponopono with EFT by tapping different points on the face and upper body while speaking the prayer.
How I practice Ho’oponopono
- Start seated or lying down in a comfortable position
- Bring awareness to the breath and begin to calm the body, melting away the day and returning to the present moment
- Bring to mind a memory or person where negative emotion about them has been stored in the body
- Begin speaking inwardly the Ho’oponopono prayer, forgiving who or what has been the catalyst for a negative emotional reaction or trauma. EFT is optional.
- Next, I keep speaking the prayer, this time with the intention of forgiving myself for any harm I could have done unto that person, acknowledging that I am not that person anymore and will no longer repeat those patterns.
- Once I feel content, light, and free, I give thanks for the space, take a deep breath, and close the practice by kissing my forehead to the ground.
Fire has been an ancient of transformation and growth for centuries. It has long been revered by our ancestors, looked at as a God capable of taking away all that is no longer needed and stimulating new growth.
Fire is a potent ally in ritual and magic. Just looking into flames can offer a sense of deep inner calm, reverence, and knowing.
This burning ceremony allies with fire to release all that is no longer needed in our lives, and send up to the heavens what we wish to receive back into our physical reality.
You will need:
- 2 pieces of paper (optional: match the paper color to what you are releasing or manifesting. Otherwise, plain brown or white paper is recommended)
- Attraction Oil (X)
- Banishing Oil (X)
- A fireplace or campfire
Note: Any oil infused with the intention to be used for the purpose of attraction and banishing will do just fine.
- Build your fire and have it ready
- Write on one piece of paper all it is that you are releasing in multiples of 3
- Anoint the four corners with the Banishing oil, moving outwards from the center of the paper
- Carefully put the paper into the flames and speak a prayer along the lines of “I release you from my physical, mental, emotional, and energetic field to be transmuted into pure love and light,” or whatever feels good to you.
- Take a few moments to focus on breathing and feel the energy of what you had written leave your vessel
- Once the paper is done burning, write on the second paper all it is that you are inviting in. Write the same amount of things on this paper as you did the last paper.
- Anoint this paper with the Attraction Oil, moving inward from the outer four corners to the center.
- Release this paper into the flames and watch the smoke carrying your wishes to the heavens.
- Speak another prayer along the lines of “These energies I have released through sacred smoke are now one with the universe and as such one with me. I open myself to these blessings I am now receiving,” or whatever feels good for you.
- Sit in meditation for as long as you like, feeling and visualizing that all you are manifesting is already within you.
- Allow the fire to safely burn out completely to finish the ceremony, and give thanks for all of the energies working in the name of Great Spirit (or whatever energies you work with) for joining you for this ritual.
Dance and Sing
Similar to fire, Dancing and Singing has been used in ritual for ages. The only difference is that to dance and sing is to utilize the fires within ourselves to bring about change and transformation. Of course these modalities may also be used for other things such as to express emotion or praise. They can also be used to destroy and tear down, depending how they are channeled.
Dancing and singing is the raising and channeling of energy. They are useful in Spring cleaning because we can use them to bring up stuck energies and emotions within ourselves and release them, then attune ourselves to the frequencies we wish to experience more of during the Spring season.
It is not necessary to do both at the same time. You can certainly choose only to sing or only to dance. I like to combine both because dancing will shake things up inside, while song gives what has long laid sleeping within a voice to express itself and be released.
This practice can be as simple as making a few playlists and getting-down-with-it while cleaning around the house. If you would like to go deeper, here is a fun way to utilize dance and song to get energy moving!
Spring Dance Ritual
What you will need:
- A playlist for letting go (Here is one I have already made on my Soundcloud)
- A playlist for Inviting (This will be a playlist of whatever songs make you feel empowered or remind you of what you would like to invite into your life. Try and keep it short for the purpose of this ritual.)
- A safe, roomy space
- Comfortable clothes (or none – your choice. I don’t judge.)
Begin with playing your “Letting Go” playlist
Start in a seated position on the floor, focusing on the breath
When you feel called, slowly begin to move the body as it feels good to you
Keep doing this until you are moving your whole body. Really get into it. Be okay with looking “strange” or moving in “weird” ways. The point is to raise energy and allow the body to move out what has been “stuck” within you.”
Continue doing this until you feel lighter and freer. You may begin to make noises such as laughing, crying, shouting, singing along with the music, or even singing words that bubble up from within you and beg to be spoken to the sky.
Once content, wind it back down and ground with the Earth by returning to the starting position, kissing your forehead to the floor.
Change the music to your playlist for manifestation.
Continuing the same sequence, allow your body and voice to move you. Give form through your vessel the life that lies within you, and wishes to be born into physical form this Spring season.
Finish the ritual by grounding, placing your forehead to the ground.
Optional: lay flat on your back, arms resting at your sides, and allow the ritual to fully sink in.
All suggested retail items in this article were not sponsored and are purely by my recommendation.