I’m writing this on a break from an epic kitchen-pantry-and-refrigerator clean-out. It’s been a great deal more satisfying (and time-consuming) than I’d expected. But I was inspired. The beginning of August marks the Celtic holiday of Lughnasadh, the traditional beginning of the Harvest season (believe me, I cannot get excited about cleaning if not for ritual’s sake!) It’s a new part of the yearly cycle. And I want to make room for the things that are growing.
I have herbs all over my porch this year. As one shelf after another gets cleared and dusted, I’m daydreaming about the teas and tinctures and kitchen remedies I want to make. But the space has to come first. Chaos makes a bad environment for supporting health.
In general, people tend to save up all their “new beginnings” efforts for January. A new year IS a great time to take stock of what we want to let go of, so that we can bring in other things. But why not do it a little more often? Even a monthly check-in is a great idea, and will help keep unhelpful habits and other energetic junk from piling up and overwhelming you.
Feeling a little stagnant? Ready to start clearing some space? Here are a few tips:
Schedule a monthly re-set: whether it’s on the new moon or the first Saturday of each month, pick a consistent day for getting rid of the old and making way for the new. Whether this means clearing out your desk or taking a whole day to go hiking, a scheduled re-set gives you a “do-over” date to look forward to when things start piling up. Of course, you might find ways to schedule this more often—and if so, go for it!
Clean House: for me, this literally means clean my house. Get rid of stuff. Sweep the floors. My living space creates my head space, and I’m aiming for simplicity and clarity however I can get it! But maybe your house is fine, and it’s your brain that needs clearing? Take a social media vacation. Cross a few things off your calendar. Just get rid of the unnecessary stuff.
Start a morning ritual: the first hour of your day sets the tone for the remaining hours of it. Taking just 10 minutes to sit quietly in meditation before you begin your morning activities provides a calm, clear, intentional first step into the rest of your day.
Simplify your diet: whether it’s a 3-day reset or a month-long overhaul, eating fresh, unprocessed foods can give your body the equivalent of a good house-cleaning. Seek out fresh vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains whenever possible. And hydrate often! You’ll feel lighter and more clear-headed every day.
Get moving: whether it’s with a brisk morning walk or a vigorous yoga practice, MOVE YOUR BODY! When you have trouble digging yourself out of a rut, exercise is one of the best ways to shift the way you feel, and make new possibilities more obvious.
As the summer heat begins to lift a little, we hope you find ways to take advantage of a fresh start. Wishing you a happy August!
Much love and thanks for reading,
Erin H/Grassroots Yoga