For centuries Spring or New Year cleansing have been symbolic of renewal and regeneration for many cultures around the world.
Spring cleaning may be a concept in continents that have the four seasons, but middle eastern, Asian, Jewish and other communities also conduct Spring rituals that represent the arrival of the New Year, and new positive beginnings and an end with the old, stale and the negative.
In south India, the thanksgiving harvest festival of Pongal is celebrated in mid-January, when their winter ends. This tradition that goes back to 200 BC celebrates cattle and food and heralds the new.
“We believe in the same thing, “ says Rumi, Director of Virgin soap. “Our new year is Spring and it is a new beginning. We forget about the past and for one month we clean our houses, buy new clothes, we set off fireworks from roof of buildings, and in the yard, we jump over the fire, as fire kills negative things.”
He refers to the Nowruz celebrations in Iran and few other regions, described by United nations as: “an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature.” It is the time to “shake the house” and reconnect with people.
In Guatemala, December is when people deep clean their houses, a tradition dating back to the 1700s. Thailand has its cleaning Songkran festival, and the famous Chinese New Year is all about clearing out the year’s dirt and to make way for good fortune.
At a profound level, the Swedish döstädning or death cleaning is about cleansing your physical life in your elderly years, by downsizing. At the end of the book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, the author Magnusson very aptly says: “I really do not want to give my beloved children and their families too much trouble with my stuff after I am gone.”
In the West, Spring is about resurgence and growth. The sun is out for longer periods. Dormant nature, both plants and animals shake off their winter hibernation and welcome what is ahead of them.
Human beings, however, have lost the art of slowing down in winter and “hibernating”. Today, our connection to technology and the sheer amount of stimulation available has meant that we keep going from one season to the next without change, setting ourselves up for burnt out or worse still, a depressed immune system and consequent poor health.
Spring is a reminder to pause and take stock and look at how we can reset our programming, and awaken to our deeper, spiritual selves.
Here are some cleansing tips to you from us:
- Start by declutting areas that have taken over. Think books, clothes, gadgets, toys, etc.
- Dust and hoover your space, and clean windows.
- Choose a day, wake up early, massage your whole head and body with warm olive, coconut or sesame oil. Wait for 20 minutes before bathing. Use the waiting time for meditation or contemplation.
- Try some yoga, chi gong or gentle exercise.
- Open windows and doors, burn sage, incense, or an essential oil diffuser to remove stagnant and negative air/energies.
- Invoke positive intentions while undertaking the above.
- Write a journal with a list of strengths and weaknesses and how you would like to do things differently.
- Draw up ten important goals in life, draft an action plan, and review periodically.
Become aware of the shifts that arise from your cleansing activities. You may notice you are feeling more upbeat, positive, and clear about your priorities in life. You may just be feeling lot cleaner, lighter and your space will feel brighter.
Cleansing Spring Soap Bars
Clay for detoxing
Eucaplytus and poppy seeds for exfoliating and cell regeneration.
Vanilla for mood booster
Peppermint, lemon, rosemary, thyme and sage are all excellent for recharging and refreshing skin health.
Cleansing Essential Oils
Some serious spring essential oils are:
Lemon, a liver detoxifier, often used in cleansing programmes.
Carrot essential oils and is regenerating and ideal when we are thinking in terms up change and renewal.
Sweet orange is uplifting oil to vibe with your positive intentions for Spring and the months ahead.