Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On The Road Again

I've spent a lot of time in my car during the month of April, travelling here and there, short trips and long trips, totalling 2,347kms. (that's about 1,458 miles for my American friends). Fortunately I love driving so it's not quite as bad as it might sound and I know the roads well so I wasn't concerned about getting lost or needing to read directions or a map.

Driving always gives me a sense of freedom and the opportunity to look around both physically and mentally.  It's a break from routine and the chance to see what's going on around me as well as within me.  As I travelled, I noticed changes in the landscape had occurred since I last travelled the route.  Spring had obviously arrived with daffodils blooming at the side of the road and of course, the ever present road work and detours which arrive each spring and stay until late autumn; similar to the migrating birds, only a lot noisier and annoying than the birds could ever be.  Old buildings are gone, new buildings sprouting up all over the place.  What used to be open land is now populated with houses and stores; getting out of the city takes a lot longer simply because the city has grown. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same; different yet familar.

As I drove I contemplated how the changes I saw around me reflected the changes within me.  A lot has changed over the past year.  I've cleared away some of the old (physical stuff, beliefs, emotions) in order to make room for the new things I want in my life.  I don't just mean new physical things, I mean new opportunities, new people, new ideas, new clarity, new understanding.  Like the landscape around me, I too had to clear a place within me in order to accommodate the new.

Clearing the way was a lot like road construction as there were delays and detours along the way.  Though frustrating at times, I learned delays provide the opportunity to take another look or a better look to see what's going rather than just rushing by without a second glance.  Detours take you to different unexpected places, often showing you something you would have otherwise missed completely.   It really is about the journey and not the destination.  Yes, it's important to get where you're going, to reach your goal, however, it's equally important to be flexible enough to realize there's more than one way to get there.  As they say "all roads lead to Rome". 

While my road trips took me many kms. (miles) in different directions, my internal journey did the same.  Within me there is a sense of newness, a feeling of anticipation and excitement for what is developing, a sense of happiness and freedom, and a desire to seek and explore new destinations.

Once again I am reminded that our outer world is a reflection of the world within us.  There is so much to explore in both!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning

While Spring officially arrived last month, it's never really Spring to me until the weather is sunny and warm.   What I have noticed is the change in weather often creates a change in attitude.   People seem to become more motivated and energized and willing to roll up their sleeves and do some serious work.

With warmer temperatures and sunny days, yards and gardens draw our attention to the need to clean out debris that has accumulated over the Fall and Winter, pull out weeds that have taken root before the roots become so strong and deep that they seem impossible to remove.  Once everything's cleaned up, there's some prep work to be done.  The soil in the gardens needs to be turned and fertilized before new seeds, bulbs, and plants can be planted. 

Then there's the house.  Spring cleaning usually involves a great deal of cleaning both inside and out.  Windows washed, drapery and carpets cleaned, closets emptied, perhaps even rooms painted.  Spring brings with it a sense of 'new' as everything springs to life bringing colour and warmth into our days giving our spirits a lift.

Spring cleaning is a step by step process, and while it's possible, theoretically, skip a step here and there, we all know the results won't be as dramatic or as beautiful if we cut corners.  We all want the yard and garden to look spectacular because we want to enjoy them for the coming months.  The same applies for the work we do in the house, we want to look around and feel pleased and happy in our surroundings knowing everything is cleared and cleaned, and has a fresh new feel to it.  So we make the commitment and invest our time, money and energy into making our external world clean, fresh and beautiful.

Now the question is, "what about our internal world?"  Have we invested the time, money and energy needed to clean up and clear out the mental, emotional and spiritual debris and clutter we have been carrying for months, years or perhaps even decades?  Imagine how much clearer and lighter it would feel to finally get rid of everything that weighs us down and holds us back.  Imagine how releasing it would make us feel lighter, more confident, happier, focused, younger and energized, so we could approach everything in life with the same sense of renewal, optimism and enthusiasm that Spring invokes in us. 

Clearing and cleaning our internal world creates the space needed to plant personal seeds ~ dreams, goals, personal growth and development. It provides the opportunity for these personal seeds to develop and grow without the disappointments of the past blocking their growth.  You wouldn't plant new seeds, bulbs and plants in a garden that had not been cleared and cultivated and expect a beautiful garden; the same holds true for your dreams, goals and personal growth.  They cannot flourish amongst the the debris and clutter of the past, they need a fresh clean space in which to grow and thrive.

Spring cleaning ~ an opportunity to clean up both your external and internal worlds to create beauty and joy.