Spring Cleaning Exercise | Taking A Personal Inventory
Welcome to the turning of the seasons, another gentle rotation in the wheel of the year. We are now in the half moon phase, seasonally speaking. If, like me, you dwell somewhere in the northern hemisphere, then we have reached the half way point between winter’s fertile slumber and a full summer’s bloom. Any intentions that we slept and meditated on and planted in the compost of the dark months may now be budding, and there is a sense of growing anticipation. Those in the south, on the other side of the world and the opposite spoke of the seasonal wheel, are now harvesting the fruits of their labor and preparing for the great retreat.
[image: wheel of the year diagram illustrating the four seasons and their corresponding moon phases and elements. from Hina Luna's Wax + Wane Zine Keeper of the Tides: An Ode to the Moon]
The first equinox of the year is nature’s opening scene in the north and the final act in the south. Wherever in the world you are reading this from, we are all existing in the in-between; waxing or waning. While my birds are full of song and building spring time nests, yours may be tucking into theirs, suspended in bare, gray branches. As we dwell here for a short while in this seasonal half moon phase, we may feel the sense that a personal inventory is to be taken.
What are you growing towards or leaning into in this season?
What feels like it needs to be shed?
Themes of balance are swirling all around us now; renewal and decay, emergence and retreat, life and death. As we seek ways to rebalance, it is necessary to set down our baggage and reevaluate so as to travel lighter as we journey onward into the season. So with all of your “belongings” laid out in front of you, what will you choose to take? What are the necessities? What is weighing you down?
As a disclaimer, I make an effort to be aware of and avoid language that suggests bypassing the heavy and hard stuff by only choosing the positive. While a positive emotional state and mindset can certainly be effective in transforming our unique experience of reality, bypassing our personal and collective traumas doesn’t make them nonexistent and instead can leave untended wounds to fester. I find that a more holistic perspective offers balanced self awareness and an invitation for well informed resolution.
On that note, here’s something I want to unpack that may influence how we reflect on our personal inventory this season: the commonly shared self-help concept of “letting go of that which doesn’t serve you”. What works: it encourages healthy boundary setting, it gives permission to clear our own internal paths, it’s a reminder to prioritize our mental and emotional well-being. What doesn’t work: it has the potential to be misinterpreted as an opportunity to evade personal responsibility, accountability, and consideration of anything that exists outside of ourselves. A helpful tool for sifting through your stuff in a holistic way might be to ask yourself “why am I feeling ready to let this go now?” — and answering honestly.
Seasonally inspired personal inventory taking is an opportunity to take note of it all, without the filter. You can even literally write it down if that feels supportive to your process.
That which we choose to continue to carry with us and that which we choose to let go of is personal, no one but you needs to know what you are carrying. As you sit amongst your theoretical unpacked bags, consider that there may be parts which are a little heavy and may still need to be carried — although perhaps you might find a way to pack them better than you had before.
It is natural to feel overwhelmed, intense, and sensitive during a seasonal shift and as you undergo your inventory process. After all, it’s you facing all of your stuff — your dreams and your visions and your struggles and your shadows and your joys — and how courageous you are for doing it. Or not, too. It doesn’t have to be hard to work. Whatever your experience, may you embark into the new season with clarity, feeling lighter and balanced.
How are you feeling in this moment, in this season of the year, this season of your life?
What have you been carrying for a while that you are still working through?
What new has come up recently?
What do you feel ready to release? Why?
Be honest with yourself and release judgement. This evaluation is only for you.
What have you chosen to take with you into the season ahead? Why?
How might you distribute the weight of your energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual belongings? In other words, how might you carry them with you and not be weighed down but them?