by Carolyn Ford, PhD
Spring is about to be sprung, culminating in the end of colder temperatures and shorter days. Our spring cleaning impulses also start to kick in. The desire to shed winter clutter in order to reset our homes and welcome brighter days is certainly worth the effort. But while we’re dusting under the furniture and rummaging through overstuffed closets, our spring cleaning efforts usually have a finite timeline until we settle back into our typical patterns.
A spiritual spring cleaning, however, could have a lasting effect and enduring influence on your patterns and behaviors. I recommend the Ctrl + Alt + Del method.
If you are computer savvy, you will already recognize this keyboard command. It is executed by pressing the Delete key at the same time as the Ctrl and Alt keys. As a general rule, it loosely represents a quick escape method that interrupts whatever function we are currently engaged in and even allows us to restart the system. If we modify this well-known computer shortcut as a method to promote spiritual cleaning, it creates a very effective way to overhaul our spiritual self and allow us to reboot.
Ctrl – Control Your Thoughts
No matter how diligent we remain, many people struggle with collecting negative thoughts that simply clutter the mind. Whether these thoughts are self-doubt, hurt feelings, perceived slights, or stress and anxiety, they create blocks that prevent us from concentrating on positivity and things that spark joy. We spend a lot of time in our head, replaying past scenarios or fretting about future events. This keeps us from being fully present in the moment.
Luckily, with some practice and diligence, we can control negative thought accumulation using a few simple techniques:
- Embrace the grey – Black and white thinking boxes us in and limits our choices.
- Avoid personalizing – Chances are high that it actually has nothing to do with you.
- Apocalypse! – Guard yourself from quickly embracing worst-case scenarios.
Alt – Alter Your Behaviors
We all have aspects of our lives that we would like to modify for better health, more prosperity, and increased happiness. In our heads, we have a laundry list of changes that we want to make, but the ability to actually make the changes is often elusive. Our negative thinking patterns are a direct result of our current behaviors and habits. In order to alter our actions, we must create internal practices that support positive thought patterns and thus bolster constructive behavioral changes.
Let’s be honest, though – change is hard. Our negative actions take time to become normalized; no one wakes up in the morning determined to take things personally or exhibit bitterness. So any of these changes need to be met with acceptance and kindness to yourself first. Psychology experts believe that it takes around 21 days of sustained practice to successfully alter our behaviors.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful motivating factors that allow us to alter our behavior. Invite more gratitude into your life in a variety of ways:
- Invisible acts of kindness – Open that door, let that car in front of you in traffic, etc.
- Pay it forward – Support your causes, mentor, and reach outside of your comfort zone.
Del – Delete What No Longer Serves You
If you’re like most people, you recently made some New Year’s resolutions that have possibly fallen to the wayside. Rather than beating yourself up for that, look deeper into releasing negative thoughts, toxic people, or unproductive situations that simply no longer serve you.
Most humans are accumulators – storing memories, attachments, and emotions that act as place markers for the events in our lives. But too often, we grant valuable storage space to beliefs or even other people that don’t support our highest and best life. We need a “spiritual garage sale” to review all the things currently occupying space in our life. And like a casual observer, we must assign a value to each item, placing whatever no longer serves us in the discard pile.
As you make room in your life, make sure that you fill the space left by the removal of what no longer serves you with things that support and invigorate you. Follow a few steps to determine what isn’t currently serving your best interests:
- Assign no judgment – Just because it no longer supports you doesn’t mean it’s negative.
- Avoid shame – It doesn’t matter why it’s still there, only that it needs to go.
- Processing is progress – You don’t have to throw everything out at once; just start.
Over time, the benefits of this spiritual cleaning will allow you to begin attracting situations and people that match the new vibration you’re sending out. Creating positive thought patterns, changing your behaviors, and eliminating things that no longer match your intentions provides countless opportunities for you to deepen your journey as you walk your sacred path.
May it also offer peace. Namaste!
About Carolyn Ford, PhD
Carolyn Ford, PhD holds degrees in psychology and sociology, as well as a master’s in parapsychology and indigenous studies and a doctorate in esoteric and indigenous studies. She works intuitively with many modalities including tarot, crystals, chakra energy and auras, intuitive astrology, and divination to help others form a deeper connection to their authentic selves.