The Great Spring Purge

Spring Purge

Spring arrived early. I don’t remember much hoopla about Groundhog Phil and his shadow, but I could tell by the daffodils that had sprouted in my garden and the songbird’s tune at the kitchen window. Studying Ayurveda offered me many things in personal health and healing but the one I least expected was that it awakened a living discourse with nature. I now view the seasons in a whole new light. Beyond just a transition in weather, these original markers of time carry with them the teachings of birth, life, death, and the essence of happiness itself, if you happen to be looking for it.

March is a magical month for me. Against my own better judgment, I often experience a genuine rebirth. First I get antsy. Then I start questioning. And before I know it, I turn my entire house upside down. I let loose and there’s a tornado of papers, clothes, books, and bags trailing behind every room I exit. I’m focused on the task at hand. And soon enough I see that the real work isn’t at my desk. It’s on my desk, along with everything under my desk, next to it and in the entire room—every object, item, and thing. If space had a voice, would the sound of this room be mellifluous and soothing, or off pitch and rambling? I’ll have you know that this central question came without warning. It fractured my thoughts and divided me from how I was thinking (the shortest distance is between two points) to how I am thinking (the journey is part of the destination). 

The answer was crystal clear.

What had left me feeling sad, stuck, and irritable wasn’t all in my mind. It was my space. And it was affecting my mind. Once the revelation arrived, the work came fast. I began organizing closets, labeling drawers, throwing out dried up pens, sorting through books, removing doors, hanging pictures, tossing papers, unpacking bags, and generally throwing out STUFF that was expired, old, torn, stained, outgrown, or irrelevant. My life force was clearly at stake and it couldn’t wait ‘til Saturday afternoon. Life was NOW. There was nothing else I wanted to do, nowhere else I’d rather be (except maybe done, because I didn’t really have a clear vision of where I was headed). All I had was this urge for the sonorous sound of my space to sing and the beauty of space to nourish me.

There were many moments during the purge where I almost gave up. Progress looked horrible. My nagging small self whined, You’ll never get done. There’s probably a better way to do this. Took off more than you could chew, huh? Maybe. BUT NOT AT ALL HELPFUL. This is when loud music helps. And cursing. 

I was in the throws of a spiritual exorcism and it felt awesome. But of course you can’t do it in a day. And you’ve got to figure out how to return to that burst of nirvana when it was clear and the energy flowed and nothing could stop you from chuck, chuck, chucking stuff. Gosh, I’ve never been so happy to see the guys at Goodwill.

Yes, this was the deepest purge of my life and I did it on my own. Let me repeat so that you can join me in doing that special kind of happy dance that comes with doing something difficult. I did this on my own. I cannot tell you the pride that fills me every time I enter my creative abode (I renamed it from my office/guest room to creative abode since I don’t feel creative in offices and it’s impossible to work in a room made for guests.) 

Among the glorious space I created and the pride of having started and finished it without a meltdown, the process itself revealed a level of honesty in me that was incredibly surprising. I found solace in empty space. I don’t have enough papers to warrant a filing cabinet – turns out an accordion folder works just fine. And I really enjoy knowing that everything now has a home. I didn’t stuff it somewhere that I’d never find again like the back of the closet or under the bed. I carved out its very own home where it belonged. Now, everything has a place. Everything belongs. Including me.

If you’re not sure whether it’s time for a great spring purge, just listen. Look around and ask, what does your space sound like?


Denmo is the founder and CEO of Earthbody. She is a writer, artist, therapist, and coach. You can reach Denmo here.

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