Spring Cleaning - March 1, 2022

This time of year I always hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head that it is time for “spring cleaning”.

Posted
March 1, 2022
Tuesday Tune Up Graphic

Spring Cleaning - March 1, 2022

This time of year I always hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head that it is time for “spring cleaning”.

Posted
March 1, 2022

"What I know for sure is that when you declutter - whether it's on your home, your head, or your heart - it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family." - Peter Walsh

JFS Friends –

This time of year I always hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head that it is time for “spring cleaning”. It seems that many cultures have some rituals that correspond to cleaning. In February many of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues celebrated the Chinese New Year where tradition dictates that homes be cleaned before the start of the new year to rid the house of bad luck and misfortune of the past and opening up spaces for all the new good luck to enter and infuse your life.

Another possibility of the origin of spring cleaning is that is relates to the Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning the home in anticipation of the springtime festival of Passover (Pesach). In remembrance of the Israelites' hasty flight from Egypt following their captivity, during the week-long observance of the Passover holiday there are strict prohibitions against eating or drinking anything which may have been leavened or fermented (Exodus 12:15, 19). Not only are Jews supposed to refrain from leavened foodstuffs (chametz), they are expressly commanded to rid their homes of even small remnants of chametz for the length of the holiday (Exodus 12:15). Therefore, observant Jews conduct a thorough "spring cleaning" of the house followed by a traditional hunt for chametz crumbs (bedikat chametz) by candlelight on the evening before the holiday begins.

Whatever the origin, whether your spring cleaning ritual arises from religious or practical reasons, perhaps it’s possible to add another element to the process. Maybe this year while we are scrubbing and cleaning our homes and offices we can also take a few minutes to look inward.

Molly Friedenfeld, author of The Book of Simple Human Truths, says:

“It may be difficult, but there will be times we need to pick up our brooms and do some spiritual house cleaning. It is through this process that we find our true relationships, our true heart, our core integrity, and our life’s purpose.”

There are undoubtedly times for many of us when the amount of work to be done seems overwhelming and it becomes hard to get started. At times like that, it can be useful to remember the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who said:

“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.”

With all these things, whether it is cleaning the house or looking inward to do some spiritual cleaning, both have to be done with a sense of compassion, an acceptance of imperfection, and a sense of humor. So with that in mind, I will end with this wonderful quote that I was not able to find an attribution to an author:

“Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.”

I wish for you that your office, home, and mind is clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy.

Well, that’s what I think.

Thanks for listening,

Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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