Spring Clean Your Spirit

May 13, 2011

It happens every spring. As sunlight reawakens tiny buds and fresh breezes dust the fields with lilacs, a strange compulsion kicks us out of our winter stupor. We actually want to clean.

Floors suddenly seem grimy and corners cobwebby. The cluttered basement starts to really bug us. Even that previously insurmountable task—window washing—sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday. Intuitive psychologist Susan Apollon says our annual spring cleaning frenzy is more than mere tradition: It’s the manifestation of a primal urge for renewal on a deeper level.

“We have a deep need to mimic the earth’s own rebirthing cycle by cleaning floors, decluttering closets, and airing out rooms,” says Apollon, author of Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope. And while a pristine, life-affirming home is a nice by-product of this urge, you shouldn’t stop there. No matter how organized and spotless your physical world may be, it won’t matter if your soul is cluttered with emotional debris.”

In other words, it’s time to embrace “spring cleaning” for your spirit. Apollon says spiritual cleansing and healing can and should be done all year long, if we want to live the beautiful life we deserve. But when you’re in a decluttering sort of mood already, it just feels easier and more natural to focus on trashing those spiritual bad habits and on making room for new ones that will lead to healing and joy on every level.

What exactly is spiritual healing? Apollon says it’s about balancing our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions. It’s about becoming whole. Healing takes place when we reclaim our power, wisdom, or spirit, which we often bury during the process of life, and when we reconnect with our soul or higher self, as well as with the Universe or God.

We get to feel an authentic connection with our higher self and lower self, which also enables us to feel more at peace, as well as more confident in our worth and wisdom. It is knowing that we are so much more powerful than we ever believed; it is knowing that we are connected with something much greater than ourselves.

On a more practical level, it means learning to live in such a way that you don’t spend all your time fretting about the future, worrying about your kids, or obsessing over health issues. And it means coming to a place where you refuse to settle for a job, a relationship, a lifestyle,a life that doesn’t fulfill you.

We are healing spiritually when we accept and align all the parts of ourselves in a way that allows us to genuinely feel we are being true to ourselves, or whole, or complete, Apollon says. We get to feel an authentic connection with our higher self and lower self, which also enables us to feel more at peace, as well as more confident in our worth and wisdom. It is knowing that we are so much more powerful than we ever believed; it is knowing that we are connected with something much greater than ourselves.”

Understanding the Law of Attraction

Spiritual healing happens when we work with the Law of Attraction, which is basically an understanding that energy attracts like energy. Apollon explains it this way: Given that everything is energy and vibrates, and given the Law of Attraction, wherever we are vibrationally, we attract to us experiences of a similar level of vibration. What we choose to focus on (thoughts, images, beliefs) causes us to vibrate at a particular level, resulting in either good or not good feelings. Focusing on thoughts or images that cause us to feel relatively good or better will enable us to be at a higher level energetically and, consequently, will draw to us a higher level of vibrational experience.

In other words, when you worry about your job, your grades, your children, your health, and that is what you do most of the time, your dominant energetic level is quite low. Being in this state causes you to experience events and situations which are of equally low vibrations.

It’s about becoming whole. Healing takes place when we reclaim our power, wisdom, or spirit, which we often bury during the process of life, and when we reconnect with our soul or higher self, as well as with the Universe or God.

Everything we desire is available to us, if we can just get out of our own way, says Apollon. We put our own stumbling blocks in our own path, by way of our attachment to our negative or low energy thoughts, images, concerns, unresolved issues, our inability to forgive and release old feelings of anger, judgment, and pain, etc. Suggestions such as lighten up, let go and surrender, detach and move on all represent appropriate ways to energetically shift to a better place.

The trick, of course, is to become conscious and aware of how we are feeling in order to allow ourselves to do the work of cleaning up (or out) our spiritual closets and bringing in what feels energetically better. This allows us to attract to us wonderful things and experiences that we want our hopes and dreams, rather than those things and experiences we don’t want.

To do this we need to be really clear about our intentions, she adds. We need to decide what it is that we intend to do or make happen in our lives that will make us feel good or better (happy, satisfied, joyful, peaceful). Once we have our intentions in mind, we can give them power and help to create them by giving ourselves permission to really focus on them.

Practice Your ABCs

Once you have clarity regarding your intentions, it’s time to practice what Apollon calls “the Art of your ABCs”. Intertwined with the ABCs technique is another one, which she refers to as the Face, Embrace, and Replace method. Here’s how it works:

A is for AWARENESS and ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Become aware of your thoughts and images at the head level that do not feel good at the heart or belly level. Here, you’re Facing what makes you feel bad. Put your hand on your heart or belly and ask yourself, Am I feeling good (or okay) or not good at this moment? If your answer is not good, put the same hand on your forehead and ask yourself, what is my thought, picture, or image that makes me not feel good?

Now, take time to Acknowledge or Embracethe picture or thought. Give yourself permission to really feel the pain associated with your thought or image stored deep within you. Kick, scream, or cry it out for a few moments, or more, if needed, but not too much more, if possible.

B is for BREATH and BREATHING OUT YOUR PAIN. Learn to use the Gift of Breath and then use your ability to lift yourself energetically to a higher level of well-being. Take three deep breaths. As you breathe in, visualize yourself breathing in the colorful and magnificent energy of the Universe or God. (Yes, actually give it a color so you can see it more readily.) Watch and feel this powerful healing energy coming in and filling your body with amazing warm, relaxing energy, causing you to feel so relaxed and heavy and at the same time . . . so light that you are aware of your body shifting up energetically.

C is for CHOICE and CHOOSING THOUGHTS AND IMAGES THAT FEEL GOOD or BETTER. Here’s where you replace your negative energy with positive energy. You choose thoughts and images that lighten your vibrations and enable you to allow in those experiences you have viewed as your intentions, hopes, and dreams. Every moment is about choice. Be conscious of how you are feeling, moment by moment, and choose to focus on anything and everything that brings you relief and feels better or good, including your kids, pets, loved ones, or your favorite funny video.

Practice your ABCs and Face, Embrace, and Replace often, advises Apollon. They are the tools that lead to healing.

If you’re thinking it all sounds a bit too touchy-feely for you, don’t. Apollon says these spiritual healing techniques work, even if you’re a cynic. Feeling good is your birthright. Indeed, you’ve probably experienced the essence of spiritual healing at some point in your life when you’re so immersed in a project that you lose all sense of time and place, for instance, or when you’re with friends or family and feel a surge of joy and gratitude and lightness.

Spiritual healing is often experienced as a state of harmony, balance, greater well-being, and joyfulness, says Apollon. Athletes call it “the zone”. It is an awareness that in our being authentic and unconditionally loving, we are in a sense able to connect with all others who are experiencing the same thing. Being at peace and authentic, we can and do align with the same energy of others, drawing this equally balanced energy to us. And that’s when we start to get the life we long for on a deep soul level.

When you clarify your intentions, remember your ABCs and make the following choices, you’ll create an internal positive energetic shift that leaves you feeling lighter, more peaceful, and more content.

The author also offers these life-affirming exercises to incorporate into your ever day to bring about balance and calm:

Create Harmony and Balance through Breath Meditation. Choose to start each day by practicing the breath meditation technique for 15 minutes: Visualize your breath coming in from God or the Universe, merging with you (your body, thoughts, feelings), and filling you with healing energy. On your out breath, visualize your breath gently nudging out all your negative or painful thoughts or images. Do this for a few minutes while waiting for an appointment, in the car, in your office, or in school. Feel your breath shifting you energetically, leaving you feeling greater warmth, relaxation, and peace.

Become Conscious of Your Power through Journaling. Choose to journal for 15 minutes a day about situations, times, and incidents when you could feel and/or were aware at some level of your power and how great it felt. Then note your fears, insecurities, their roots, whether they make sense or are completely irrational, and how they have stolen your power. Finally, write of ways in which you can begin to reclaim your power (via actions, self-dialogue, affirmations, breath, meditation, taking courses, getting counseling assistance, etc.)

Affirm Your Power throughout the Day. Write affirmations and both visualize and feel the power within you as you daily make these high-vibrational statements to your cells: I Am worthy, I Am wise, I Am beautiful, I Am intelligent, I Am compassionate, I Am loving, I Am forgiving, I Am strong, I Am lovable, As I breathe in, I Am a part of God, I Am always protected and watched over, I Am that I Am. I Am, I Am, I Am! Write them on sticky notes and place them all around to remind you of your power, with I Am everywhere.

Choose Forgiveness. Choose to consciously detach from and surrender to the Universe any attachments to old hurts, resentments, betrayals, and so on. Bring to mind the person or issue that creates pain for you, then Face it, Embrace it, Breathe it out, and Choose to say I forgive you or I surrender you to God, Source, or the Universe, because I choose to move on with my life. Remember to forgive another for you and not for him or her. Visualize a cord between you and the person with whom you have issues and see yourself cutting the cord, suggests Apollon. “Feel the relief. Visualize your power returning to you.

Practice the Art of Visualization. Envisioning what you want is a tremendously powerful technique. Because we think visually, picturing what we want in our mind’s eye good health, divine protection for ourselves or our children, and so forth, helps us co-create that outcome. When you create a mental image of, for example, angels holding up the airplane that your son is traveling on, it helps you feel a sense of confidence instead of a sense of worry and fear, explains Apollon. Obviously, you feel better. And when you feel better, you vibrate at a higher level, which attracts good things to you.

Perform an Act of Compassion, Caring, Kindness, and Service Daily. Choose to Make a Difference. Choose any activity in which you do something for another person or group of people with authentic feelings of compassion and love. This needs to be more than signing a check. Do a physical deed that impacts on the quality of life of another person or being, whether it’s bringing dinner to one who is shut in or helping the elderly, blind, or others in need of assistance.

Choose to Be Inspired. Choose to read or listen to materials that inform, soothe, entertain, and connect you with your own soul. Apollon’s own book, Touched by the Extraordinary: An Intuitive Psychologist Shares Insights, Lessons, and True Stories of Spirit and Love to Transform and Heal the Soul, is one such work. Others she recommends include: Conversations with God, The Secret, Many Lives, Many Masters, Messages from Water, works by Deepak Chopra or the Dalai Lama, and similar books and CDs. It’s amazing how reading and listening to inspirational works can keep you on track with your spiritual practice,  reflects Apollon. It’s good maintenance and it can yield all sorts of insights you’d never gain otherwise.

Take Action Regarding at Least One Intention. Choose to gather your courage each day and take action toward the creating of at least one intention. For example, if you intend to get a degree, contact the universities of your choice and ask for a catalogue; then make an appointment to speak with the admissions department or heads of programs in which you are interested. Each evening, before sleep, consider several possible intentions for the following day—or future. Write about these the following morning—or the same evening, if desired. As you visualize your intention, feel excited about fulfilling it.

Create a Sacred Space for Prayer. Create a sacred space in your home or office. On a small table or part of your desk, have a candle, a picture of a loved one, or even a lovely figurine or crystal. Use a soft blanket or a small, pretty rug or mat to create feelings of warmth and sacredness. In your sacred space pray daily, expressing gratitude and/or asking for assistance or on behalf of others in need of help. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to your sacred space, says Apollon. Know that you can pray anywhere. The simplest prayer, please, help me is often the best.

Remember Your Blessings. Choose to show gratitude when you address your higher power, be it God, the Universe, your angels, Jesus, Mary, Buddha, or any other deity. Thank you is a high vibration. Throughout the day, express appreciation for every one of your blessings. Visualize each blessing and give thanks for it; as you say it, picture it and appreciate it.

Love Yourself First; Then Love Others. Pampering yourself may seem like odd spiritual advice, but Apollon swears by it. Choose to love yourself every day by devoting at least a half-hour to an hour or more doing something for yourself. Find your passion and pursue it! Perhaps you might want to take a bath, get your nails done, visit with a friend for lunch, coffee, or breakfast, take a class, learn to play an instrument, or go shopping and buy yourself something pretty or frivolous.

People tend to think they should deny themselves and lavish attention on others, but they’re wrong, says Apollon. “You are God’s creation just like everyone else. Why wouldn’t you honor yourself? You really can’t love others if you don’t first love yourself. You are your most significant other. Do not forget this – ever!”

Smile, laugh, tell a joke or funny story, watch a funny movie or video, dance your favorite dance, or listen to your favorite music that makes your heart sing. Laughter and music are good for the body, for raising your energetic vibrations, and for you. Remember, you are here for joy. Choose what makes you feel joy and you shall attract good things to you.

Spiritual healing feels good, reflects Apollon. Yes, it takes work and practice, but it’s not some tough, rigorous discipline. Why else would we do it?

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As a psychologist and an author, Susan Apollon empowers and heals the body, mind, and soul; as an educator, she informs; as a speaker, she inspires and touches the heart. For more than 25 years Susan has been in private practice in Yardley, PA, evaluating and counseling adults, families, and children who are dealing with difficult life situations similar to what she has personally experienced, researched, and written about, including cancer, other health issues, trauma, and grief. She is an avid researcher of mind, consciousness, intuition, energy, prayer, and healing.

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