What comes to mind when you think about the season of Spring? New leaves and budding flowers? Spring cleaning? Warmer weather (and—oh, right—baring your arms, legs, and feet)? Planting a garden? Easter eggs?

For me, all of these things come with Spring, though I don’t have a real garden, these days, and I’ve never even tried on a bikini, much less worried about looking good in one. But I do observe keenly the changes in the plants and animals around me, and I aspire to do a thorough Spring cleaning of my home.

I was looking at the most recent issue of Real Simple™ magazine the other day, enjoying the colorful photographs and reading the feature article about Spring cleaning. The feature describes how quickly and completely a list of certain tasks can be completed, according to how much time you have to spend. Easy-peasy! You can bet I was aspiring pretty strongly as I read it.

In all likelihood, however, the only big cleaning job I’ll be starting in my home this Spring is reducing as much clutter as I can: getting rid of what’s no longer usable, letting go of what’s no longer useful to me, and paying attention to the keeping of what is still useful and/or cherished. This is a task that takes time and perseverance. It requires a healthy mix of ruthlessness and self-compassion, that’s for sure.

I think this is a pretty good metaphor for my own real, inner life– and yours, too.

It’s so refreshing to clear away the clutter of busyness, of holding grudges, of hanging on to relationships that cause more unhappiness than joy. It’s wonderfully renewing to get in touch with what matters most to you. And it’s absolutely life-changing to get clarity about who you are, why you’re here, and what you’ve come here to do! …and then act accordingly.

So here’s to Spring cleaning—inside and out!

I’d love to hear about your own rites of Spring; please leave a comment below!