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 My dog, Joey, is shedding. Huge puffs of fur are working their way out of his coat. What I collect in the vacuum makes it clear that if this goes on, he will be bald. Of course, I say that every spring and no matter how much he sheds, he never is hairless. While others may eat popcorn or knit while watching TV, I sit with my dog and pluck him like a chicken with hopes that I can reduce the mess from getting out of hand. I am not very successful. Tuffs of fur mosey across my kitchen floor like tumbleweed. The final result of this Spring shedding, aside from a hairball ridden house, is a sleeker, shiner, less encumbered Joey.

In the Spring, we have an opportunity to do some significant shedding of our own. Some of this shedding, we do instinctively or by ritual. We shed our heavy sweaters and boots. We put away our warmest quilts and comforters. We fling open our windows to allow the musty staleness of winter to escape. We long to shed a few pounds of winter weight. Our animals shed their winter coats. Even our daffodils pop through the earth shaking off the particles of soil that cling to their leaves. Growth and transformation abound.

This is a time for a “practical” shedding but also an opportunity to think about another kind of shedding. Winter often weighs us down with sadness or anxiety. During those long frigid months many of us experience depression and we become mired in our regrets or losses. Our thoughts may turn to past hurts and betrayals. We can pack on the weight of resentments, disappointments and bitterness as quickly as we pack on those unwanted pounds.  Despair may take hold, fester and proliferate as we hunker down and wait for the winter to pass.

Now, finally! The winter HAS passed! After this long and particularly hard winter, we are especially appreciative for the fresh air and longer, brighter days. In this season of renewal and rebirth, is the time to consider what unneeded emotions we may need to shed. It is a great time to assess what we can clear out-not just in our closets and garages, but in our hearts and minds. We can lighten our load and flourish!

Recently Meg reported that she cleaned out her closets and got rid of those clothes that no longer fit and had not been in style since the 80’s. As she packed the bags, she knew her donation would benefit others and she experienced a feeling of accomplishment. But beyond the tangible positives, Meg found her spirits began to lift! Letting go of those old clothes, enabled her to let go of some ghosts from her past. As she moved her closet hangers freely across the rod, she realized she had also made room to welcome and affirm herself today. She now had room to buy new clothes that reflected and celebrated the Meg of TODAY. And while her life isn’t perfect, by shedding the unnecessary clutter of her past, she has created space, both emotionally and practically, to be totally present for her life as it is now. In doing this, Meg lightens the burden of her history and can move forward with more ease and confidence in her life.

Do you have clothes, books, old papers, photos, letters, mementos or magazines you need to let go of? Are these symbols of old resentments, unresolved issues, negative thoughts, insecurities or guilt? What do you need to shed to feel “lighter” in spirit and mood?

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2 Comments

  1. CJ Golden on the 16. Apr, 2011 remarked #

    OH, how beautiful this blog is, Donna!
    We have been in the Netherlands for this past week – coming home today. And as I have walked the streets of this gorgeous country, my memories found their way back to two previous trips; one with my parents upon my high school graduation; the other with my ex-husband and two friends.
    Both experiences had remained with me as I relished the memories of those past trips – but this time, with my now (and wonderful) husband, I was able to shed the negative memories and hold dear the joyous ones.
    The past is always with us in some manner – those experiences combine to help make us who we are today. The trick is in turning the negatives into positives so we can look forward with joyful anticipation of the lives we live today and will have in the future.
    Thank you for this (and all of your) thoughtful and thought-inspiritng posts.

  2. Laurie on the 18. Apr, 2011 remarked #

    I hope to shed the negative thoughts that so badly plague me, negative thoughts that I have created and ones others have created and I have given longevity to.

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