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Releasing Winter and Joyfully Jumping into Spring

Posted Mar 23 2009 3:02pm

Despite today's chilly temperatures here in NY, I am in a Spring state of mind. And I think it has something to do with the big closet purge that had me fulling up bags of clothes to donate until the wee hours of Sunday morning. Ooooohhhhh, what a feeling!

My closet is far from empty, but at least it's a bit more spacious -- and the clothes inside are more reflective of me and my lifestyle than the contents prior to the purge. While ridding my closet of clothes was fun, it was also a bit more of an experience than I bargained for. All sorts of thoughts came to the fore as I was chucking clothes into an awaiting donation bag.

  • I realized that I had clothes that no longer reflected my personal style. Perhaps when I worked in an office, these clothes were appropriate. I haven't worked in an office for years now, so it was time for them to go. I hardly wear button down shirts anymore (nature and good genes blessed me with a substantial bossom -- which many women pay to get -- and it's time I honored it by throwing out all of the shirts with buttons that tug in the bust area) and I don't miss them. That said, why are there a bunch of button down shirts in my closet? That's the practical you-never-know-when-you-might-need-it voice again. While I appreciate practicality now and again, it's totally unnecessary here. If I find I need a piece of clothing, I can buy it.
  • I realized that I had this block around getting rid of perfectly good clothing. Granted, I wasn't getting rid of anything -- I'm donating it all to people who need it. It finally got through to me -- not every article of clothing has to hang in your closet for years. As I pitched a shirt that I bought prior to going to college (I'm coming up on my 15 year college reunion, so that should tell you something), I finally understood that just because an article of clothing is in good condition doesn't mean that it has to be kept. Again, Ms. Practicality comes for a visit. I think it's time I was a bit less practical about the contents of my closet.
  • I realized that I had a few bargaining chips in my closet. "If I lose 5 lbs. this will fit perfectly." ACK! Rather than punish myself by seeing clothes that are a bit too tight in my closet, isn't the kinder, more accepting thing to do is pitch it? Gone are the snug clothes. If it doesn't fit now, then it's gotta go. No more bargaining. From here on out, it's accepting.
  • I realized that my ego was having its way with my closet. Rather than choosing clothes that reflect me, I was picking clothes because I thought they'd make me a feel a certain way -- regardless of how they looked on my body.
  • I realized that I've been complicating my life in the clothing department. I like variety. Always have, and, I suspect, always will. That preference influences my clothing collection. I have so much stuff, that I could never possibly wear it all. The ironic truth is that I usually wear the same articles repeatedly. Being that's the case, then why not simplify my wardrobe and pare it down to staples and favorites only? It's on its way. I still need to take a few more passes at it to completely pare it down, but it's a good part of the way there.
  • I realized I have some attachments in the clothing department. I kept articles of clothing because of nostalgia, rather than fit and style. I was attached to certain pieces because of the time they represented when I wore them most and pieces that I used to love but no longer looked good (frayed hems, piling, etc.)

That's quite a bit of enlightenment considering I was just cleaning out my closet. The result is that I feel lighter, freer, and happier. Yes, I have been truly enLIGHTened when it comes to my closet. I suppose that this is why I've been avoiding cleaning my closet for months even though I've known it needed it -- I just didn't want to face all of the attachments/issues around clothing and what it represents.

As a woman, I am aware that body issues pervade our lives. I like to think I'm a bit beyond negative body image, but sometimes I get a case of the dissatisfactions. I have a fit, healthy body. That doesn't mean that it's perfect or a model size. Still, it's mine and I love it. And the right kind of clothes look good on it. As I cleaned out the closet, I was faced with fad clothes that don't flatter my body and clothes that would look great if I lost a pound or two. Why was I hanging on to these things? Why would I subject myself to daily reminders of things that didn't fit my body? I realized that my holding onto these things was a form of rejection. Rather than accept my body for the wonder that it is, I was trying to dress it in things that I felt it "should" fit into.

Prior to practicing yoga regularly, my relationship with my body wasn't all that positive. I didn't pay all that much attention to it, yet I would always send it messages that I wanted it to change. Once I started a regular yoga practice, I came to notice and eventually appreciate my body. Our relationship is much more loving these days -- despite the fact that my closet was still holding some nasty remnants of relationship past. These days when I feel my body moving to my breath in my yoga practice, I know that looking hot in a pair of low-rise jeans isn't the name of the game (don't get me wrong -- looking hot is fun; it's just not the end all and be all).

Christine, Ms. Blisschick herself, has written some awesome posts lately on this very charged topic. And being that summer is coming, I think it's perfect timing. Click here for a great post on body image and yoga with a response from Kundalini yogini Ana Brett and click here for Christine's post on nourishing the body. These are wonderful reads that I think many of us can relate to in one form or another.

Now that my closet is filled with clothes that honor my body, I may just treat myself to a few more goodies from my favorite clothing boutique, TranquiliT. The spring colors -- peony, bluebonnet, and iris -- are out and they make my soul sing with delight. If there's anything I've learned from this weekend's purge, it's that my body deserves to be clothed in flattering clothes that make me happy. The spring palette at TranquiliT does exactly that. Ah, my reward for all of that cleaning.

And here's a little something for those of you who, like me, are feeling the spring fever. If you're still bogged down by winter, than all the more reason for you to watch this delightful video filled with beautiful images. It reminds me that it's time to lace up my hiking boots -- as soon as the temp gets above 38 degrees that is (luckily, NY is warming up later on this week, so I'll get to break in my new hiking boots then). Enjoy...


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