Nature has a beautiful way of cleansing itself to make way for the circle of life. Old leaves fall off and gentle winds carry them away to help the trees gather water and brace for the cold. With the spring thaw comes a flurry of new foliage to cover the bare branches and the growth starts anew.

In many ways, we have adopted a similar schedule for our own cleansing and renewal that follows nature’s calendar. We use this time each year to go through drawers and closets to clean out the clutter, dust the nooks and crannies, and give things the “out with the old, in with the new” spirit. After being a makeup artist for over 15 years, I have a belief that much of the beauty of our skin comes from treating it with the same reverence. By cleansing and gently exfoliating off the old, dry layers we allow the new, glowing skin to surface.

And if taking such care of our external selves is so beneficial to creating beauty in our lives, why should we stop there? Let’s keep going with a spiritual and emotional tidying up that truly sets the stage for a period of new growth in our lives. Much like pulling out the couch to find life-size dust bunnies, we might be surprised by what we find. We may be looking at crucial areas of our lives that may not be getting the attention they should.

Here are some places to start scrubbing away the negative in your world:

  1. List your positives. Sometimes when there is clutter on our furniture we only see the mess. The same goes for when we focus on the negative aspects of our lives. Our failures, and so on. By listing your positive influences, accomplishments, and qualities, you polish the plusses to shine beyond the clutter.
  2. Nourish your spirit. Too many of us have influences in our lives in the form of books, TV, and movies that become the prism through which we see the world. Unfortunately today so many of these media sources are dark and negative. Take the time to find and enjoy positive influences on a regular basis to bring a more peaceful outlook.
  3. Plant the seeds for growth. Have you always wanted to take an art class, start dance lessons, or try meditation? Rather than continuing to stagnate or grow in directions not of your own design, list the top ten things that you’d love to do and then start doing them.
  4. Make no excuses. When we begin to incorporate the things we love to do and experiment with new things on an ongoing basis, our lives become full of joy, happiness, and beauty.

While the first part of my career may have focused on outer beauty, there was a point where a shift occurred. An awakening to the connection between the beauty of our inner spirits and what we radiate out to the world became clear. By taking the time to nurture your spirit and cleanse yourself of negative influences, you clear space for more beauty to come into your world! 

Happy cleaning!

Born into the entertainment industry, Michelle Phillips has worked with major networks and stars of the film, TV, and music industry. She eventually moved in front of the camera, hosting beauty and style segments and becoming a well-known television personality on stations across the U.S. Her mission is to help women cultivate their beauty from the inside out.