Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What day should you clean your house?

I have given this question a tremendous amount of thought... Seriously, odd amounts of ponderings. When I was a kid, my mom cleaned on Saturdays...which meant I cleaned on Saturdays.  Over the years I've tried cleaning on Saturdays- all times, Monday mornings, Tuesday afternoons, Sunday nights, hardly ever on Thursdays and Friday mornings.

I explore cleaning...it's a thing … My quest has been long and deep

Cleaning re-boots our lives and un-muddles our homes.  It creates a cozy, nourishing space to rest and play.  Cleaning is even one of the 7 essentials for a healthy home.  I can go on and on...you know I can.  I've written about cleaning on this blog for 10 years!  A kindly cleaned home is good for the soul.  This I get, no question there is value of what cleaning does for our lives.  But...

When do we clean???

The when of cleaning...here are my discoveries from a life of cleaning as a practice...

Cleaning needs space.  If I don't have a designated time and day to clean, cleaning gets put off and before I know it my house is muddled, dust bunnies run wild and I no longer have a cozy life.  Having a rhythm to this practice of cleaning- creates a natural ease in your life.  Cleaning needs space- consistent time just for cleaning...putting your life back in order.

 Early Friday morning is my favorite time.
    Each day of the week has a natural energy to it.  It's like what farmers do when they plant with the moon's rhythms.   There is a time to grow, to weed, to plant and a time to rest. The days of the week have a similar feel.  Friday's has the energy of completion for the week, love and art.  This is the perfect energy for cleaning.  I get my home in order and I use cleaning as a lovely practice of love and artistic play.  Super early Fridays morning is my absolutely my preferred space for home TLC

 When I need my creativity to be ignited.  
   Cleaning jump starts my brain for writing and creating.  If I want to write about cleaning, or give a talk on clutter, the best way to dig in is to start with cleaning. We get ideas when we shower, go on walks, cook etc.  By getting out of our brain and into methodical physical movement, our brains relax and our creativity gets a kick start. Cleaning cleans my brain.

 When I'm stressed, feeling ungrounded or don't know where to start... I clean.
    Cleaning is the great de-stressor.  Having my home in order makes me feel like my life is in order... When my home is messy...it's usually a sign my life is going in too many directions.  Cleaning brings me back to center and relaxes my nervous system.  When my thoughts are muddled, I organize my books and paper.  I use cleaning as productive therapy.

For 2 hours
   Like all things, cleaning will take up whatever time I give it.  I like two hours.  By cleaning in a designated 2 hour block, my mind will stay clear and focused.  I will get whatever needs done- done.  And here is the bonus...by only giving myself 2 hours to clean, I focus more on prevention during the week so when I do clean I have less to do.  Be firm with yourself- set a time boundary for your cleaning and then be super focused and present when you do clean.  (shut off distractions)
 
After and before... 
   After a big project or event, cleaning re-grounds me and re-boots my space.  After a trip, work project, party... my home and life need to be cleaned up and put away before I move on.  On the opposite side, I clean before I begin a project or have an event.  I did extra cleaning before we had thanksgiving at our house.  This type of cleaning is more like a project and event related vs weekly maintenance.  Having a clean home helps you welcome people into your home---with less stress.

Did that help?  Here is the thing.  Cleaning is a gift or it is a burden.  It supports you or depletes you.  How you do your work has more to do with your attitude, habits and wisdom than it does the actual work.  It is what we say it is.

Happy cleaning,
          Denise... traveler of life chores and dust bunnies


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Beauty is a state of being

We don't buy beauty.  Beauty is a state of being.  True beauty is found in the moments.  It catches our breath and expands our heart.

 I remember stripping coatings off slate floors.  A plastic, shiny, muddled coating covering up.  When we  removed the coating, I was amazed time and time again how the real beauty became visible.  It wasn't something to be added but something to be removed.  The essence of the stone of was there all along.

When I looked at those floors, when Dallas looked, what we started seeing was the texture, the colors, the lines, the art.  We saw images and even fossils of plants imbedded in those slate floors.  The idea of covering up the true authentic beauty of something naturally created millions of years ago seemed wrong. It was such a waste.

To be able to see beauty is a practice in seeing.  Shiny and enhanced beauty is easy to spot- but that kind of beauty can be washed off, or stripped off.  The kind of beauty I'm talking about is awareness of a deep beauty.  I see it in winter, when the leaves are gone.  The trees become works of art.  I saw this beauty when I would travel to see my family in Holyoke Colorado.   Driving in plains of Colorado, miles and miles of sage brush, rolling hills and open space, my heart would expand. -literally- I could feel it.  So can my mom.

I can see this beauty in myself when I wake up, all ruffled and messy from sleep.  Or come in from a run or walk in the woods.  Nothing fancy- just happy.  I see this beauty in acts of kindness, creative ideas, play.  I saw it in the my friend as we walked in the woods this morning.  I even see it in myself.

Just a moment in time...this morning

To me beauty is a practice.  If you want to be beautiful.  Learn to see beauty, to feel beauty, to give beauty.  To be present, nourished and at ease.  To eat foods that nourish your skin, your cells, your digestive system and your soul.  To sleep deeply and richly.  To smile for the pure joy of smiling and as a practice of smiling.

If you like wearing make up and it gives you joy, it is part of your creative essence that's beautiful too.  When you wash off your make up, your creative expression, and look in the mirror, smile at the radiant being looking back at you.  Like the naked slate floors...this is where the true beauty lives.

 Early morning walk in the woods, this is a great place to find true beauty!!

 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

What do Comfort zones, Butterflies and Clutter have in common?

My sister and I were talking the other day about comfort zones. Our conclusion, you have to be comfortable to actually be in a comfort zone.  If you are dreaming of change, then technically you are not in a comfort zone!!  Think of clutter as an uncomfortable and muddling comfort zone.  A butterfly stuck in a cocoon.

Have you ever watched a caterpillar turn into a butterfly?  My Aunt Velma was a scientist at heart. Her back yard was one big science experiment. When I would visit, she would bring me to the back yard and show me butterfly cocoons.  We would check on the cocoons everyday watching caterpillars become butterflies. 

 The purpose of clutter clearing isn't just reducing your stuff. Hardly!  Clutter clearing is the uplift of your life.  The exploration of your spirit.  It's pulling weeds and pruning branches. It's making space to plant.  It's unsticking your brain from its ruts. It is spreading your wings and transforming. It's the discovery of what kind of butterfly you are.

 Clutter clearing is a metamorphosis of mind, body and spirit.
  Transformation is getting out of your comfort zone, your cocoon.  
Why go to the trouble of clearing clutter and changing your life?  
Because the payoff is... you get to fly, wear beautiful colors and children squeal with delight when they see you.  That's why.

Intentionally transformation
 Percolate your curiosity

"... caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation,called 'metamorphosis,' to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge."  
                                                 The Butterfly Site

Autumn begins a season change.
We know we need to clean out from summer and prepare ourselves for winter.
 Leaves are falling.  The season is shifting.
Expand your wings

     Take 1 hour this week and unclutter a pile that needs un-cocooned!
          I'll be with you all the way,
                Denise