The Hot Tip to Lightening Up that Nobody Talks About
When I was five, my mom divorced my dad: a painful and all too common experience. She left my father for another guy. We drove away in a big U-haul waving goodbye while my dad stood alone in the driveway. While my memory can be pretty crap about a lot of things, there is no forgetting that whole agonizing ordeal and how it went down. And it was bad.
I also remember what five-year old me did, starting about that time in my life, when I was stressed out, afraid, uncertain or rattled. I would empty out my entire dollhouse of all the little tiny things in it; tiny furniture, tiny area rugs, tiny cups and saucers. All of it would get unceremoniously dumped out of the house and onto the shag carpet in my bedroom. And then, piece by tiny piece, I would put it all back. Sometimes similar to the way it was, sometimes not. But the process was more about totally leveling it and then rebuilding and reassembling, one tiny item at a time.
This made sense to me. It calmed me down. It got me into the present moment. I was utterly absorbed in this single task. It focused me. It was active. And it was pretty brilliant really.
Because it made me feel better.
Fast forward to present tense, and yea — my friends lovingly poke fun of me. “Neat freak”, they mutter under their breath at dinner parties when I relentlessly bid for dishwashing duty. “OCD!” Another friend whispers under their breath with an eye roll when I get caught straightening a slightly off kilter hallway photo.
But, I have always been this way. Or I’ve always coped this way. I like to tidy up. I like to organize. And I also like to clean. I just can’t help it. And I don’t want to help it! In fact, I need it.
And you might need it too. More than you think.
Perhaps you’re willing to parse together that there are people out there, like me, that truly enjoy cleaning and organizing and that us wierdos even derive benefits beyond a sparkly “oh, that feels SO GOOD” well organized environment.
That certain feel good “ah” or “oh that’s just right” feeling.
But imagining that you too might , dare I say, reap personal, spiritual, and emotional benefits beyond what you’ve ever imagined by engaging in the menial task of cleaning?
And that’s the problem.
We don’t imagine it.
We don’t think about it this way.
But — what if we did?.
What if cleaning actually felt…good? hasWhat if it did have inherent inside and out inside and out benefits.
And maybe, say you do try it, and something unexpected happens, you can’t exactly explain, does feel better. you do feel better.
Maybe you feel clearer, lighter, more energized.
Maybe you feel happier.
Maybe you feel a sense of spaciousness.
You definitely feel cleaner. (Or at least your space does.)
Let me assure you, you’re not making this up. Experiencing the sensations of clarity, lightness, increased energy, happiness, and spaciousness is not uncommon at all after a good ‘ol scrubba- dub-dub throughout the house.
We’re simply not used to thinking about it this way.
Let’s be honest, housework has the worst rap ever.
It’s the classic task we hire OTHER people to do.
It’s gross. Toilets? NO!
It’s a bother, it’s never ending and it takes forever.
But people, it really is your dirt.
The hard and obvious truth is that we create our own messes. All of it. And then, when actual dirt, and grim and disorder builds up in our home, we expect others to come along and clean it up. I get it. ThatIt makes sense. No judgment.
(And don’t panic, I’m not saying you have to get up now and go clean your house to within an inch of its life.)
But, — let’s say if weyou make a did made a total mess of our your most favorite relationship in our your life. , I mean, if weyou really really messed screw things up GOOD it up and wanted wouldto do anything to fix it. It would be ludicrous to imagine — we wouldn’t hiringe a stand-in person to go fix it for us you and expect our your relationship to get better.
What you would do instead is you We would go see a professional, we you would sit in the uncomfortable saggy couch chair next to your hopefully soon- to- be- favorite person again, and we you would do the hard work. YouWe would have to look at what happened, what we you did, what we you said, what your part in the mess was and youwe’d take some action.
The point is, we you would have to clean up our your mess.
So to suggest that intentional cleaning and organizing our spaces iscan be intricately and literally tied to an actual sense of well being and betterment i– it’s not that far off base.
What we need to start imagining and then adopting is that our psyches instinctually do reorder and make sense of our world when we put a little elbow grease into the equation. Cleaning can might even be likened to a zero cost version of therapy — a two-fer ladies and gentlemen!
And here’s why.
Maybe you hate your job.
Maybe you are unhappy in your marriage/relationship.
Maybe you have a big decision to make and you don’t know what to do.
There are so many possible “y maybe’s”, so pick your favorite scary scenario and imagine it now.
You don’t know what to do but your mind is racing and you’re going down the rabbit hole, fast. You think…
· If you could just talk to someone! (No-one is around.)
· I’ll just check Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a million times. (You feel worse. Much worse.)
· I’ll have a glass of wine or a bottle…or a few bottles. (Bad SUCH a bad idea — now you’re miserable and you have a bad hangover.)
But you have this energy burbling around inside of you or maybe even worse yet, you have no energy at all.
And when that happens,This is when, the best thing that you can do, is to DO something.
Get into action.
It doesn’t have to be grandiose. In fact, don’t make it grandiose at all. It doesn’t have to cost anything. Perfect. Spending zero dollars sounds good, right? It doesn’t have to require analysis paralysis. But if you’re feeling lousy and about ready to push the GO LIVE button on your scary story, doing something will bum rush the icky feelings threatening to clobber you.
One of the most powerfully simple “something’s” you can do is So a magnificently life changing option is to literally use the environment right at you very fingertips and one, two, three — GOto transform your present tense.
And here’s part two.
Therefore, you have everything you need to bum rush your bad storyline waiting to happen.
Go clean your closet.
UseUse your sardine space packed closet to help literally unfold the parts inside of you that need to breathe. Use your kiddo’s toy room to unwind that tightrope like energy in your body. . Use the crowded utensil drawer to loosen up and diffuse the ensuing freak out right under your skin. That energy that needs to unwind. That freak out that needs to be diffused.
Your space is safe, it’s your . A container on this planet,. you You can do this it alone, y. You don’t have to know how and y. You need very little supplies.
And to review, here are the benefits.As you engage in this experience, be open minded, be curious and expect there to be some level of relief or positive benefit while loosely holding onto what the outcome might be. For example, when you go to a spin class or you see a therapist, you expect to feel something or to have some sort of shift or change occur, right? Same idea here.
And you just might find that you:
Feel clearer, lighter, and more energized.
Have a greater sense of happiness and spaciousness.
Feel more energized!
You definitely feel cleaner. Or at least your space does.
Slow down. Keep it simple. Start with something small. A closet. A bathroom drawer. Your guest bathroom. The trunk of your car.
Or go big and dump out the whole damn dollhouse.