Spring Cleaning is one of the very practical rituals that I try to honour ever year… the operative word in that sentence is “try”… in the end, trying doesn’t get you there… but this year, through a number of fortunate circumstances, my home is getting a pretty thorough Spring Cleaning, and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me!
The happiness began when my son and I each received tax refunds and at the same time were awarded a small home improvement grant for work we had done last year. Together it was enough to make some much-needed improvements to his living space in the basement and then to make some desperately needed improvements in our kitchen. This meant that both areas had to be thoroughly cleared and scrubbed to be ready for the contractor.
Let me tell you, this was no easy feat… my son’s space had beome cluttered, and because it was dark, he could overlook the dust that had gathered… and then there was the kitchen…. I cook full meals at least 6 days a week, I love to bake, we make a lot of preserves every summer… and my kitchen was old, small and also cluttered… in the past few years, I had lost heart for it, damage to one wall made it impossible to keep clean, I was constanty fighting for space to prepare dinner…. mine was definitely a “one-bum” kitchen, and sometimes three of us were trying to work at the same time. I don’t have many rules, but one is that no one can work in the kitchen if they are angry…. don’t want that energy infecting our food and making us sick… but it was becoming increasingly difficult to hold back my frustration as the kitchen seemed to be closing in on me.
So, Patrick and I were quite content to put up with two months of chaos in the house. To add to the confusion – and push our Spring Cleaning to the limits – as the contractor’s work was coming to a close, we were expecting out of town visitors – which meant the rest of the house needed to be as clean as the kitchen and Pat’s space were becoming. Dust from the carpentry and dry wall work had settled everywhere!
What a delight when the house was shining again, how light I feel!
There is still quite a bit of work to be done… we have to budget for paint for the kitchen and new carpet for Pat’s space, windows have to wait until it gets a little warmer, and floors and carpets throughtout the house are now showing how much they need our attention, but they will wait until we’ve past rainy April and the painting is done. The Do list is getting smaller…. and I just keep smiling!
This year’s Spring Cleaning is making a huge difference in our lives! Maybe because we have attacked it with great gusto, motivated first by the opportunity to make our lives more comfortable, then by visits from some special people, (who really couldn’t have cared less how clean my home was, but certainly appreciated that I was happy), and pushed further by my 65th birthday, coming up at the beginning of May. 65 marks a turning point for most people, our focus changes at 65… I wanted to be able to mark this turning point in some significant way.
I have been walking around for days saying “I love my new kitchen” – even though we have to paint the cupboards and remove the old wall-paper, already it’s sooooo much better than it was. We extended the kitchen counter which gives me more space to work, and added a baking cupboard which cleared a lot of the clutter – and as we put things back into the cupboards, we washed, sorted and threw things out – two full boxes of excess stuff from my little kitchen ready to be recycled… I reorganized drawers, repositioned appliances… and suddenly, my little one-bum kitchen didn’t feel so small… yes, I LOVE my new kitchen. It is not that so much is new, but that so much is clean, fresh, easy…
Such changes filter into every part of our lives… When I hugged my friend good-bye and settled back into my office after a full two months of distraction, I found myself focused, clear, motivated in new ways, ready to get to work with some new ideas. I have a plan, not only for finishing the work we started on our home and then going the distance with the rest of the spring cleaning, but also for the site and my business.
My head has been cleared of a lot of cobwebs, just like my house. Spring Cleaning is having the desired effect – sweeping out old, dead energy to bring in the new life.
One of the exercises that I often give clients who are struggling to attract the changes they want is to clear out files, drawers and closets, basements and garages, to get rid of everything they don’t like, need, or use. This is a powerful “active meditation”, especially when done with the intent of clearing out any old energy that has stuck somewhere, and then attracting new , more positive energy in it’s place…
Funny thing about our spaces – they have a way of influencing how we feel about ourselves… a reflection of what is happening inside us… it was most distressing to me to see the kitchen go from bad to worse… I hated that feeling of hopelessness that would decsend when I tried to clean stained walls and countertops. No amount of scrubbing really made any difference… was that to be the story of my life?
It became deeply meaningful to tackle this particular Spring Cleaning with enthusiasm and joy… I am setting the stage for the next phase in my life… I can celebrate my 65th with some confidence, knowing that I am creating positive change….these can, indeed, be my “golden” years, I’m getting better, and better, every day, in every way!
All this, just from Spring Cleaning… If you haven’t started, get going, even if you do just your office or your bedroom, you will notice a distinct pick-up in how you feel – and how productive you can be.