Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Importance of Spring Cleaning for the Soul

I am a disorganized organized person. Everything has a place, it’s just sometimes I can’t remember where that place is.

If there is such a thing as a scatter-brained Type A gal, that’s me. Some of us excel in this area, but no matter if you are disordered or tidy, spring cleaning is for establishing much-needed order. Your home’s mess-o-meter aside, spring cleaning for the soul is an essential step in trimming up those frayed emotional edges.

This isn’t about getting your closet color-coded, instead, let’s focus on cleaning out those inner cobwebs that may be fogging your vision or on unpacking your unnecessary baggage. Here is a daily checklist that can help you stay focused, positive, and clear-minded not only during this time of year, but all year-round.

Clean Out the Kitchen Sink – The phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink‘ is one that holds a lot of water (pun fun!) for women in today’s hectic, hurried world. The phrase first appeared in common conversations during the early 20th century after World War II. The idea is that everyone’s kitchen sink is connected to internal pipes and usually bolted down; so it’s not easily moved. Metaphorically, consider the kitchen sink to be your foundation. This represents your core beliefs and what you consider to be your moral code. Take inventory of the random dirty dishes you’ve collected. Clean them and then put them away. If you have made small mistakes or big ones, this is the step that can help you rediscover homeostasis. Without emptying out the ‘dirty dishes’ you’ve been ignoring or allowing to build up overtime, it can be hard to re-discover the base structure of who you really are.

Make Your Bed Everyday – While this can be turned into a metaphor as well, the actual act of making your bed every morning is a great way to start your day. One small accomplishment like this can put into place a habit of finishing what you begin. Leaving little things undone throughout the week (beginning with skipping making the bed) can become a pathway for procrastination. And can even ultimately lead us into a life of doing things half-way. Start everyday by taking the time to make your room a place you look forward to relaxing in after a long day.

Throw Out Old Magazines – Whether you have a magazine subscription to every gossip rag in circulation or only buy an US Weekly when Ryan Gosling is on the cover, it is important to clean out those old magazines. Not only can stray paper clutter our homes and literally eat-up otherwise useful space, they can also clutter our minds with impractical ideals. Hollywood isn’t reality, and while it is great to escape every now and then, it is also important to counter-balance that input with some more substantial information. If you struggle with body issues, consider skipping the health magazines with super models on the cover. Instead, load your iPod with positive message running music or read motivational books about cultivating inner beauty.

Clean Splatters Off of the Mirror – This may be the most important step in soul spring cleaning. The way we see ourselves can get splattered upon through other people’s back-splash and our own misconceptions. Instead of letting those smudges and water spots overtake our reflections, we need to periodically wipe it away and start afresh. One way to do this is to write down some negative thoughts you’ve been harboring over the last season of your life. Go through each thought you’ve had about yourself or someone has verbalized about you and cross it off with a red pen. Write in black pen next to it, a positive thought about yourself and focus on that in place of the old one.

Spring cleaning for the soul is necessary anytime we start to feel internally cluttered. Whether you struggle with negativity, taking on too much or are simply feeling lost you need to take the time to take out the trash. In this particular time in history, women have so many options- in life, love and work. The only person holding us back from our utmost potential is the person in the mirror. Make sure you can see her clearly by giving her the space she needs to truly shine.

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