You know how most of the population complains about having to do mundane tasks like *gasp* cleaning? For the longest time, I, too, couldn’t understand the pleasure behind scrubbing the bathroom counter, taking out the trash, or sweeping leaves from the front yard walk way…
But when I slowly changed my diet and cleaned up my thoughts, all of a sudden things shifted! Soon it became fun to clean, as every time I reverted the mess I once made into something immaculate, I once again began to appreciate the impermanence of life.
I was reminded this today, when – somewhat disgusted with the state of my apartment – took my laptop to a cafe to get some work done online. After 1/4 of the way through my fair-trade coffee with steamed hemp milk, however, I listed to that nudging, persistent little voice in my head that said… “This isn’t actually what you want. What you want is to clean the environment you have to live in, for it is a reflection of you and what’s going on in your life.”
I knew it was right.
And while that might sound crazy to some people, trust me. Your ‘inner guidance’ – whatever you’d like to call it – is the ‘highest’, most divine aspect of yourself, and it won’t lead you wrong.
I realized, as I have worked to build a very good, respectable connection with this voice, that it was right. I did want to live and thrive in a clean, safe, secure, and creative environment, and a bustling Whole Foods cafe wasn’t it. (Although damn, they make a great Cafe au Lait…)
I packed up my gear and went right back to my place – immediately thinking… “Oh God, how have I let it get like this…?”
But instead of focusing on the crumbs beneath my desk, the bed sheets that needed to be washed, or the bathroom trash that needed to be taken out, I just started focusing on each task, mind in the present, reminding myself to just be pleased that I was taking action.
It became absolutely enjoyable to put my energy into tasks that offer instant gratification. Before I knew it, over an hour had passed and my place was sparkling clean once again… (Often it doesn’t take as long to do a task as it takes for our mind to psyche ourselves out).
And then I remembered that the wisdom of keeping a clean and tidy place is basically common sense in Asian cultures. Think about it from a Feng Shui perspective: Clutter – a reminder of your busy, frantic life – blocks energy from flowing easily through the room, can cause disordered thoughts, and also can be another source of stress on top of everything else.
We work best when in an environment that is in order, as it is easiest for ‘that part’ of our brain to shut off and let our creative mind get to work… (Or at least that’s what I’ve experienced and have also found to be true with my Japanese friends).
PLUS – I would also like to add in that once people start cleaning up themselves – meaning health-wise (becoming lighter and more -efficient due to optimized eating and living habits), it tends to become easier for one to enjoy little tasks like this.
Simplicity really allows more room for freedom…
Freedom to travel, freedom to meditate and ‘be’, freedom to work and focus, freedom to live a happier, healthier life.
And finally, I’ll wrap up with a psychologist’s perspective:
“It is important to recognize that a messy, disorganized environment is a source of stress in our lives and results in a lack of efficiency. While it is understandable that your environment may become disorganized and messy during busy periods of your life, having a clean and organized environment is an important step in restoring order to the chaos.
Your environment is a reflection of your inner state. Clean, organize and beautify your car, your home and your room – you will bring order, peace and calm back to your life.”
So not only is it important to eat better, spend more time in nature, exercise, and transform the social circle you are surrounded by, but it is important to make cleanliness and order another important facet of creating a life you love.
Try it – I bet you’ll feel better after you tidy even one room or your car this afternoon.
What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section below. xo