Friday, February 1, 2013

Spring cleaning and your bliss

As winter slowly releases her tight hold on the planet and spring is just around the corner I wanted to share some of my personal rituals I do to help cleanse my mind and my space for the coming spring and letting go of things that no longer bring me happiness.

I begin by cleaning my home top to bottom. Clearing out cobwebs and dust accumulated during those dreary days of winter.  While I clean I think about all the things in my life, my habits, people, as well as actions that no longer promote my own inner bliss and help me achieve my goals.  I pull things out of cabinets and from under counter tops to actually lay hands on them and see what all I have set aside for later use but since storing no longer require.  After all how many empty vases does one person really need?

I go through my closets and try on all my clothing even my summer stuff to see what still fits and what may have grown to small or to large over the winter months to decide the image I wish to show the world in the coming seasons.  I begin preparing storage for my cold weather clothing and picking up the necessary things I will need to keep them safe from anything that might find its way into my storage and munch on my winter wardrobe.  I make sachets of herbs to include in my clothing storage of dried Eucalyptus and put these herbs in cotton drawstring bags to keep my clothes smelling good and help prevent bugs from snacking on sweaters and coats.  Instructions for how to make these can be found online as well as purchased as most health food stores in bags of multiples. I use the same bags year to year as long as I am using the same kind of herbs in them.

If you don't like the smell of Eucalyptus you can also try dried Rosemary or a mixture of herbs.  This is a recipe I like a lot and from time to time will use different herbs in different totes so that it is not all the same.  Grab a large bowl and mix together 2 oz. of dried rosemary, 2 oz. of dried mint, 1 oz. each of dried ginseng and thyme, and 8 oz. of white cloves.  I put the herbs of my choosing into a cotton drawstring bag and put them in the plastic totes I use for winter clothes storage.  I wash and dry the clothes in my closet that I do not use on a regular basis and begin to pack them away with several of the sachets mixed amongst the layers.  I wash all of the clothing before wearing it in the coming season to eliminate the herbal scent but it is nice to open my totes of winter clothing and to be met by these familiar scents.  They say that smells can often trigger memories and I use these to help my mind adjust to the shorter days and longer nights of the coming winter.

Using these herbs to keep my winter clothing and extra blankets save from bugs during storage.  I stuff my less used boots with fun-oodles that are cut to fit to help them keep their shape while in storage. These are those foam noodle looking things that children enjoy in the pool over the summer months.  This prevents them from being damaged while being stored and can be used during the winter months to make boots stand upright and keep their shape as well.

I go through all of my jewelry and clean what needs to be cleaned, holding each piece in my hand to see what memories they evoke while in contact with my skin. Sometimes a favorite piece may not have such happy memories attached.  If they do not I clean them and rehome them with others who might have appreciated them in the past.  Unless they are a family heirloom and if so I store them in my lock box for later passing on to family members.

I take stock of what is in my kitchen cabinets and check for expiration dates and make list of things I will need to replace.  This I do twice a year for health reasons and restock my herbs as they are collected and dried during the summer months.  I use herbal over commercial because I have more control over I put into my body whenever possible. My older dried herbs if not sealed in containers for long term storage I add to my compost pile to help enrich the soil for future crops of veggies from my garden.

All the things that I come across that no longer serve a purpose in my life or that does not bring me joyful memories or help facilitate my happiness I collect in boxes and donate to the local thrift store. If they are high ticket items I may sell them on Ebay or some other auction site to raise funds for the new things in my life that bring me happiness.  Many times things that no longer help me find my bliss will often help others find theirs.  I do this not only to eliminate from my life what no longer serves a purpose but also to make room for the new things that will.  A good rule of thumb is if I haven’t touched something in 6 months chances are pretty good I am not going to use at all. Be that a hobby or an article of clothing, or a piece of jewelry.  If I am in doubt I put it aside in a container stored with herbs if fabric and clean if a metal or glass or plastic and put it in our storage clearly labeled and dated so that I know if 6 months down the line it is still sitting in storage I can safely get rid of it with a clear conscious and without much fear that I will every need it again.

I know a lot of folks hang onto to things that serve no purpose in their lives. Items that are gifts or tokens of days gone by and memories of who they used to be.  I hang onto things that my children or loved ones may have created over the years in a special box labeled memories and when I am feeling blue or needing to stroll down memory lane I revisit that place. But by removing the things in my life I no longer need or that no longer bring me happiness I unclutter my life and make room for new things, and new experiences that will.

I know everyone has their own rituals for cleansing their spaces of negative energy. Many people do spring cleaning of their own personal space when the weather begins to warm.  And we all accumulate negative energy from time to time. Be that furniture that used to belong to a deceased relative but no longer brings us joy, or that shirt that you wore on that horrible date and have never felt comfortable in since. If you cannot recover or recycle the item it is time for it to go.  It is the nature of mankind to hang onto things.  It is why so many people are drowning in surplus and often cannot find the things we need when we need them because they are mixed in with the rubble of our past life.

I do not hang onto to clothes that no longer fit, to large or to small because by the time I am that size again my taste and fashion will have changed so drastically and half the fun of wearing clothes is picking them out.  Allowing our inner Goddess to shine through in our choices of clothing.  We all change with time and experiences.  We all evolve into the people we were born to be, why hang onto to things that no longer fit into the life we want to live.  It just clutters our spaces and our minds and doesn’t allow us to change and become who we desire to be.

I know some of these techniques won’t work for everyone, but I wanted to share my own personal exercise in cleaning my personal space and making room for my bliss. Who know you may discover by downsizing what is in your storage that you actually make room in your life and in your home for bringing in that hobby you have been putting off, or free up enough of your funds by finding items long ago lost to afford to purchase that one thing that is missing in your quest for your own happiness.

I hope my blog today has given you food for thought. Ways that you might declutter your living space and make room for following your bliss.  That you may take a long hard look around you at the things that bring you happiness and the things that don’t and release those things that don’t back into the universe to bring others happiness.  If you are donating to non profit thrift store many times you can keep those receipts and use them as tax credit on the following years taxes.  I don’t personally because it is often too hard to keep track of them but I do scan them in and keep a record of them so that I can see exactly how much I am donating and what I may be donating so that I don’t repeat those errors in purchasing.  Or so that I don’t repeatedly make purchases that will sit on a shelf and never get used.

Hopefully you are on the quest for your own happiness and are making room in your lives and in your homes for the things that will bring you joy.  Be that a painting by your favorite artist or a piece of art from an unknown artist, or a space in which you can create your jewelry or follow your own personal bliss of writing or creating art yourself.

Until Tomorrow blog buddies, stay safe, stay sane and stay happy.

 My plants remind that what no longer serves a purpose in our life feeds our bliss by falling away and becoming food for our happiness.  The dead leaves fall away and decompose enriching the earth and making the soil in which they live richer by doing so.  It helps feed the plant keeping it healthy and giving it nutrients it needs to thrive where it is planted. This beautiful bush is a wild rose I harvested and propagated from our neighborhood.  At first I was sure it would die from my foiled attempts at domesticating a wild plant but as the dead leaves fell away new growth began to appear I knew this experiment was successful.  I am harvesting local wild plants to create the yard of my dreams. Taking what thrives in our own climate and cultivating it so that I can have a low cost low maintenance yard that will survive our harshest weather and still come back beautifully year after year.  Looking as though I have simply allowed nature to take back her part of my planet.

 Thrive where you are planted but eliminate what no longer helps you evolve in the wonderful person you were born to be. Remember to move in harmony with nature and to celebrate each incredible season of this life and learn from your failures in order to truly appreciate your successes.  Celebrate each season during its proper time and never surrender to the dark days of winter.  Allow it instead to feed your future growth so that you can blossom and produce fruit from your life.

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