January is ready to roll out into the abyss of history. Omicron is loosening its grip in the city and we are hopefully seeing the return to a sense of normalcy. Now I’m being confronted with the reality that too much holiday self-care and indulgence have resulted in my living space needing some cleaning attention. I’ve ignored the dust bunnies too long and now like the real bunnies, they have started to multiply.
Last year, during the heavy months of the pandemic, My therapist advised me to activate all of my physical senses in order to help lift my depression. I’ve been in my head for too long, that my body needed the stimulation in order to come back into balance. Truly a need for a mind-body connection.
But then what about the spirit? Why do I keep ignoring that side of myself when in reality, my soul is the one that actually controls my actions. Eating another ice cream sandwich? My inner self needs soothing. Getting lost in Tiktok? My addiction to dopamine is to blame. Not wanting to get out of bed for 3 days? I needed the rest.
This is where the energy of the New Year and the desire for a re-set can be our permission to get up and clean.
Before you Start
Identify your motivation, your reason for doing this. This will be the energy that will take you through till the end. Look around and determine the stages you want to execute the process. Thank each nook and cranny for holding your possessions until you are ready to meet them again.
Identify the tools you will need to embark on this project including music to dance to. Everything just seems better when you sing along to your favorite playlist. Podcasts require paying attention so may not necessarily be a good choice. In the end, it is your decision but notice which one makes the process go smoother.
Give yourself permission to do the cleaning in several phases, unless you have guests coming then you have the executive power to stuff all items into the closets for later consideration.
Making your own cleaning products
When I started creating my own apple vinegar, it opened up the world of wild fermentation for me.
Here is a straightforward recipe of combining 1 cup diced apples (skin and seeds included), 1 tablespoon sugar, and enough water to fill a quart. Cover it with a paper towel secured with a rubber band just so the critters don’t get in.
After 3 days remove the solids, cover the jar again with the paper towel and let the liquid ferment for 6 weeks. The yeast on the fruit will do its magic. Then it can be labeled (fruit, date bottled) and stored.
From there you can make a glass cleaner (equal part alcohol and vinegar), veggie fruit wash (vinegar, tablespoon baking soda, and a pinch of salt), and a coffee machine cleaner (equal part vinegar and water).
Use all of your senses when making these. Take the time to notice the skin of the fruit. Smell the vinegar after the 3rd day and taste it to see if it’s ready. It won’t but at least you know what it tastes like. This is where time becomes your friend. Hold the jar and send good energy to it so that the enzymes are happy to eat the sugar and make acid. Then set it aside again. You’ll know when it is ready when the flavor starts tasting good.
Purification as an act of Love
Why do we need to purify in the first place? Removing impurities and toxins from our homes encourages us to thrive. When we make the conscious effort of analyzing our inner and outer worlds, identifying where the stagnant energy is, then we can address the situation and create beautiful flows of vitality.
We purify the space by burning incense. For centuries, this tradition is said to lift our prayers up to the heavens carried by the smoke. Frankincense is great for this as it also has anti-bacterial properties.
In the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness creates tranquility. Even chores that are considered mundane and trivial, when given the proper attention can bring peace and contentment.
When I release the dust bunnies into the cavernous regions of my trashcan, I send it off knowing I am doing my part in integrating all my senses, activating my brain, and bringing peace into my spirit.
Some inspiration after the house is cleaned is setting up your sacred space. Click here for a free class on Altar Creation, Intention Setting, and Journaling.
Want to learn more about how to be active in your community? Come join us for a lively conversation with Dr. Vandana Shiva. She fights for indigenous people’s rights and goes against big corporations. Not to be missed!