by: Jennifer Carter Avgerinos
It can be very difficult to cultivate inner peace if our surroundings are chaotic or cluttered.
Cleaning is an everyday task that few of us can avoid, and it provides the perfect opportunity to become one with everything you focus your awareness on (yes, even the toilet). This can be done by giving your cleaning tasks your full attention and staying present in the moment.
You can even turn your cleaning session into a form of bhakti yoga by chanting a mantra, repeating an affirmation, sending love and light to someone in particular or the world in general all while you are performing routine cleaning tasks.
There is a clear connection between cleaning and well-being. Among other things, studies have shown that a neat and clean home can actually lower Cortisol levels. It is possible to learn to care for your body as you care for your home, and care for your home as we care for your body. We need to create a sanctuary in our lives and—and that starts at home. Follow these six steps to help you cultivate sacred space in your home.
12/30/2013 0 Comments
BY Jen Carter Avgerinos
Everyone always talks about New Year’s resolutions at this time of year. I hate that word “resolution.” It’s just too much pressure. I like to say “what I’m working on” instead. We’re all working on something right? Some of us want to work on getting in better shape, some of us want to better manage our finances and some of us just want to work on getting to bed before midnight every night so that we can stop hitting the snooze alarm every single morning…
Among other things, I am working of cultivating my inner Martha Stewart (minus the staff of course). A major life change this year is driving my motivation to nest. I got married in September and moved into my husband’s home of almost twenty years. This was no small undertaking for the independent and in control Gemini in me.
Where to begin? Well, for starters, combining my stuff with his stuff required a little creativity, a lot of flexibility and a good clutter clearing session. Two trips to the Good Will later, we had emptied unused bedrooms and closets of unwanted stuff and even found a few treasures that we didn’t even remember we owned. Jackpot!
Once decluttered and somewhat organized, it then came down to cleaning. It always comes down to cleaning. We each had our own ideas about this. To hand wash dishes or not? To use harsh chemicals or not? Microfiber or cotton? My vacuum cleaner or yours? Believe it or not, these are the types of conversations that took place in my life as we tried to settle into a routine and find common ground. It has been an adventure of the domestic kind.
The following is my New Year’s housekeeping “what I’m working on list” for 2014, based on my learning in the last year on my journey towards domestic bliss.
1. I will commit to clean on a regular basis by decluttering as I go. If I haven’t used it or gone looking for it in two years, chances are I probably don’t need it. I want to keep the energy flowing in my life and the best way to do that is to clear clutter.
2. I will detox my cleaning routine. My eyes and lungs don’t need to burn in order to get the house clean. I don’t want to eat foods containing crazy sounding harsh chemicals, so why would I clean with them? I will keep my space sacred when I clean naturally.
3. I will clean in brief bursts every day or whenever possible. No matter what changes in my life, the need to clean is consistent and that is somehow reassuring. Setting aside a major chunk of time for housekeeping each week however is unrealistic. I can set aside 10-15 minutes a day to tackle a room, zone or area of my home. I will make the most of my potential when I zone clean.