“Housekeeping ain't no joke.”
~ Louisa May Alcott
A clean house is more than just preferable- it’s a necessity for good mental and physical health. Experts agree that maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is just as important as eating organic food, doing yoga, and taking vitamins.
According to Wikipedia, cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from dirt, and the process of achieving and maintaining that state. Cleanliness may be endowed with a moral quality, as indicated by the aphorism "cleanliness is next to godliness."
Our homes are a reflection of our well-being. The way we use, care for and create space activates energy and helps us establish a nourishing environment for healthy, harmonious lives. We need to feel safe at home. A clean, appealing home, no matter how small, can become a special space for you to recharge your batteries, connect with your loved ones, or create something magical like a garden or a lovely meal. Think of your clearing, cleaning, and purifying as part of the sacred act of living.
Cleaning is Not for Whips
Not to freak you out or anything, but there are roughly more than 500,000 bacteria living in your kitchen. Countertops, sinks, drains, sponges, and floors are home to thousands of germs and bacteria. There are more bacteria living in your shower than the garbage can. The good news is that the germs and viruses come off our body when we bathe. The bad news is that they stay in the shower until it’s disinfected because moisture goes with germs like peanut butter and jelly. If that’s not enough to convince you, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health administration reports that dust buildup can cause poor indoor air quality, which has been tied to causing headaches, difficulty with concentration, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Cleaning the house is serious business, and needs to be done on a regular basis to keep germs at bay and health in check.
Cleaning Can Provide a Sense of Well-being
Health factors aside, there are other reasons why cleaning is so vital. One reason is a sense of satisfaction with a job well done. The joy of cleaning comes with a tangible result. The house is clean, uncluttered, germ-free and smelling good. This small achievement can spill over into other areas of our lives, giving us the confidence that we can tackle a project and succeed. You may not be able to control the economy, your boss’s mood, or the stock market, but you do have control over having a clean sink.
Cleaning can also be calming to the mind. Cleaning up our external environment can make us feel like we’re cleaning up our psyche. It feels good to clean the past week of old energy and debris so that we can start the week ahead fresh and new. And who would not benefit from a little meditation in the form of a mindless task to reduce the stress of living a busy life in a fast-paced world? I actually find cleaning to be a relaxing activity- whether I listen to an audio book, music, repeat a mantra, recapitulate the events of the past week, or just shut off my mind completely. No matter how much change occurs in my life, the need to clean is consistent and that is somehow reassuring.
Cleaning is a Mood-Boosting Workout
Not only does cleaning burn calories (roughly 170 calories for a moderate effort and 200 for a vigorous effort per hour) research shows that it also can increase endorphins (feel good hormones in the body). A 2008 study conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that just 20 minutes of sustained exercise a week- such as cleaning - can improve your mood and lift depression. The more strenuous and frequent the activity, the greater the effect.
How To Get Motivated to Clean:
Most of us really do enjoy having clean homes, but sometimes we just need a little motivation. Here are some suggestions:
Do you see cleaning as part of your well-being? Let us know.
Antibacterial / Antifungal
Spray Cleaning Instructions:
1. Spray your yoga mat cleaner liberally over the surface of your mat. If your mat seems especially dirty, let the cleanser sit and soak in a bit before cleaning it off.
2. Wipe the yoga mat with a microfiber cloth. Now repeat on the other side.
3. Allow your mat to air dry, which should take only about 5 to 10 minutes. If it takes longer than this, try rubbing your mat down more with a dry microfiber cloth to remove the excess water and speed up the drying time.
My significant other- suffering from some sort of general malaise (carb, sugar, and meat protein induced no doubt) looked at me one day last week and said, “let’s do a cleanse.” I, completely shocked (not ever suspecting that I would hear these words come out of his mouth) responded, “o.k.”.
He found a Dr. Oz sponsored 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse complete with shopping list. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/48-hour-weekend-cleanse
And so we began. The shopping part was fun, the cooking and food prep was fun. The recommended breakfast of Quinoa with ginger, prunes and milk (no salt or sugar added) was a little more challenging. But it was only for two days. You can do anything for two days. I little restraint can be a good thing. Dr. Oz made it easy for us.
After the two day experience we felt detoxified, rejuvenated and empowered. We vowed to do it again one weekend next month. Try it out for yourself and see what you think.
I recently learned about Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) - a process of tapping on meridian points on the body, derived from acupuncture. This process can release energy blockages that cause negative emotions. The diagram below shows the sequence. Use your fingertips to lightly tap the areas listed on the diagram (listed by number) as you reprogram your self talk. This technique is being used more and more for everything from chronic illness, to anxiety to positive thinking.
Apparently, you can search any number of topics on U Tube to "tap" on. My favorite is the following video with tapping instructions on how to manifest your dream life. Enjoy!
Have you ever wondered just how much damage we are really doing to our bodies by wearing our sexiest shoes? As we exit March which was women's awareness month and enter April, and the beginning of Spring let's take a look at what our favorite vice is really doing to us over time.. This chart which was featured in the Feb issue of Ladies Home Journal gives us some much needed insight.
Back & Neck:
The exaggerated curve in your lower spine puts you at risk for achiness in your upper and lower back.
The angled-down position of your foot makes your hips work harder when you walk, leading to pain.
Your knees hyperextend, putting increased pressure on the joint, which can contribute to arthritis.
Wearing high heels frequently can shorten calf muscles over time, so it hurts to wear flats or go barefoot.
Your center of gravity shifts, so your thrown off balance- a twisted ankle waiting to happen.
A three-inch heel puts 7X as much stress on your foot as a on-inch heel.
So there you have it friends. Nothing good is happening here except the asthetic.. Even at 5'10" I myself am guilty of partaking in a three-inch heel from time to time. I have a pair of bright blue satin Kate Spade's that make me feel amazing emotionally, but leave my knees and hips aching for days after wearing them. We should approach this the same way we approach the decision to eat pizza or have dessert- we should ask ourselves if its really worth it? Just some food for thought..
Tell us about your favorite three-inchers.
By Deepak Chopra, M.D.
The word holistic has come to refer to everything from organic food and massage therapy to herbal supplements and Eastern healing practices, all of which are undeniably valuable and evidence of a growing consciousness that earlier generations only dreamed of. At the Chopra Center, we define holistic in its original sense – as related to wholeness. Wholeness is the union of mind, body, and spirit. It means that you are a totality, not the sum of countless moving parts. In wholeness, you aren’t divided against yourself and the choices you make benefit you at every level. Just as the quality of your food, water, and exercise directly affects the health of your body and mind, so the energy and information you take in through your mind and sensory organs influences your body and spirit.
8 Steps to Wholeness:
1. Discover your true nature- our authentic true self is pure consciousness, but until we remember that, we accept the illusion that we are our ego.
2. Listen to your body's wisdom.
3. Take time to be silent.
4. Cultivate self referral- become aware of the observer in the midst of the observation, then you go into choiceless awareness.
5. Be generous of spirit- share the real you.
6. Release grievances and forgive.
7. Practice the Law of Least Effort.
8. Nurture your intentions every day.
Practicing the steps above will help you experience your innate wholeness. When that happens, you will feel subtle changes in your feelings, and thoughts, including a feeling that all is well. You will feel a lightness in your body, deeper peace, and the realization that your internal dialog has become quieter. You may experience healing on a physical or emotional level. You may also notice that you're acting out of complete integrity and that syncronicities and unexpected opportunities are becoming more abundant in your life. These are all signs that you are connecting to your true nature which is whole, infinate, and unbounded.