I have always wanted my home to be a place where people could stop by and I wouldn’t be worried whether there were dirty dishes in the sink or my bed was unmade. I want people to visit, have something good to eat and immediately feel comfortable. I want my home to be the place you say, “Ahhh, I feel better now!”. My home is my oasis, my sanctuary, or as I like to say, my little Zen Den.
I dedicated Sunday to cleaning my Zen Den; a chore I actually enjoy. Magazines often feature a “ten minute clean up” which essentially means you hide dirty dishes in the oven and toss your clutter into the closet. It looks good on the surface but lies in wait for your attention to return. I’d rather keep things neat as I go reserving the big jobs for the weekends.
The first room on my list was the kitchen. I can no longer ignore the smell belching from my refrigerator every time the door opens. Some odoriferous army must have secretly invaded while I wasn’t looking! My baking soda and white vinegar rinse wasn’t sufficient to disarm them so today I will resort to the big guns: an apron, rubber gloves and hot soapy water.
Thoughts of the week run through my mind as I wipe down shelves and dispose of the expired items. It occurs to me that not only do I have a physical home to maintain, even more importantly I have a spiritual home to maintain. Pretty profound thinking for a sober Sunday afternoon! As Oprah would say, “It was a tweetable moment!” (I don’t tweet but I like you to think Oprah and I hang out.)
I call my spiritual home “my Soul” for lack of a better word. SOUL sounds so pretentious and as vague at the same time. My Soul is my emotional engine and the home of My Girlfriend Voice. It is where my wisdom and intuition hang their shingle. To keep my Soul healthy, I too need to keep it clean!
My Soul feeds my emotional state as my frig helps feed my physical state. While you could hire someone to clean your kitchen, you cannot hire anyone to clean your spiritual home. No outsourcing this inside job! Ha, ha. Cracking myself up with again…….
The shelves of my Soul can get sticky and filled with useless items. My Soul’s chilly crisper drawer can hold onto negativity and grudges. Or like today, my Soul can shine bright and smell like lemons!
So what do I mean by the maintenance of the Soul?
- Do you pause at least daily to memorialize what you are grateful for?
- Do you pause to evaluate what made you feel exceptionally positive or present?
- Do you pause to review what made you feel yucky?
By yucky, I mean those times when you feel uncomfortable, when you are in a messy spot and while you’d rather not go there, you know you NEED to go there. Avoidance, like hiding dirty dishes in the oven, only...
For something new, I attended a meditation meeting with theme of “creating space”. My mind immediately raced ahead, trying to anticipate what wisdom the speaker would reveal. (This is why I really need meditation in my life — to quiet my monkey mind).
Would this space be a protective bubble from all that is negative?
Would this be the space be a room or place of one’s own for quiet reflection?
Would the space be related to emotional space?
Were there ways I could create space or a presence in someone else’s life?
It is as simple as this. The speaker described “space” as a moment when it is just you connecting to your breath. Space is a moment when you settle down into your core and “check in”.
We Americans are addicted to activity. We look at sitting still and doing nothing as lazy, weird and uncomfortable. We even multitask rather than focus on one particular activity at a time. We watch mind numbing television to zone out. I can relate to how difficult it is to do nothing but is “creating space” really doing nothing? NO, it is a conscious act of surrender. A very important SOMETHING!
Here is how I plan to sneak in more space in my day.
I will get up a little earlier each morning to enjoy my coffee to the sound of the birds rather than the morning news.
I will not overschedule myself with activities.
I will have an electronics free evening once a week.
I will breathe deeply when I stand in line, am placed on hold or wait for a document to load.
Space can be enjoyed in seconds and minutes, hours and days.
May the space I create for myself, help provide ample light to illuminate the beauty of my being.
Today someone asked me how I had changed since my younger years. My answer was that I have not changed but rather I have fully settled into who I am; letting my authentic self be revealed.
Find space, dear friends, and thrive!
From the heart,
Artwork found at Simply Sitting Blog titled “Taming the Monkey Mind”
I couldn’t help but love this poem by Rumi. I have so many things to write about this week that I am having trouble settling on just one idea. In the meantime, enjoy this quiet reflection titled, “Guest House”.
♥ ♥ ♥
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.