Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cleaning up my spiritual house

I will start this little clean-up series with cleaning up my spiritual house, and because of how I am conducting this little cleaning exercise; I will also end the series with cleaning up my spiritual house.

You see, as I have been going on this journey to clean-up and organize my life, I have discovered that my spiritual self is benefiting greatly from this. At the core of my belief system is the belief that the way that I treat myself and those around me is the most important thing of all, and when the things in my life are an unorganized mess, it means that I am not treating myself or those around me very well.

I would say that the unorganized mess is responsible for 80% of the arguments that I have with my spouse. The unorganized mess causes lots of stress and is a good excuse of why I don’t spend as much ‘quality’ time with my children as I would like. The unorganized mess is why I didn’t get holiday cards out at Christmas time. The unorganized mess is why it takes me two or three times the amount of time working on projects, because I spend so much time trying to find adequate space to work and looking for the tools and materials that I need to finish the projects.

The other thing that I have found in this process is that, when my other houses are cleaned up, I get more time to spend in my spiritual house. This means more time for reading and reflection, more time to enjoy the people around me, and a better feeling about myself in general. My husband has also complimented my efforts, my kids love their spaces that we have created together, and knowing that I have finished lots of those lingering projects gives me a sense of accomplishment.

So, how can you start to clean up your spiritual house?

First, begin my completing one of the small cleaning tasks relevant to one of your other houses. When you are finished, take a moment to praise yourself and enjoy the feeling of having one less thing on that to-do list. Next, tell your spouse or someone close to you what you have just accomplished. By telling someone you are first celebrating your accomplishments, and next creating a sense of accountability to continue your efforts. Finally, don’t quit, spend some time figuring out what needs to be done and rank the things that need to be done in order of importance and size of the task.

If you are following the lead of this series you will also need to decide which of your houses each task fits into. For an example, a large part of my cleaning was my physical house, but once things were put away, it was time to re-visit the overflowing drawers of my desk and stacks of paperwork. Since I work from home, my drawers and stacks of paper work included things that belonged in my business house, financial house, and family house. I didn’t try to conquer all of those things at one time. Instead, I started by sorting the stacks by which house they belonged in, and importance.

Since this post is about cleaning up your spiritual house, you need to add another item to your list. Every time you complete a task, no matter how big or small, celebrate it! Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, and tell others about your accomplishments. Also, if you too have a spouse that complains about the unorganized mess, ask for praise for your accomplishments from them. When a person receives praise about their accomplishments, it greatly increases the likelihood that they will repeat these same accomplishments. You are no different. Explain this to the other people in your life, and let them know how important it is for them to recognize your efforts. This was extremely difficult for my husband to understand. However, as time has gone on, and he sees that I am continuing to make improvements, the compliments and praise have come easier and easier.

It was never my intention to live in a spotless house, and that is still not a goal of mine. Please do not come to my house and expect to be able to eat off of the floors! My goodness, that is what the plates are for! However, it is my intention to live in a house that isn’t a chaotic mess all of the time. So, as I tell my husband, I am not going for a immaculate – just less complete disaster!

I hope you have been inspired in some way by this post and your comments are always welcomed! I will continue to post about cleaning up the houses in my life!

1 comment:

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

I know it helps to keep my house oorganized. I have been working on that for months.
It is my goal to have a place for everything. I think clutter is a joy killer. I have a lot of it and have been taking it to the Salvation Army.
The stuff I love most I keep.

I wanted to thank you for the kind comment you left me. It was very touching.

I am having a give-a-way and I hope you come back and leave a comment.

xoxo Nita