Saturday, June 9, 2012

Daily Maintenance

CLEAN-THE-HOUSE. What an intimidating sentence! Hearing those three little words put together can, at times, be comparable to nails on a chalkboard. (Or a fork scratching on a plate in my case.)  Geaaah! Completely un-fun...especially when it's your own mess. And talk about redundant. You know the drill. Do the dishes. Do the laundry. Scrub the bathrooms. Sweep and mop the floor. Dust the furniture...the list goes on and on.
Daily. Weekly. Monthly. 
Oh....and never forget the annual "spring cleaning" that happens only for the truly dedicated. Then finally you emerge victorious. It's clean. It's organized. You know where everything is! And just as you begin to bask in the glory of completion, settling into the organized and clean space of zen ---it gets dirty and messy.... again. Why can't things just stay clean? I lift my eyes to the sky, in a moment of self pity, and ask myself in the most compassionate and loving way possible....why me? 
On a mission to cleanliness, somewhere in mid sweep, my mind finds ways to entertain itself. Deeper thinking sets in, as I contemplate how parallel maintaining a clean and healthy home is to maintaining a clean and healthy Self.  Questions like "What keeps my mind and spirit regularly activated and uplifted?" and "What results can I achieve with daily dedication and persistence?" 
Kelly Clarkson blasts in the background "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" as I vigorously vacuum the pet fur off the entry rug. Oh yea. I'm motivated now! My heart rate surges and I start to break a sweat. I start a mental list of some of the "to do's" for living enlightened and invigorated. Hmmm...let's see...we have eating healthy, exercising, stretching, taking time for daily prayer and meditation, reading, attending a good self development seminar once a year...and if that's not enough there's always things that really matter like making time for family, working, and keeping a moderate social life! Also, don't forget to smell the flowers...(which just so happens to be something I deeply enjoy.) 
The real question though, that permeates my brain like a ray of sunshine is: "What am I going to do about it?"

First off, I thoroughly enjoy living in a clean environment. I love the way it makes me feel; I know I think better when the space around me is in harmony with itself. Not to mention, getting up close and personal with the stuff I have accumulated over the years, tends to give me a good reality check on all that I have been blessed with--and there is much to be grateful for.
I scrub harder on the stainless steel pan I used earlier for breakfast. Why do they make cookware out of this material again?? Food always sticks to it! I stop myself mid thought and remember that at least I have a pan to cook in. 
Gratitude = Perspective. Always.
I'm back on track...but I wouldn't say I get excited about doing dishes, laundry, sorting mail, and spending several hours of my day tidying up every week, to keep it looking top-notch...I just love the way it feels when everything looks its best! Yes, it may seem daunting, to look at ALL there is to do, in order to experience the sparkle--but that only happens when we procrastinate on our daily, routine maintenance. 
Like our home, when we focus on the desired end result, daily self-maintenance is the pathway to living each day rejuvenated, filled with clarity, and peace of mind. 
The truth is, regular upkeep is a part of life. And I've found the best way to handle anything, is to first accept it, then create a way to make it work, and ultimately find the joy in the process. It is always good to remember, if it's meant to be, it's up to me and my committed action.

While having a clean home can bring inner peace and a sense of accomplishment, my thoughts lead me to a more meaningful inquiry. What kind of euphoria would we experience daily, if we faithfully polished ourselves and insisted on excellence? Just think of ALL the possibilities!

So heres to living clean!! In the home. In the mind. In the body. In the heart. 

P.S. If today is the day that that you're searching for that extra boost in perspective and motivation, this fantastic book I just finished reading will absolutely give you a jump start.