I love walking into a clean house.
When Orange Pledge wafts in the air and I can see lines in the freshly vacuumed carpets I am one happy camper.
I would be even happier if someone else had done the cleaning while I was away on a pleasure trip to the Fairy Pools of Scotland.
Believe me when I say that truly would be a fabulous surprise because I can count on one hand when someone else has cleaned my house and until 2 minutes ago, when I googled the most beautiful places in the world, I didn’t even know there were Fairy Pools.
But I digress.
I truly love a clean house because it is where I live, where I relax, where I sleep, where I dream, where I love the people in my life. And clean (not spotless) makes me feel at peace.
And, I feel the exact same way about the state of my soul, the house of who I am. When my soul is cluttered by a millions things unattended to, when the dust has gathered on my good intentions, when the water marks on the mirrors distort my reflection I am the opposite of “at peace”; I am agitated, defensive, prickly.
Our souls, like our physical homes, must be regularly picked up, dusted, vacuumed and deep cleaned once in a while.
Through the years, like as with my home, I have rituals that help keep my soul from being cluttered and dusty and dirty. I worship with others regularly… that’s a powerful cobweb destroyer. I journal my thoughts and prayers… that sorts “things” out in my heart. I confess my sins on a regular basis… that eliminates the stink of guilt in my life.
Several months ago I came across a journal called, Calm the Chaos, and I began a spiritual practice of examining my day and writing about my intentions for the next day.
So, in the evening I answer a series of questions about my day: Did you get enough sleep? How many hours? Did you move your body? How? Did you do something fun/pleasurable? What? Did you take time for reflection/meditation/prayer? Did you eat nutritious food? Did you go outside?
These questions help me deal with the clutter around my soul so that I can do a deeper clean: What act of kindness did you do for someone else today? What was your most memorable moment of the day? What are you grateful for?
These are such revealing questions for the soul. Even the ones about eating and moving frame up a lifestyle that is either life giving or perilous.
But the “kindness” question? Somedays I have to stop and think hard about that one. Which bothers me a bit.
These practices are so good for a daily cleanup to keep my soul in order. But better yet are the “intentions” for the next day. Some of those prompts for consideration are: I want to feel… I will focus on… Something I need to let go of (and trust will work out)… I will be guided by… It would fee awesome to accomplish or complete:… When I feel stressed, I will… My purpose is to… I will make time for… A courageous conversation I need to have is…
I love a clean house and that is not an overwhelming task if a little cleaning is a part of my daily routine. It’s the same with our soul. Attend to it each day, even if for only a few minutes, and you will be at peace (even without a trip to the Fairy Pools of Scotland).
Larry and Linda Kloster sponsor this column.