DAY 365+59

spring cleaning

I have not become familiar with this concept till I started to read books (and later blogs) by writers from the northern side of northern hemisphere. We live in a sort of eternal spring here, so this equinox often goes unnoticed

In fact, we coexist the whole year with open windows, flowering plants, green leaves, sun rays and clothes hanged out to dry due to our mild weather, and we can clean the house from top to bottom whenever we want to. Therefore, we don´t usually plan special celebrations or chores this season

However, I have learned to appreciate this tradition, so during my Easter vacations I will spend a few days cleaning up and rearranging things at home

This morning, while I was attempting to make some lists in order to figure out the best way to do all the things I want to do without consuming all my free time, I discovered myself thrilled with the possibility of starting to empty the wardrobes or throwing out paper piles. To be honest, this find amazed me a bit (I am not so very fond of housework), so I left aside the notebook, and I started to think why I was so eager to start

And then I remembered what usually happens:

I implement easier -and simpler- ways to deal with things. And order creates beauty

I pay renewed attention to the needs of the house inhabitants to express themselves by making room for their specificities. And respect creates balance

I recover a certain sense of austerity because I often realize that I already have all I need to live. And the possibility of refraining from excess, creates abundance

I take time to leaf through my books or wash up my teapots delicately and they stop being just objects and start to be outlines of my story. And memories create gratitude

All these things purify my living space, and this renews the energy that is stagnant and is not flowing properly. And neat energy creates harmony

I develop a sort of meditative state while doing the tasks which leads me to cleanse also some of the clutter inside me. And inner work creates joy...

Unexpectedly, I´ve realized that this is maybe one of the main reasons why I plan cleanings

The clutter inside me is all about cognitive biases which create wrong ways to stay in the present because they make me prone to hyper-generalization, oversimplifying, negative filters, polarized thoughts, hyper-control, emotional reasoning, projection and self-accusation. Of course, they (and their consequences) have to be examined in detail, but once this effort is done, they must be deconstructed

As far as I am concerned, this is the ultimate challenge of my inner work. It´s not enough knowing and understanding, I need to internalize what I have learned and translate it into new actions and behaviors, and this happens in a level which is not accessible for the mind. It happens in the place we call conscience where we work without schedule, where knowledge becomes wisdom

Going there can be easy sometimes, but if you are like me, from time to time you will need something drastic to find the correct gateway to it. In particular, when anxiety is in the air. In this cases, when silence and meditation; walks, photography and prayers; creating or journaling are not working as well as they usually do, I resort to house reorganization

I do it slowly, methodically, room after room, day after day. I take ownership of my outer space and suddenly, I am inside me again. And from inside, I change

Cross-posted at Vision and Verb, yesterday. Many other women share their passion for creativity and words there, please visit us, it is a wonderful site

There you will find also a Card Shoppe. For every greeting card sold, the profit will accrue in allotments of $25 each to be given as loans to men and women around the world who are starting their own businesses. We have chosen the non-profit organization KIVA as the conduit for our giving back

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Anonymous said...

Very inspiring post and excellent photo ~ enjoy ^_^

Anonymous said...

I tend to put off cleaning until the clutter on the outside infiltrates the inside. It's a purification process!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I love to clear everything out and start with a clean slate, so yes a renewal of the space and of my embracing i.

Barbara Schwartz said...

I want to have written this, Zena! It's beautiful. Maybe it's why I clean out my little studio so often. Gives a great sense of satisfaction to find things I'd forgotten about. Yesterday I folded sweaters on a shelf in my closet and found a sweater I'd completely forgotten about! It was a great moment. Free new clothes. Thanks for the lovely reading first thing in the morning.

pauline said...

Beautiful writing Zena... i cannot imagine living where it's always spring! How wonderful... the green in your photo is so inviting to me. (it's snowing here in Canada as i write this!) xox

Aga Gasiniak said...

Magical photograph and magical words Zena. Pleasure to read it. Your words are like meditation.'when knowledge becomes wisdom' and 'I am inside me again' beautiful words. Sometimes we need something drastic to happen to wake up again. I agree, sounds pretty much like me.
Thank you for beautiful post. Much love to you.

Cindy Swainson said...

Zena, I am sure I am repeating myself here, but you manage to speak so eloquently - with both your words and your photography - exactly how I think and feel.

Thank you again for sharing your gifts so generously.


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