I’ve long been aware of the relationship between a Zen mind and a Zen home. My ultimate home is one that holds beauty wherever the eye lands. A bright burst of colour from fresh flowers. Furniture that sits in perfect balance within a room, creating cosiness and comfort yet still allowing plenty of space for energy to flow.
And of course there must be windows, looking out onto nature. BIG windows, ensuring that wherever I stand in my home, I feel nature and sunlight pouring through the windows.
I have a lovely lady who comes in and cleans for me each week. She does a magnificent job of keeping the surfaces of my home sparkling and clean….with all-natural products, of course. No chemicals get to poke their noses anywhere into my home!!!
My home is cleaned with Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner. One tablespoon in a 500ml spray bottle is all that’s needed. Thieves Household Cleaner is the best of the best when it comes to natural cleaning solutions.
Then I add my favourite essential oils in there – not because it needs it to clean, but because I love having high frequencies in my home, to match the natural harmony.
My favourite combination is 6 drops each of Orange, Lavender and Lemon Myrtle oil. Then I top it up with water, and voila! Not only does it clean every surface, but it also brings every surface to life with the beautiful frequencies of the oils.
In the corner of the room, my diffuser gently puffs away, bringing aromas to every corner of my home, and to the very air that I breathe.
As I walk with presence along my spiritual journey, I’ve learned about the importance of non-attachment.
For many years I thought that meant I was wrong to have beautiful things around me. But finally I realised that creating beauty is just one of the gifts I have. It doesn’t matter where I live – I’ll always amplify the beauty.
When Noel and I used to live in Maryborough (Victoria), we loved buying old, old homes – the homes that were so neglected that no one wanted to buy them, except for us. We’d look for “good bones”, and it brought me so much joy to take something so ugly and restore it to its natural beauty.
I still remember one home. When we walked into it, there was dog urine up the walls, dog poop on the carpet, and the garden was knee high with weeds. By the time we finished with that home, it had beautifully polished original floorboards, several new coats of soft “warm white” paint on the walls. When we removed all the weeds from the garden, we discovered magnificent garden beds that the original owner had built.
When we painted the walls, we put 20 drops of Peppermint oil and 20 drops of Abundance oil into each 4 litre tin of paint (regardless of whether it was acrylic or enamel paint – it works with both). We use Peppermint to help mask the paint odours, and Abundance oil to create a frequency of attraction within the home.
Then we look for tenants who love the home as much as we do.
Life is all about frequency, after all – the frequency of nature, the frequency of oils, the frequency of harmony, the frequency of joy.
We’re not wrong for appreciating balance and beauty in our surrounds.
For some of us, it’s how we’re attuned. We just need to realise that everything in our world is temporary, and “this too shall pass”. So we create beauty, yet are unattached at the same time. A vase will be knocked over and smash. Someone will walk through the house with muddy feet. A tree will fall over in the storm, and create a path of destruction.
When we are unattached, we simply go about bringing things into a new harmony after the chaos and storms. When we are attached, our emotions get triggered and we resent the intrusion. That’s just our ego, thinking things always have to stay the same.
That’s not life. Life is beauty, and ugliness, woven together. Life is harmony and chaos, dancing in the wind.
Yet all of what I’ve said so far is not the real purpose of my message. It’s setting the scene for what’s yet to come.
My real message to you is about clutter. Because although my home has beauty in every corner, it also has some piles of clutter. Not much. It doesn’t take over my home. But it’s there, creating a pimple on the landscape of the beauty that I’ve created in my home, begging me to burst it open and clear it out.
I’ve long recognised that a cluttered space reflects a cluttered mind. How often have I heard myself utter the words that, “This clutter is doing my head in!”. It really does.
Have you ever tidied up and truly “Zenned” a room of your home, and noticed the difference in how it feels?
My office is often the clutter zone of my home… It goes way too long without being tidied, because (after all) I know where everything is on my desk amidst the clutter.
There are “zones” on my desk, and if I’m looking for something, I know which zone to sort through to find it.
So Zenning my desk doesn’t always have the priority that it could have, that it perhaps should have….because although I can tolerate a messy desk, and I can function with a messy desk, it still doesn’t bring peace and clarity to my mind.
And isn’t a peaceful, clear mind one of our ultimate goals?
When our mind is at peace, it can be crystal clear amidst the rainfalls of life. It can see where we are heading, and when we need to step sideways. It knows when to act, and when to stand still.
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you will know that my Mum passed away almost 9 weeks ago. Click here if you’d like to read (or re-read) that 4 part series. And what a journey those 9 weeks have been! I’ve embraced every emotion under the sun, from fear to grief to shock to sorrow to numbness to acceptance to gratitude to joy…and beyond.
Now, on the other side of the grief, I feel a great deal of gratitude. I’m grateful she passed with such ease. I’m grateful I was able to spend the last couple of days with her, and say the things I needed to say. And I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to do a sacred anointing ceremony with her within hours of her passing.
Yet what she left behind her was a level of clutter so intense, that it will take me many months to work through. I drive 3 hours to her home each week, and spend 16 hours (2 days) sorting through clutter, only to drive 3 hours back to my own home. That’s the rhythm of my life right now.
Mum was a collector of notes and “things”. She didn’t collect physical objects. She wasn’t into gathering beauty from around the world in the way that I am. But she gathered information. And after my father and her mother both passed away in 2009, Mum’s impeccable filing system fell apart, just as she did.
On the surface she seemed to be happy and coping – but her home told a very different story.
By the time she passed, every possible surface of her home (apart from the floor) was covered in piles and piles of paperwork. When a table or bench was completely covered, she would put a sheet over it all and create a whole new layer of paperwork….and then another, and then another.
As I skim every page of every notebook and every scribble on every envelope, I find gems amidst the mundane. There are hundreds of pages of notes she made for Sudoko. There are handwritten draft letters that she wrote (prior to re-scribing those same words onto a card), but she never then discarded them. There are papers with “discard” written on them that she never discarded.
But in amidst the rubble of her life, there are absolute gems. As overwhelming as it’s been, it’s also been the most fascinating exploration of my Mum’s life, and my own childhood.
I’ve found letters that Dad wrote to his employers and references that his employers wrote for him, giving me such insight into his personal qualities and the things that were important to him. I’ve found my sister’s time of birth (something she’s always wanted to know, so she could get her astrology done)! I’ve found so many pieces of paper and letters telling of my family history – a combination of an Irish orphan who came to Australia as a free settler, a seaman from Mutiny on the Bounty, a French painter from an aristocratic background (no wonder I love everything French!), and a Dutch Government official who ruled a province in Indonesia.
To say the skeletons are coming out of the closet is very close to the truth. I found a letter that my aunt wrote to her mother (my grandmother) when my Grandmother decided to divorce my Grandfather because he’d married another woman while still married to her!
Yes – it’s a fascinating journey that I’m on. Much better than any soap opera.
But really, my point is to say what a difference it makes to Mum’s home as each layer of paperwork is sorted and released. These pics below show what I achieved in 2 days (16 hours) of sorting.
I never enjoyed visiting Mum in her home.
Her home smelled of must and mould, and my eyes couldn’t see the beauty underneath the clutter.
But as all the clutter gets cleaned, I’m finding space again. I’m thoroughly enjoying my visits to her home, traveling down memory lane, and all the while I’m chatting to her, laughing, chastising her for the things she hung onto. I feel her there, and at times when I need to know something, she pops into my mind and answers me.
When I came across a huge pile of envelopes that she’d slit open and removed the letters from, I screeched at her, “Mum, why on earth were you keeping these empty envelopes!” And she popped in and said, “Those were for making notes on!” And of course they were – I found hundreds of empty envelopes that she’d written notes all over.
She was diligent about recycling, so every envelope became a map for the thoughts in her mind – the “to do” lists, the sudoku words, the important reminders.
So what’s the moral of this story? It’s the importance of managing our clutter, and giving ourselves the gift of time to sort things out, and the surrender to let go of the things we no longer need.
Let decluttering be thy medicine!