Spring Cleaning has long been practiced in many cultures, some believing it it originates on the Persian New year named “khooneh tekouni” which literally means “shaking the house.” Everything is thoroughly cleaned and polished. Others believe it goes back to the ancient Jewish observance of Passover and traditionally, the Catholic Church cleans the altars and everything associated with it on the day before Good Friday. In North America, it usually began in March as the coal furnaces would be turned off and it was warm enough to open doors and windows.
Spring is my favourite time of year, it’s like a New Year and Back to School, another time to re-invent your life, and your space. I love to watch buds form on trees and tulips begin to peak their way out of the ground. People come out from winter’s hibernation and it feels like an empowering time for transformation to occur. It’s when we plant seeds, nurture them, and watch them flourish in the months ahead.
Connect to the energy of the season – Open your doors and windows and welcome in fresh air and new energy.
Clutter gets in the way of cleaning and negatively affects our energy on so many levels. Make a decluttering plan and stick to it; allow yourself more time than what you think so you always complete the task. If this feels overwhelming, commit to 10 – 15 minutes daily to start. Start small and work your way up. Focus on your INTENTIONS for cleaning, i.e.: to create a sacred space with life enhancing energy…
Set up your Clutter Clearing system; get boxes ready for consignment, donation, sell, and recycle / trash and perhaps one for items that need repair (or keep a notebook handy!) Decide on rewards for when you are completed, or celebrate each milestone. Combine efforts with a family member of friend to keep your intentions clear. It is much easier going through a friend’s stuff than your own, so find a gal pal, involve the family, intake your partner and keep each other focused on the task.
- Put on some funky music on and get to it! Make this as fun as you can!
- Take before and after photos to keep you motivated.
- Once the clutter is removed, clean your space with earth friendly products.
- Organize your space so there is a space for everything you do keep.
- Bring in fresh flowers, healthy plants, candles with fresh scents and IN-JOY your new space!
- Then PREVENT clutter build up by only bringing in items that you use, love or need.
I would love to hear your tips or what worked for you!
~ Kelly Chamchuk
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There is potential for a lot of uncertainty in our lives right now; and it can cause us to get out of balance very quickly leaving us feeling fatigued, unfocused, preoccupied and may even move us from a state of love into a state of fear. There are things that we can control in life and things that we cannot; I encourage us all to focus on what we CAN do.
Our racing thoughts, limiting beliefs we have about our own power, lack of focus, lack of concentration, worrying all the time, and the uncertainty can be draining. We can become stuck in our mindset, not open to others viewpoints, values or beliefs. This could leave us feeling trapped and block the healthy natural flow of life force energy.
In Soul Coaching® we refer to this as Mental/Intellectual Clutter. For inspiration, mental clarity, freedom, perception, communion, and communication we practice embracing the Spirit of Air to assist in clearing these cobwebs of the mind giving us better capacity to discern, analyze, evaluate, and judge. The Element of Air also allows us to see situations from a higher perspective, like a birds eye view of life and what is occurring around and within.
“Though seemingly subtle and unseen, Air is composed of the most rarified energy fields, and we are in constant communion with the vast universe through our breath. With every breath you take, you are inhaling air that has been in every nook and cranny of our world, from the dry region of the Sahara, to the heights of the Himalayas, to the lush and humid Amazon rain forests. The breath that you just took contained at least four hundred thousand of the same argon atoms that Gandhi breathed throughout his life. The air that you are breathing now has been in me, and the breath that I am taking now has been in you.” ~ Denise Linn
10 Ways to Align With the Spirit of Air and Clear Mental Clutter
- Become aware of the air around you, the winds on your face; feel how it touches you face, your skin. Spend time in your day focusing on your breathing. Take deep breaths and hold them, then release pushing all the air from your lungs. Check in with your breath throughout the day, see if you are holding it due to stress, or breathing at a natural pace and flow.
- Spend 15-20 minutes in the meditation practice of your choice. Just observe your thoughts without telling need to fix or change anything.
- Make one commitment to create positive change, something you can keep and maintain by blending it gently into your lifestyle.
- Become aware of your thoughts, observe the words you choose to use; they both hold powerful energy and can be changed to ones with higher vibrations.
- Examine your core beliefs; see if these are really who you are now, or have been engineered by others over your lifetime.
- Schedule time each day to relax and unwind preferably in a space that feels sacred to you.
- Limit the use of all electronics at least one hour prior to bed; choose to read an inspirational book or listen to soothing music while soaking in an essential oil and Epsom salt bath instead.
- Journal your thoughts and cares away and/or create a Bedside Altar to place your prayers each evening, recharge your jewelry or malas, or place an inspirational card to focus on as your drift off to sleep.
- Turn down and soften the lighting in your space. Create a lovely ringtone for your phone alarm so you wake up gently in the morning. Give yourself enough time so you don’t feel rushed.
- Create a morning routine to carry you through the day; breathing, yoga, gentle stretching, writing about your dreams or any other activity that keeps you feeling connected to your soul and the beautiful and gracious divine source within.
When we invest the time to really observe our thoughts, values and beliefs, we begin to know ourselves at a deep level then begin to attract others who feel the same. We can also observe others while still respecting that they too have values, beliefs and thoughts that may differ from our own. From there we can find common ground on which to build healthy relationships, vibrant communities and even global harmony.
Let go with love.
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Forgiveness comes in many packages but always from the Heart. ~ Image by Kelly Chamchuk
Today I woke up with a long ‘to do’ list and at the top of that list was forgiveness. ForGIFTness. That was the word that came to mind. Because the other thing on my mind recently has been family photos after seeing so many beautiful photos pop up on Facebook posted by Friends; photos of them as young child with Santa, photos of them in their teens, in ‘Throwback Thursday” and so many beauty-filled images of families together or loved ones past that they are choosing to honor during this special Holiday Season and Christmas Time.
The top of my ForGIFT list is my youngest brother who shortly after my Fathers passing decided to destroy all the families photos my Dad had so neatly categorized for each of us and stored in his lower dresser drawer knowing this day would come. My outrage was not only for him intentionally destroying this lifetime of family history but also because I saw the packages there the day prior and decided to wait till tomorrow to gather them up and hold them as precious. Something was screaming at me to do so, my intuition, my soul; yet I choose not to listen because of the duties of the day and the rest of the clutter clearing I was involved in to prepare the home to be sold. Timing was everything and I learned that ‘lesson’ that hard way as I do most things in this lifetime.
Imagine my surprise coming back the next day and seeing the drawer completely empty and when asking my youngest brother where the photos were, hearing the simple emotionless reply “Gone.” I had no choice but to remain super calm even though my rage was burning through me like a wild woman; “Gone where?” I questioned hoping they were only relocated to another area but fearing the worst as his behavior at the time was erratic and unpredictable at best. I still cannot recall his exact words but they were either ‘burned’ or ‘taken to the dump’ or both. I do recall it being an act driven from Anger and recall thinking how much he must hate what this represents; family, childhood, self, us, for him to not only destroy his package but all of ours too.
One of the greatest and most powerful healing tools ever is FORGIVENESS; what I am now calling ‘ForGIFTness.’ It is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself. It brings peace where there was once rage, calm where there was once chaos and where there was once hate, you can replace it with another great healer – Love.
What I usually do is get outside of myself and use empathy, compassion and understanding for the other person and try to see where they were coming from. What was he feeling that made him do such a harsh act? How angry and deeply grieving was he to lash out in this particularly symbolic way? Was he in total shock or had he snapped in to some Psychotic state? My love for my brother overshadowed all else and even though I felt so much anger, what won was the love. Yes, I was extremely angry, actually in a state of rage, but I saw a fear in him that was way bigger than us both and choose in that moment to let it go. I forgave him.
Yet something did stay with me all these years… I miss those photos terribly. I yearn for them. I want to look at those images. I want to see myself as a child and see my family when we were together and young and happy. And I cannot. I noticed that although I am no longer holding any blame towards my brother I am however holding blame towards my self.
Today what I need to let go of is that I didn’t trust myself enough to grab those images in time. I did not listen to my self and my guidance. Today my forGIFTness is aimed towards me. I choose to believe that I managed the best I could at that most challenging time under very stressful circumstances. I was reminded of so much in that moment; you cannot control others, hold near what is precious to you, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today, love trumps anger, things are just things, and it is okay to let go.
So, how do you forgive? Great question asked by many and here are some things you can do for any people you are gifting this to including your SELF.
- Realize that your hate or anger does not affect the other person; it only affects you and may even manifest itself in physical symptoms and likely will affect your life, your relationships, even your career and all you do. Anger and revenge are like poison in our systems.
- Notice if you are the type of person who seeks revenge. Revenge is all about getting even. Find your peace in that there is no ‘even’ and that life is not always fair; lessons come to us for us to learn from them. Acting out towards another is again only harming yourself. Choose to be happy instead, choose peace instead.
- Make a list of what you did learn, or what good came from it, however painful the incident or event was, there is a ‘positive spin’ you can put on it. Bottom line, you are here and alive and even if there is much work yet to be done, that’s a great start. You are precious. Be gentle on yourself and give yourself all the time you need for healing to occur.
- Allow yourself the time to completely embrace all of the emotions you are feeling, even the ones we refer to as negative; they are just emotions and they are yours so therefore they are valid and should be honored. Once you allow them to bubble up, you can release them and be free of them. You do not have to agree with or condone hurtful acts, just feel how they affect(ed) you, feel the places in your body where you hold the emotions and let them go, then send in some soothing white light and sparkles to fill the space.
- Send warm blessings to all involved so they too can experience peace, calm and forgiveness. All of this can be done ‘privately’ – there is no need to involve the other person(s) in your forgiveness unless you feel you want to and it is safe for you to do so. This is an exercise in grace purely for you.
- If you are a person who seeks forgiveness from others for something you may have done or caused, all you can do is ask. Be genuine in your request and speak from your heart focusing on your concern of what harm may have been caused to the other person(s) involved. You may not always receive forgiveness when you ask for it as others too need their time to heal but you CAN forgive yourself and become a wiser more loving person at any given time.
Who is on your ‘ForGIFT’ list this year? Give them and your Self the best gift ever. The gift of Forgiveness, one of the greatest gifts of all.
In luminescence and Love,
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Clutter Clearing During the Holi-Daze?
Can one really clear clutter during this mind boggling time of activity; with all the meeting, greeting, eating, shopping, decorating, baking, giving, and maybe even gratefully receiving too? Oh, and did I even mention clearing some negative thoughts, stagnant emotions and those non-serving beliefs? Whew! Well YES!!! Clutter clearing during December can simplify this time of your life, bring focus to what is truly important to you, and even set you up for wonder-filled year to come. Take a moment to reconnect with what this ‘time’ really means to you and create the feelings to go with it. Just because everyone else’s head is spinning does not mean yours has to! There. It IS that simple and Santa will not put you on his naughty list! What is this time about for YOU and how are you choosing to celebrate it? With family and friends, in a peace filled loving moment holding candles at the top of a snowy mountain? Near the Oceanside walking the dogs greeting the others out doing the same? Volunteering for others less fortunate? Being secret Santa to those who really need something and never telling anyone? Maybe something traditional, something your family has trusted in for generations, the tried and true? Perhaps you are looking to do something new… Whatever is going on in your life, ‘commitments’ and ‘obligations’ aside; how you feel while doing it is up to YOU. Set some clear intentions and go for it! Be awareof your thoughts and mindful of the emotions as they steer you and guide you to where your heart wants to be!
WHEN IT COMES TO TIME…
Photo by Kelly Chamchuk
When all is said and done, it is not the ‘things’ you purchased or that the tablecloth was perfectly pressed that people remember; it’s the TIME you spent with them, the JOY you brought to their life, and the LOVE that is shared. Clutter clearing creates sacred space for that.
Choose your time wisely and please remember those who may not have much time left, you never really know who they are. Love everyone!
Consider joining a baking circle with friends or purchase your homemade goodies from a local Farmers Market, do we really need all those sweets? How much is enough? Stick ‘em in the freezer. Done.
Edit your contact lists; are these people in your life or do you feel obligated to keep in contact? Do they keep in touch with you or is the effort a ‘one-way’ street? People can be clutter too, especially toxic ones.
Many people have gone to the newsletter or e-mail format for keeping in touch however a special handwritten card for people who mean something says so much, you already know who they are!
If it is too late to do your ‘editing’ this year, each month take one section of your contact list and by next year, it will be ready. If you don’t have a computerized system, create one in the same manner. It is okay to print the mailing labels; the message inside should be handwritten though, including a personal note especially if sent with a generic letter.
Hire a student or virtual assistant for the database or paperwork, then do what you love instead.
Limit your activities; you do not have to attend them all, unless you want to of course! You choose! Become friends with the words “Thank you so much, I’d love to however…”
Know when to hire a driving service to save time, move friends, family and yourself safely and yes, even save money, maybe life’s, especially if there are ‘spirits’ involved!
Take advantage of the super sales, save $$ and create a suitable gift cupboard for upcoming celebrations in the New Near. Consider shelf life, storage space, fashion trends and purchase generic gifts that anybody would love!
Learn to see things differently; some items such as beautiful scarfs, unique containers, or flowers serve as the gift & gift-wrapping at the same time!
Give the gift of TIME; create coupons to spend with the people you love, doing things you enjoy!
TIPS ON DECORATIONS…
Photo by Kelly Chamchuk
As you go through your decorations, take time to decide which ones personally mean something, if you don’t loveit, loose it. Invite the family to get involved, put some music on, grab a bevy and IN-JOY the process.
Use a decoration instead of a bow on a gift, bottle or bag. Try wrapping using plain brown paper or even the newspaper, tie with raffia or nice ribbon, insert a fresh clipping from an Evergreen Tree; the gift looks awesome, smells great and is very ‘Green!’
Trade ornaments with friends and their friends at a Vintage Tea Party
Donate quality re-useable ornaments, lights, faux trees, to families that are in need through various community programs
Create ‘starter boxes’ for family members soon to be leaving home and going out on their own
If ‘downsizing,’ take all your true treasures and incorporate them into a wreath or two that you can display with love. Give the remainders to family and friends or donate them to a favorite Charlie Brown Tree.
In your ‘Golden Years?’ Gift your vintage pieces to those who will appreciate the stories and memories that come from your heart while you are here to enjoy the smiles and appreciation on their faces.
Just starting out? Consider using live décor that will remain throughout the year such as bamboo and hang just one awesome ornament from it.
Bring in times from nature, moss in a bowl with a few decorative balls, pine cones stacked in an empty vase, fresh branches from your local market and then recycle back to nature afterwards in a compost!
Purchase live potted trees that will be replanted and decorate with objects from nature or string popcorn or other edibles such as dried cranberries.
If your décor is up and looking absolutely gorgeous already, congratulations!!! Perhaps save this article and consider these options as you are taking them down in preparation for next year. It’s never to late to de-clutter your life and create sacred space for time, love and newness to arrive.
Focus on your intentions and what you want to bring in to your life, keep those feelings vibrant and make them real! Be clear on what you really want, because we create what we think. I will be thinking love, peace and abundance for all.
Kelly Chamchuk is a certified Soul Coaching Master Practitioner and Trainer and Interior Alignment Teacher offering programs, workshops, retreats & guided meditation services – one-on-one, in groups and online, plus produces products and that help you create sacred space in your life and home.
©Kelly Chamchuk 2011 | www.kellychamchuk.com | email@example.com
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