May 20, 2020

SPRING CLEANING BETWEEN MY EARS

Finally Spring is here, well maybe? It's trying to show up here and there and maybe everywhere? I feel confused and have heard that even the little birds seem confused about the season were currently in. Can we just move right into summer please? That would be fine for me as I am yearning for full on sunny warm, no- I mean HOT days. This past winter was a very long, cold and rainy season here in the beautiful Appalachian mountains, sigh. BIG sigh.

Beautiful Purple Iris came with my Farm Charm Cottage, I added the birdhouse



For many, this is a time of year to get on with new projects and clear out clutter, organize and perhaps spit shine our homes. Yeah, right- who am I kidding?  More importantly than all the attention that my little cottage could benefit from is the emotional closet or corner where I have let things pile up for days, weeks, okay...* I will tell the truth here and shame the devil*.... months or even years?  Yeah, I said it- 'years'. Spring cleaning of those emotional messes can create benefits for both our home as well as our emotions. IMO- cleaning out the inner self and letting go of things that don't serve me today is even more important .You know - the parts of you one doesn't ever read about on the blog, or the YOUtube videos, or on your InstaHAM account or the posts shared on Flitter or even on your posts on Spacebook. Cleaning your emotional state between your ears as well as all the negative self chatter will give you opportunity to grow into a happier you. Now is just as good a time as any to open that door and face the mess. Taking stock of what’s working and what’s not will help you move forward with an emotional Spring cleaning.

Lavender Rose of Sharon grows wild in my yard


 Consider this post an invitation to join me in sorting through a painful or messy feeling or memory as part of an emotional spring cleaning. Now is just as good a time as any to open that door and face those inner messes. If you don't have any inner mess to consider, then just skip this post, and enjoy the flower photos and well... be blessed and thanks for visiting here. Back to cleaning those inner messes we often hide in the back corners of our emotional closets so no one will find them. What is in there anyway?  Perhaps some negative emotions, attitudes and residue of left over dirt from unhealed toxic relationships or family of origin experiences? Or maybe just little things that hold us back in our lives from being our best selves, can pile up in our an emotional closets,  just as they do in our homes. Those emotional stacks that we avoid or are ashamed of because we want others to approve of us. You know, those hidden places that we allow few if any others to see let alone enter. That 'catch all nook or space where we store things that we don't know what to do with at the moment.


I am by no means a gardener, so I'm so happy this Lilly lived after I planted it.


Along with the emotional benefits of a physical spring cleaning, be aware of the benefits of spring cleaning your emotions. Getting your physical environment and your inner emotional environment clean and fresh will give you space to grow into a healthier, more productive, and happier you




      Tips for an emotional Spring Cleaning.

Taking stock of what’s working and what’s not will help you move forward if you care to participate in an emotional Spring cleaning. Past upsets that manifest in anger, jealousy, hatred, sadness and more all can end up being stuffed inside our mental closets or basements when we don't face and deal with them. They won't go away any faster than any other mess if  not  purposely sorted and sifted through. Not fun but necessary in order to have a clean house and to be emotionally healthier which leads to feeling better both emotionally and physically. Dis-ease (Disease) is ill-health and is often connected to unresolved issues birthed in toxic life experiences that manifest in the body.

Take notice of what is dragging you down. I find that keeping a journal is a good way to help bring these things to light as well as sort out and get present to feelings. Pay attention to negative thoughts and emotions and especially negative self talk that takes up brain space. You know- those things we nurse and rehearse, those things that could be cleaned out and replaced with positive fulfilling thoughts. Go through that emotional closet.  IF you don't love it and it doesn't serve you, dump it. Imagine one of those hoarding shows where a dumpster is placed in front of your home to get rid of everything that doesn't serve you well. DUMP IT.

 Toxic relationships current or from the past need to be trashed if you find any left over residue taking up space in your life.

 Emotions such as self criticism, guilt and shame are all USELESS and should be thrown out. When negative self talk, or stinking thinking messages try to creep back into your emotional space from anyone or any direction - remember you can consciously choose to throw them out and give no place to them in your life. It is a choice. Chose to honor yourself.

 Sort through and recognize  unrealistic expectations you place on yourself. Those go into the dumpster also. No use donating them to local thrift shops. They are of no benefit to anyone. They are worthless.


.Holding grudges?- purpose to let them go as they only hold you as a slave to them, living in bondage. Toss out pessimism, by speaking or writing out a new possibility to replace those negative memories, lies or pessimistic made up self talk.
 

 When you do this type of cleaning it will consist of you experiencing some new feelings. Some might surprise you. Let yourself feel them fully and take time to honor yourself at this time. Be aware of your feelings and don't minimize them Write in private or public, scream, yell, cry and know it is a process. This may take more than the Spring season and in some cases years to accomplish. SO WORTH IT. You do not have to remain stuck in the feelings. IT is just a choice.

Consider sorting through messy feelings part of your emotional spring cleaning. During this type of cleaning I get through it with prayer. Not all things can just easily be thrown out as we wish them to be, but God can heal our hearts and work forgiveness through us and turn ashes into beauty if only we invite that of Him. HE cares about your heart, and every situation in your life. Involve HIM.


Closeup of my Lavender Rose of Sharon



On a different  note - For way to many years I stayed over scheduled and busy in my professional life as well as my personal life. I see this same trait in people every single day. It is if out culture rewards the busiest people. Like the one with the most stuff to do in a day wins. NOT. What I learned about myself is that part of me staying busy every waking second helped me mask my pain and avoid my inner personal growth work. I just placed no value in being still. I was afraid not to have a plan, For when I was still my thoughts drifted to the messy areas in my personal life. Those areas went untouched and they felt dirty so I kept busy to avoid looking at and dealing with them.  I didn't know how to relax or quiet my busy mind.

I used to be the perfect Co-Dependent. Before a lot of self discovery, self help and recovery type of personal healing work I was a much bigger hot mess.  In the past, not without great cost to me. I over scheduled,and over extended my life and gave so much of me away that I lost a huge part of me and ended up that I eventually did not recognize whom I had become. I was angry and sad. One day while watching Joyce Meyer ministries It changed my life in this area. She explained that she had the same "Yes" syndrome as I once did and she said that instead of being an automatic
"yes", when presented with an invitations, requests and offers or, a call to help or a response to those who need you say this instead -
"Let me pray about it and I will get back to you"  I can not express how this simple change in my life and way of responding to requests of help and requests for much to much of my time freed me up to give me time to pray and seek God and then respond, instead of being an automatic "yes" to all those around me who requested anything they needed of me.  No more living in regret of over scheduling, over extending and helping out of guilt and later regret .I now take time to seek God first and make better choices that I feel at peace with.


When I was a child my mother was a neat freak, and kept what I consider to be a perfect house. Everything was sparkling clean, dust and spot free, ironed, everything at all times in its place and perfect looking both on the inside and out. Yet, there was complete chaos in our home behind closed doors. I think my mothers efforts to keep an immaculate home and be a great cook and baker on days she was not drinking was her way to not deal with her pain which she tried to kill with alcohol abuse and years of binge drinking. Later when I was twenty- one years old her many years of alcohol abuse killed her and the house was not so pretend perfect anymore.


Years later, many years later I find that doing home cleaning on the inside of me is much more important than what one's house looks like.  Don't get me wrong.. I love a clean home, but a clean home does not define me. It seems in vogue these days to "be busy" all the time. To have a never ending flow of projects lined up to tackle.

Since moving to the mountains I have settled into myself more than at any other time in my life. I have learned to be a human being instead of a human doing. My life has slowed down to a ridiculous pace, compared to days of past when my life was similar to a hamster on crack running on a wheel for 16 plus hours a day non stop day in, day out. Life is better these days, even when I sit on my porch and sip Kombucha and try to talk myself into embracing the gray hair that is growing in faster than I can pluck  out.  But- in a good way life is different. As a home owner there is always upkeep and work to do both on the property as well as the interior of my Farm Charm Cottage. I suspect there will always be inner work to do also. It doesn't always get me excited but I love the end results.
 

         My flower garden needs serious help. I did not inherit any gardening genes or skills. Thank goodness I don't depend on my gardening skills as a food source. I am going to continue to work on it and see if I can get better results in coming weeks or months. Just like personal growth work, a garden takes an investment of time, weed pulling, hard work, patience and love. Then one day you realize all the dirt you sifted and weeds you cleared away and the areas you fertilized produced flowers and  finally made way for something healthy and beautiful.


May you be blessed in clearing those weeds of negativity that pop up here and there in one's life. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the dirt and grass. It is never to late to create a happy childhood. Go play.

Blessings,
Tonita









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