Spring is around the corner and that often means cleaning house. Every March, I start going through the rooms in my house and making piles to save, donate, and toss. I find that it’s also an excellent time to conduct a personal inventory and clear out any old habits that have been cluttering up my brain and life.
When it comes to cleaning house internally, you really must start with a personal inventory. Sit down and create a list. One side has all the things that bring you joy and inspire you, and the other is for the things that drag you down and leave you feeling blue. A few years ago when I was making that list one item stood out glaringly for me – alcohol. While I’d been drinking it to make me happy, take away my troubles, and cure everything that ailed me – it just wasn’t doing that for me anymore. Now, when I make that list I’ve found taking on too many personal commitments has the same effect. Often the things that started off bringing us joy can lead to our disappointment when we get too much of them.
Letting The Sunlight In
Cleaning house often starts with washing down the windows and letting the light in. An internal cleanse doesn’t really differ much from this. Letting the light in means creating awareness that there is a problem. You have to start where you are – messy house or messy habits. So you’ve peeled back the grime and the light is filtering through illuminating the dust bunnies and gremlins that have taken up residence in your brain. Isn’t it great to finally see and bring those beliefs and habits into the open so you can examine them?
If you’re experienced at cleaning house you know that often that first pass at cleaning the windows doesn’t really do the job. Instead you need to go back and really scrub away the buildup to get some clarity. The same holds true for unpacking old habits and clearing them away. Now that you know they are an issue, you really have to dig at all the beliefs and experiences that led you to think they were benefiting you in some way.
I’ll give you a silly example of my own. I really, really cherished the opportunity to sleep in on the weekends. I had convinced myself that by sleeping in I was actually re-energizing my body and getting more done. Except when I started to take a look at it – the weekends I slept in left me grumpy, out of sorts, and totally unproductive. How could something I loved and looked forward to have such a negative effect on me?
Cleaning House With This Naked Mind
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Place It In The Toss Pile
Clearing out old habits means not just letting go of them and tossing them in the trash pile. You must also take the beliefs you had about them and replace them with the truths you’ve uncovered. Like how I found that when I stopped sleeping in and stuck to my regular schedule on the weekends, I felt much better and actually slept better the rest of the week! It really isn’t any different then when we spring clean our home. You can take an old lumpy couch and put a slip cover on it but it won’t make it any more comfortable. Or you can replace it with a new one and really enforce the rules to keep this one in top shape. It’s easy to see which option will serve you best in the long run, isn’t it?