Seeking Imperfection

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It is in my art journal that I relish the blemishes, the messiness, the absolute imperfection of life. I love seeing chaos on the page, and the feeling of letting go of any attempt to produce something beautiful. Instead, I let the scribbles, drips, tears and rips dominate. I allow the emotions to roar forth through color and shape. 

It is perfectly imperfect.

It is where I compost my life and let the layers of myself decay and transform into rich, nourishing soil. It all becomes compost that feeds the lotus to bloom from within.

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I write tidbits about life there: the piles of snow that came overnight; the chicory coffee I had with a friend; the ecstatic dance where my heart soared to the heavens. There, between the hardbound black covers of the journal are my bits, the ones I chose to collect and recollect. 

I listen for messages from the Universe through the random scraps of paper, wrappers, pictures and string haphazardly glued into the bound pages. I read it all as though I were reading tea leaves and learning about my life. 

I am at once the mad scientist artist composing, and yet I have no idea what is coming through me, so end up deciphering the mysterious messages once they appear. 

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The art journal is my living breathing mirror – a reflection of my psyche at any given point in time, not to be judged for its beauty or resolution, but to be witnessed and read for the codified missives that spirit sends from the other side. In this way it is a thrilling document, and a mystery unfolding.

It is a means to understand the worlds beyond and to open to guidance from something far greater than my little self. 

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The process is none less than magnificent. It strips me of ego and shows the microcosm of a human life, which just happens to be mine.

 


Saucha: The Great Spring Cleaning!

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Being a yogi, who’s down on the ground a lot, I’m particularly obsessed with clean floors. I’ll admit it, I’m somewhat of a clean freak.  I love to be able to eat off of any surface.

Cleaning gives me immediate satisfaction. When I vacuum up tiny crumbs, dog hair and little bits of I-don’t-know-what, I feel an inner sense of relaxation. I have this sweet satisfaction that some little part of life is in order, under control.

I can relax.

At least for a while.

Yoga gives us a built in cleansing practice called Saucha.  It is the first Niyama (the second of eight limbs of yoga). It means to purify and cleanse. Generally, the practice of Saucha invites us to examine what we take into our bodies – food and drink – but also what kind of energy we allow into our energetic fields, and how we may be “polluting” our inner landscape by creating inner clutter.   

Each Spring I ask myself what I want to clean up internally as well as externally, and this year my big task is to take on an old habit of mine called AVOIDANCE. I have the nasty habit of avoiding conflict, avoiding making “the phone call” to someone I may have to say ‘no’ to, and avoiding the uncomfortable feelings within. But the burden of Avoidance is high.

It starts to feel like I have a pile of tasks, conflicts or people I’m avoiding and I then hear the nagging voice in my head that says, “You’re gonna have to make the call. Or you’re gonna have to face that conflict, or crunch the numbers."

This year I say, “No more avoiding.” It’s time to face whatever I’m avoiding head on. What I find fascinating is that alongside the inner clean-out, I notice there is always the accompanying outer clean-out.

When I take on my inner work of cleaning out I usually find I also get a bug to steam clean my rugs, wash out all of the drawers, or do a deep clean of my closets.

In the past couple of years, this cleaning practice has lead me to change the products I use to clean my house. I’ve gotten rid of pretty much all of the store-bought products and replaced them with three simple household products that work really well for cleaning.

What are they?

Baking soda (bought in a large back at Costco)
Distilled White Vinegar (also bought at Costco)
Dr. Bronners Castile Soap

These three are the foundation of all of my cleaning products now. At first, I was skeptical that these products would actually do a good job. To my surprise, they work great. I just cleared out an oil clogged shower drain with white vinegar (with a quite a bit of help from a friend!)

But why do this, you might be wondering, when the other products work just fine?

As I’ve traipsed down the yogic path for the past 20 years, I’ve become more and more sensitive to chemicals, smells, and their energetic impact. I love knowing that the products I use  to clean my house are safe to ingest,  and I feel happy that the products I use are all environmentally safe and made with love.

When I spray down my kitchen counters now, with my homemade All Purpose Surface Cleaner, I have a smile on my face and I just feel happy.

So, if you’re interested in this part of the journey, I’ve got a few home cleaning products listed below, and some ideas on how to use these three household products to clean your home.

Happy and Clean Spring to you all!
 

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All Purpose Surface Cleaner 

Ingredients
funnel
2 oz distilled water
6 oz distilled white vinegar
Spray bottle: glass 8 oz
8 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil

What to do
Using a funnel, pour water and vinegar into a glass spray bottle.
Remove the funnel and add the essential oils. Put spray nozzle onto the bottle.
Shake well to combine, and use on any surface. Works great on stove and kitchen counter tops.
 

Wood Cleaner

Ingredients
funnel
2 cups distilled water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
spray bottle: glass 16. oz
10 drops lemon essential oil
8 drops cedarwood essential oil

What to do
Using a funnel, pour water, white vinegar and olive oil into a spray bottle.
Add in the essential oils and shake to mix.
Shake before using to mix the ingredients.