Less is More!

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “less is more,” and yet it’s such an abstract concept. I know I’ve had good intentions of pairing down and letting go of the things I don’t use and don’t wear. But that task usually gets pushed to the bottom of the list.

That’s why I made a date with a friend of mine who had just “Marie Condoed” her closet. Yes, Marie Condo’s name is now a verb – if you don’t know of her, she’s the lady who has a book and a new Netflix show that helps people clean out their junk and only keep the things in their life that “bring them joy.”

I had seen my friend’s pictures of her newly transformed closet on FB, and I thought, “Oh, I HAVE to do that.” I needed help. When she said “yes” to my request for her help, I was thrilled.

So, last Monday, she came over – we’d set aside a block of time to go through my closet. First thing we did was kneel down in the closet and say a little prayer of gratitude for all of the items in it, all the joy that had come from buying the clothes, to wearing them and all of the events and people I had enjoyed in those clothes.

I was already tearing up.

Then, Cami began her magic and invited me to pull all of the clothes out of my closet – yes ALL of them – and put them on the bed so we could sort through. I did as instructed. I hadn’t seen the inside walls of my closet in years. I immediately got a wet rag, got down on my knees and cleaned the dust balls out.

Even THAT felt good.

We got to our task at hand right away, ranking, grouping and organizing the clothes –  our categories were keep, consign, donate, trash.

What I didn’t realize in this process was that I kept finding gems of clothing – things I loved, but hadn’t worn in years because I’d either forgotten about them, they were buried in the back of the closet, or I didn’t know what to wear with the top or the pants. 

Cami helped me bring my wardrobe to life in a new way with her fresh pair of eyes. 

At the end of 3 ½ hours, we had diminished my closet by 25%, and I simultaneously felt an amazing sense of abundance because I had just gained a bunch of new outfits with clothes that I already owned and loved. Not to mention, the clothes fit me.

I kept only the items I loved, so now my closet is filled with outfits I want to wear, I feel great in them, and I am able to see everything, so will now wear the things I have.

I didn’t expect to feel such a sense of abundance by getting rid of things. It was a kinesthetic lesson in feeling abundant with less, because everything I kept was something I love.

Now the phrase, “less is more” lands for me. It makes sense. I can honestly say, YES, less IS more. Thank you, Cami! I am so grateful for your help and your great eye!


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.