Our focus here at State of Liberty is sustainable wellbeing, I believe your environment can have a huge impact on your ability to achieve this.
Spaces can be transformed to support and nourish us. De-cluttering unwanted and unused belongings or cleaning and adding fresh flowers can change the atmosphere completely, helping us move from feeling stuck and overwhelmed to feeling light and inspired.
In short, creating a safe, supportive and inspiring space in your home is a key part of establishing a regular wellbeing routine.
Time for a Spring Clean
Spring is the season for planning, getting organised, cleaning and letting go. Energy is increasing, and new ideas and projects are getting started. It’s the ideal time to freshen up your home and give your environment a little TLC.
Remember, the goal is not to have a perfect sparkling house; that can feel like another laborious task to add to your to-do list! The intention is to create a welcoming space where you feel relaxed and your mind is calm.
We recommend diffusing lemon essential oil when spring cleaning, it’s an uplifting and cleansing aroma that expands our energy and reduces tension. Tackle one room at a time and start by asking yourself the following questions:
How would you like to feel in that room?
Does the room feel like it meets your current needs and wishes?
How could you change the space to one where you can thrive?
Practising mindfulness when cleaning and clearing helps us approach the task in a peaceful, calm way. It helps us focus our attention on the here and now and it can be done anywhere at any time, even while pushing a vacuum.
Here is an exercise for you, it has been adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh (The Blooming Lotus).
Begin by taking a moment as you are reading this to notice your breath and how you are holding your body. Now, allow yourself a few slow deep breaths, in and out.
Notice any areas of tightness or gripping, just feeling the breath as it comes in and out of your body, letting those areas soften if you can and as you prepare your home, know that you can ground yourself at any moment in your breath, calming your mind and body.
Take a moment to consider how you’d like your space to support you at this time, and any wellbeing practices you hope to accomplish here.
Spend some time imagining this now. Picture yourself in your ideal space, engaging in self-care and becoming more and more relaxed. Notice what the space looks like and how it makes you feel, then bring your awareness back to your posture and your breath.
Take one lovely, long nourishing breath in and out before returning to the natural rhythm of your breath. Don’t force your breath, just allow it to come and go in a rhythm that is natural and right for you.
In this moment, allow your breathing to simply take place, noticing the breath as it comes into your body and out of your body, saying silently to yourself on the in-breath, ‘I am breathing in’, and on the out breath, ‘I am breathing out’. Then on the in-breath simply say, ‘in’, and on the out-breath, ’out’.
As you begin to prepare your space, know that you can apply this method of noticing your breath to each activity, to help bring you into a state of presence and calm.
When you are washing up, or stacking the dishwasher, feel the surface of the dishes and say to yourself: ‘I am washing the dishes’, or ‘I am stacking the dishwasher, I breathe in, I breathe out’, then ‘in, out’ in time with your breath.
When cleaning surfaces, notice the movement of the cloth and say to yourself, ‘I am cleaning the surfaces, I breathe in, I breathe out’, then ‘in, out’.
As you prepare your bed with fresh sheets, move slowly, bringing the breath into the motion, feeling the fabric between your fingers, smelling the clean fragrance. Say to yourself, ‘I lovingly prepare my bed, I am breathing in, I am breathing out, in, out’.
As you walk around your space, moving from room to room, notice if your mind wanders, or if you have started to hurry. If this happens, that’s fine, our minds are designed to think and our bodies are used to moving fast.
Congratulate yourself for noticing your mind has wandered and that you’re hurrying. Slow down your movements and say to yourself, ‘I move with presence, I am breathing in, I am breathing out, in, out.’
Continue using this practice with any of your household chores: cooking dinner, laying the table, or simply sorting and folding laundry. Know that during any task or activity, you can come back to your presence at any time. All you have to do is become aware of your breath and say to yourself, ‘I breathe in, I breathe out, in, out’.