Doing a thorough house cleaning used to be a regular seasonal chore at my house when I was a kid every spring and fall. It was when everything was dusted, de-cobwebbed, vacuumed, and polished. The windows were opened up for fresh air, and at the end of the day we were exhausted but it felt soooo good to relax in a home that had been cleared of all the junk and crap that had built up during the previous season. We kept up with the regular cleaning on a daily and weekly basis, but during the seasonal clean, we got into the basement, the hidden corners, and other areas where the grime hung out.
Can you guess where this is going? Ooooo how I love analogies!
Keeping your physical home clean and shiny is just like keeping your mind clear of clutter and garbage. On a daily basis it's awesome to be aware of your self talk, and your thoughts. You know how important it is to keep your thoughts aligned with what you want. It's like keeping up with the dishes, laundry and cleaning the pee from under your toilet seat (gross I know, but it happens). The surface things can be easier to deal with because they pop up all the time and they're in your face. But how often do you check out the dark, creepy corners of your mind where you stuff things you don't want to deal with. Whatcha got hiding in there that you'd rather not deal with?
Maybe it's time to clean house and deal with something you've been sweeping under the rug for way too long. You can figure out what your "stuff" is by meditating or journalling. Or maybe someone or an event has triggered something inside that brings your mental dust bunnies to the surface. Once you know what it is (anger, fear, or insecurity about something in particular for example) you can acknowledge it, then toss it in the trash where it belongs.
You can do this a number of different ways, but here are two of my favourites:
1. Sweat it out, and leave it behind
Ok you've identified your icky issue and you're ready to leave it behind. Why not burn some calories, and get in shape at the same time. Hooray for multi-tasking! If you're into cardio, jump on the treadmill and start running. Once you're warmed up and in the zone (you know the place when you feel like you could outrun anything), picture the thing you want to get rid of behind you and see yourself running away from it. As you're physically running, see your mental issue getting smaller and smaller behind you as run in the opposite direction. Don't actually look behind you. You could trip and fall, and that wouldn't be good-just visualize it in your head. Once you've outrun it, know that IT IS GONE, LEFT BEHIND, and it no longer takes up space in your mind.
2. Bury the shit and walk away
Visualize yourself putting your problem in a pretty little box or a chest ( like a pirate's treasure chest only it'll be filled with your mental bs instead of gold). See yourself carrying the box while walking deep into a forest. Feel how heavy and annoying it is to carry it. Go far enough into the forest so that nobody will see you. Once you've found a spot that's hidden, see yourself digging a hole (pretend you just found a shovel on the ground-how convenient!) and bury your box of bs. Know that this box and whats in it will never be found. It will dissolve and disintegrate back into the earth, never to rear it's ugly head again. Then visualize yourself walking back to where you started only this time you're empty handed. You have nothing weighing you down. Ahh…sweet sweet freedom!
You can do these visualizations whenever you feel the need to, or set time aside on a regular basis to mentally clean house. Just keep in mind that although these are handy tools to use, sometimes you may need the professional help of a therapist or counsellor if you're dealing with deep rooted issues. You can be the judge of that, but make sure you seek out the help you need to leave your mental garbage behind and make room things you DO WANT lingering around in your mind. Happy, positive thoughts of self-love, encouragement, hope….all the good stuff.