1 BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Before you begin a cleaning session in your home, set an intention. Light candles and incense as you clean. Use sound, scent and plants to bring fresh energy into your living space. Each room in your house relates to an energy centre in your body; for example the kitchen is linked to your heart chakra and the bathrooms, your sacral chakra, the front door your crown chakra. As you work through the house, consider the effect that cleaning is having on your emotional and physical systems as well. It helps me to remind myself that as I clean I’m benefiting on many levels; twenty minutes of vigorous cleaning a day is said to cut stress levels by 20%.
2 CHOOSE ORGANIC You obviously don’t want to increase the toxicity of your home. Choose natural green cleaning products – lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar work wonders. And when decorating or refurbishing, choose organic and green whereever possible. Low-VOC paint is good, but no VOC is better. Look for nontoxic adhesives and sealants in addition to healthy paint. Natural finishes such as plaster and milk or limewash paints are a good choice for walls. Check out mikewye.co.uk for resources. Use an environmental building supplies company like greenbuildingstore.com who’ve done the research on the best materials.
3 SPACE CLEARING
Used by many native traditions around the world, smudging is a practice using scent and intention to purify an area and rid it of negative energies. Certain herbs such as cedar and sage are often used. Here’s how to make your own:
What you need: Sage; Thread; Scissors
Gather a little bundle of sage and use your thread to bind the stalks together (the thread will get looser as the sage dries out). Leave to dry out and once fully dried tie the thread tight. You can place a couple of drops of frankincense (a tree resin, which is said to protect the soul) onto the dried bundles. To smudge, light the stick at the top, get a flame going then blow it out so that it’s smoking, not burning. Set an intention for the smudging ritual and take your time to walk around the room or area of your house that needs cleansing, wafting the smoke into all the corners. When finished place the stick in a ceramic bowl or plate. This is a great way to bless a newly cleansed space; use a smudge stick to clear stagnant energies and invite in fresh beginnings.
“The bedroom is one of the most sacred spaces, it has a spiritual importance for us”
4 CLEAR CLUTTER
Minimize clutter to create a sense of serenity in your home and to keep everyday stresses from intruding on your living space. Decluttering can be an overwhelming process but every book and expert recommends it for clearing the mind and body as well as your physical space. It’s fine to start really small and take the clutter clearing process one bookshelf or drawer at a time. Set a timer for ten minutes and commit to clearing every day for a month. Notice the great stuff that you can achieve with just this small amount of devoted daily practice. We like Marie Kondo’s treatise on clearing clutter. She suggests going through your belongings and keeping only those that bring joy. Using this method, clear your space and leave only the objects that you really love. Work through your wardrobe item by item with this question in mind. Ask a friend for help if this is a sticky, challenging area for you. For example, take each item out of the wardrobe, hold it in your hands and ask yourself, do I really love this. If the answer is no, give it away to a friend or charity shop. If this method fills you with panic, set up a halfway house for your stuff – store unloved items in the garage or loft for a couple of months. Have you used them in that time – no? Then ditch them! The things that you DO love will have more space and can be enjoyed more once you’ve cleared the clutter. It can also help to have an overall goal for your space. I want to make more space for friends to come and stay so each day I am committing to taking a small action that creates a more inviting environment to entertain in. You might want to welcome in a new baby; set a goal to help motivate you to sort out toys, clothes and to create space for a new family member! Whilst on decluttering, remove all paraphernalia from bedside tables. Having a bulging diary, notebooks, paperwork, pile of books and other items brings the busyness of daily life into your quiet peaceful sanctuary. Try having just one book beside the bed and nothing else and see how it affects your quality of sleep.
If all else fails, organise a party and you’ll have forced yourself into clutter clearing! Sounds harsh but it works. I use this method often and the house really benefits from the energy spent on it.
5 REDUCE POLLUTION
Reduce electromagnetic fields and electro-pollution by unplugging anything that’s running alongside, under, or behind the bed. For a healing environment, keep phones, computers and the TV out of the bedroom – they’re not conducive to healthy sleep. To ensure you wake earlier, try sleeping with the curtains open or check out a lumie bodyclock alarm which awakens you with the gradual light similar to the dawning of a new day. If possible switch off all appliances at night.
6 SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SACRED OBJECTS
A big part of a sacred home is surrounding yourself with things that have meaning for you. Choose a space that’s dedicated to you and your spiritual wellbeing – a shelf, table or windowsill for example. This is your altar and can be decorated with cards, flowers, natural objects, quotes that bring you joy and personal objects. Keep your altar fresh and spend a few minutes reflecting on your inner values here daily. The bedroom is one of the most sacred spaces, where we go to sleep and dream every night; it has a spiritual importance for us. So it makes sense to get rid of meaningless stuff and just include items that are sacred and meaningful. Frame some of your favourite artwork from your children, bring in some crystals or fresh foliage. Make this space work for you; choose items that resonate with your personality.
7 PLAN WITH A VIEW If you can, in your bedroom orient the bed toward a view and in the kitchen position the table close to the window. If this is not possible, invest in art that inspires you. Studies show that waking to a gorgeous view creates happier, more productive lives.