Honey, if you want to clean the house, you have to see the dirt.
Last week I felt the urge to spring clean. Spring cleaning feels different than regular housecleaning. Do you agree? More cleansing than cleaning. What’s that about? I think spring cleaning removes cobwebs, literally and figuratively.
I decided to tackle under the staircase in our basement. Take a peek mid-cleanup at what it looked like along with a few unexpected treasures I discovered:
- Our middle child got a bottle of Hungarian wine from my dad’s pilot friend when she was born in 2004. The plan was to age it for 18 years before sipping it. Surely keeping it in a dusty, forgotten spot counts for “aging?”
- Found a photo of our youngest wishing us a Happy Valentine’s Day from when he attended nursery school. I especially like the painted shells glued around the frame. What a sweet memory!
- Pulled together items that our eldest child will need as she moves into an unfurnished apartment in another month.
How fun to unearth all this from tidying up a neglected part of our house by channelling my inner Hestia.
Jean Shinoda Bolen tells us in Goddesses in Everywoman, “When Hestia is present, a woman goes about her household tasks with a sense that there is plenty of time. She doesn’t have one eye on the clock, because she is neither on a schedule nor ‘putting in time.’” Moreover, “… when she finishes her tasks she feels good inside.” (p.111) The result is psychologically nourishing, which happens when we lose our sense of time. Another way to look at it is “flow” which we talked about in Get Curious.
Hestia represents the home, often portrayed as a living flame and symbolized as a circle. She perceives by looking inward and is the archetype of inner centredness. All of us can learn from Hestia. She feels whole as she is and isn’t attached to outcomes, possessions, people, prestige, or power.
Let’s move from the literal cobwebs found when cleaning a dirty space to the figurative. Cleaning house supports us on all levels – mind, body, heart, and spirit.
Final note: for those of you who like befores and afters, here’s mine. It’s no Marie Kondo-level storage room but I know exactly where everything is.