Spring has sprung in Australia and with that comes a natural desire to clear things out and shift the sluggishness that comes from being indoors during winter. Honouring the natural cycles of the earth is important for our health and wellbeing for many reasons. The most important reason is that it connects us to our own natural rhythms. We are living in the information age, which is a time of swift movement. We are rapidly absorbing new information and things seem to change in the blink of an eye.
In Ayurveda, we call this a Vata time. Vata is the quality of movement, which is made up of the elements of air, as well as the expansiveness of space. Ayurveda teaches that like increases like and that opposites balance each other. If we consider this logic, we start to realise that we can very quickly unhinge ourselves if we don't take care to balance the rapid movement that is prevalent around us.
An excess of Vata energy can manifest as anxiety, irritability, dry skin, constipation and bloating. Luckily, we have some beautiful practices that we can implement to start bringing us back into balance. When we start to see the health benefits of cleaning our homes, we may become more motivated to keep up with this practice. I am offering three easy tips that you can consider:
There are many reasons to use natural cleaning products, the most important being for our health. Chemicals in cleaning products can be dangerous for our health. Anything that we ingest through our senses has to be digested by our bodies. This means that we should consider anything we breathe in or touch like cleaning products, air fresheners and conventional laundry detergents, including dry cleaning chemicals. The liver has to process all these chemicals and most of our livers are already overloaded. Adding another chemical for the liver to process can negatively affect our health because it further weakens the immune system.
If we stop using chemical cleaning products at home, these chemicals can start leaving the liver within a week and most of them can be expelled within 6 months. This is great news, as this strengthens the immune system to deal with the reality of living in the modern world where the liver constantly processes the chemicals that we find in doctor's offices, shopping centres and aeroplanes. We don't want to stop living our lives, we want to live long and healthy, so let's give our livers as much support as we can by using cleaning products that are actually good for our health.
My cleaning mixture:
I make up my own cleaning mixture, which is made up a spray bottle of 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar, along with 9 drops of lemon essential oil and 9 drops of On Guard essential oil blend. On Guard is made up of orange, clove and cinnamon essential oils. I use 9 drops as this is a sacred number in Feng Shui, and this infuses an intention of sacredness into the energy of my home.
Essential oils are very powerful. On a physical level, the use of the On Guard blend kills viruses, bacteria and mould. I use the blend as a hand wash too, as this kills bacteria every time I wash my hands. This continual use of the oils strengthens the immune system. However, on an energetic level, it strengthens my energetic layer too. It is actually known as the oil of protection. So it protects my home energetically and literally raises its vibration every time I wipe my kitchen counter. The orange oil in the blend has a very uplifting energy that brings a lot of joy into my energy field and also brings more joy into my home.
Lemon oil is very detoxifying and supports the liver in clearing pathogens. It is also fantastic for feelings of fatigue and scattered thinking due to its uplifting qualities. It is a great remedy for Vata in Ayurveda.
I use my spray to wipe down my kitchen counters and clean my windows and mirrors. It is very effective, especially because I use it often, so I don't need to use harsh cleaners.
Did you know that cleaning your home mindfully can balance your hormones? Women have tended to the cave since the beginning of time. Our bodies are primed to respond to the rhythmic action that comes from sweeping, folding laundry, stirring the pot and pottering around the house. We actually release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone when we perform these tasks.
Do you remember that in Ayurveda, like increases like and opposites balance? Well, the quality of Vata is very erratic. Think of the powerful, cold movement of the wind and how unsettling it can be. Think about how calm you feel with a gentle breeze, compared to a crazy storm. The gentle movement of house cleaning matches the rhythm of a gentle summer breeze. It has the effect of calming our nervous system, as well as the endocrine system. The whole female hormonal system is centred around a rhythm.
So, next time you fold your laundry, celebrate yourself for the numerous health benefits you are receiving by honouring your natural rhythm.
Have you ever been in a cluttered environment for an extended period of time? Did you notice how you started to feel? Energy needs to move. Otherwise, it gets stuck. Our environment is a mirror of our inner state - the state of our minds and the state of our health.
If you are ever feeling stuck with making a decision, start decluttering or clearing your space. My dad is in the process of packing up his big house and moving into an apartment. He is getting rid of so many things because he will not have the space for them in his new home. I was struck by how light and vibrant he was looking when I last spoke to him. He is lightening up not only his physical space but also his body and his mind.
If you are dealing with health issues, the best place to start cleaning out is the kitchen. The energy of the kitchen represents the state of our health. I noticed that when I was really sick, my kitchen was a disaster, but, the more I heal and become healthier, the cleaner, organised and light my kitchen becomes.
Healing is an inside job, but we can totally help it along by updating our environment one day at a time.
I hope I have inspired you to pick up your duster and give your home the love it deserves. It will thank you in so many ways that will inspire and delight you!