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Lessons on living a rhythmic life.
Go with the flow of nature, from the turning of the seasons to your menstrual cycles.
Practical household tips for spiritual people;
because balance is good, messes get old, and we aren't all Susie Homemaker Perfect.


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A New Paradigm

You've heard the saying, "One step forward, two steps back"?

Well, it's time for a new paradigm. It's time to make a decision to turn this saying around, by conscious acts, day in and day out. "One step back, two steps forward."

We all know that the step backwards is inevitable. We're going to eat. We're going to make messes. We're going to drop things on the floor. We're going to take a step backwards. It's a never-ending chore and fact unless you don't live in your house. I have yet to see this happen, but it's possible.

This often depresses us. We think about the fact that it'll just be messy again soon, anyway, so why bother?

The reason is twofold:

1. Because the next mess will be added to this one, thus making it even more depressing and difficult to clean.

2. Because in between that time, we have to look at that mess and have it hanging over our head as something undone.

If we make the decision to step forward and take care of things right now, if we take the 20 minutes to clean up after the mess we just made, we clear up much of the overwhelm factors inherent to most people with regards to cleaning.

The sense of having something important left undone is subconsciously crippling. It blocks us on many levels, and creates complacency. The root of that complacency is overwhelm.

It also decreases inertia to go ahead and get it done right now, rather than later. I mean this in two different ways, too. One way in which it overcomes inertia is in the simple act of getting it done, you don't have to overcome the contentment of having sat down and relaxed and now you must get up and go into the kitchen for something you don't want to do.

The other way in which it overcomes inertia is that, the larger the mess gets, the longer it takes in a single block of time to clean it. Not only this, but the larger the mess gets, the less we want to face it or cope with it. So by getting it done now, instead of later, there's less buildup in amount of mess and amount of single-block time required to clean it all.

This is also why I advocate, if you haven't been keeping up with your house so far, that you do an extra thing or two each time. When you cook a meal, clean up JUST after that meal so it's not overwhelming. Then clean up a couple extra dishes.

That's it, done. Go in the other room and accept that you did well today. Let go of any guilt or feeling of it being undone-- ALL that was asked of you was maintenance and two extra dishes, and you accomplished that. Pat on the back time. After all, chances are, that's more than you've done in quite some time.

There are other small ways throughout the day to implement "one step back, two steps forward." Each time you go to the bathroom, clean something small. Swipe the sink dry, or scrub the toilet basin. Leaving the bedroom? Pick up some laundry and toss it in the hamper or the laundry room on the way past.

A single, quick, simple act here and there through the day adds up to many small acts by evening. Every one of these acts is progress-- especially if you do them along with basic maintenance acts like cleaning up after/during dinnertime.

Give up the idea of "two steps back, one step forward," and replace it with a new paradigm.

"One step back (the inevitable), and two steps forward (the chosen acts)."

Today is a new day. Make it a day filled with small acts of cleanliness and kindness.

~ Livin the Rhythm with Kimberly Weston

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