Thursday, February 28, 2013
Little Rituals to Banish Winter Blues!
by Kathy Bowden, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Many of us embark on cleaning sprees when the sunny weather returns in early spring, throwing open the windows and sweeping the dust and drear of winter away. In "olden days", a major spasm of cleaning was
Necessary to remove the accumulated soot of fires and candles and oil lamps - nowadays spring cleaning seems to be more about decluttering and transitioning seasonal clothes and home accessories. Here are a few little rituals to add a little magick to your spring cleaning!
First, open all the windows and doors, allowing the crisp spring breezes to blow away the stale, closed in air. Sprinkle some lavender buds on the carpets (you may want to test this in an inconspicuous spot if you have a pricy or rare carpet) and spray some homemade airspray throughout your rooms. Take a few moments to breathe the fresh air and pretty scents. Then vacuum the carpets and sweep the floors, imagining the negative energies filling your vacuum bag or your dustpan, ready to be tossed into the trash!
How do you make airspray? Simple! Fill a mister bottle ¾ full with white vinegar, add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 5-20 drops of your favorite essential oils. Once it has stopped bubbling, cap the bottle and spray away. My favorite at springtime is a mix of lavender and rosemary oils, and in fall or winter I adore combining sweet orange with a touch of clove and cinnamon oils...mmmm. Experiment until you find your favorite!
Beautiful, Inside and Out
Many of us tend to focus on external appearances, ignoring underpinnings to our detriment. And just as healthy diet and exercise are the keys to a fabulous figure and complexion, having organized closets and drawers are the keys to peace of mind. How? Well, you may not realize it consciously, but messy and cluttered closets are actually a drain on your energy every day! In feng shui, cluttered "insides" are considered to block energy flows and harbor negative energy. We don't want that - so perhaps it is time for an intervention?
It is easy to become discouraged when decluttering, so be sure to pick one closet, or one chest of drawers to work on. And you will work on it with intention, honoring the items within, selecting some items to stay and
Others to move onto another place. And whether that new place is a different storage space in your home, a charity donation, a hand-me-down, or simply the trash is up to you. Only you know best what to do with your items!
So put on some soft music, something gentle and soothing. Spray a bit of your airspray. And begin. Remove each item, thank it for its service, and select where it will go next. Spend the time to truly honor your memories with items you find hard to let go - perhaps taking photographs of treasures you no longer wish to keep, but do not want to entirely let go. Hurrying this process will only lead to putting too many items back!
Once you have cleared out your closet or drawers, clean them. Decide if new shelf paper or drawer liners are in order. Ponder possible new arrangements. And then begin to put away the items that will continue to reside in this space.
The hardest part? Packing up the items for charity, hand-me-downs and trash. Pack them up right away, and put them outside of your home immediately. The car is fine for the donations, but dropping them off is even better.
Now, breathe deeply. Gaze upon your newly arranged space. Appreciate it.
No more scary chemicals!
The bathroom can be a scary place: mold and mildew and germs, oh my! To many, the solution is to blanket the room in a layer of chemicals - but the fumes and residues are not a good thing! Oh no! What to do? Ahhh...Mother Nature has it all worked out. A few simple ingredients and you too can have a safe, aromatherapeutic cleaning session in the scariest room of the house!
First, open the windows -fresh and and UV light are the sworn enemy of many smells and slimy things that lurk and grow in the corners. Next, sprinkle baking soda (yes, that's right - baking soda!) in the tub, the sink and the toilet. Baking soda is a safe and effective scrubbing agent, with no bleach to worry about. Have a lot of grime and need a little more power? Add some white vinegar and voila! nature's own scrubbing bubbles! I actually had a problem once with a rental property - the shower had years of grime built up. I asked a plumber for a product recommendation, expecting some chemical powercleaner, and he told me he uses baking soda and vinegar! A paste of this applied to truly stubborn grime will slowly soften it so that you can scrub it away (and I do mean scrub!).
But what about the germs, you ask? Well, the white vinegar is a very mild germicide, but my secret weapon is tea tree essential oil! I put about 10 drops of this into the toilet to soak once a week, and I make a strong but gentle spray cleaner with 2 cups white vinegar, 20 drops tea tree essential oil and 20 drops rosemary essential oil. For kicks, I sometimes add lavender until it smells like a lovely day in the fields. This spray is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial....and it will not injure the baby if it spills on her, although you will not want to drink it!
So where is the magick? Magick is about intention, about ritual. Open your windows, sprinkle, spray and scrub the dirt away. Rinse away soil and cares. Surround yourself and your loved ones with soft scents, shining surfaces and fluffy towels.
Finish with cleansing yourself! Run a bath in your clean tub, sprinkle a handful of sweet smelling herbs or a drop (or two) of scented oil, and perform the same "scrub and rinse" on yourself. Feel the cares of the day seep out of your muscles and skin and into the water. Rinse away the sorrows and the pains, allowing the light of spring to creep into your heart and soul - for what is a home but the reflection of our hearts and souls? Truly welcome the new season: the season of sunlight and gentle rains, of growing and blooming, or rebirth and renewal. Step out of the old and into the new.
Posted by The Anarchist Soapmaker at 5:54 PM