I am speaking at a local library on all things clean and simple. Here are my notes from/for the event-enjoy!
Welcome and thank you for attending this event! My name is Charity and I am the empress of Clean and Simple Life. I blog, create & inspire others to live an extraordinary life-clean and simple! My clean and simple journey started slowly, I made small changes in an effort to clean up my diet, my home environment and my life. I made many steps forward and some steps back but progress was made and results were positive. I want to share what I have learned thus far on the journey and hope you will follow in and create your own, footsteps. It’s as simple as ABC-Awareness & Action, Breath & Balance & Clean & Clarity. Notice I said SIMPLE, not necessarily EASY but you can do it!
Starting with your awareness-how ARE you today? Take a few moments to answer this question honestly to yourself (or write it down).
To begin this journey, and any other, we are going to start with something you are already doing naturally well-breathing. A little improvement will make positive changes, in your breath, your attitude, your life and ultimately, the world. Scoot to the edge of whatever you are sitting on so your feet are flat on the floor. Sit up nice and regal, imagining a string at the top of your head and a puppeter is pulling on the string to lift you head up to the ceiling. Feel you spine growing long as you vertebrae stack on top of one another, like coins. Relax your shoulders, dropping them away from your ears. Rest one hand upon your chest and the other on your belly button. Feel where you breath goes on each inhale & exhale. Now focus on bringing the in-breath deep down into your belly. Feel you belly button push against your hand. Feel your lower lungs expand as well as you chest rise. When you exhale, feel your chest release, then your lower lungs and then your belly. You can visualize your torso like a glass filling with air. Fills bottom (belly), middle (lower lungs), top (chest) and empties top, middle, bottom. Enjoy your breath for a few more moments. Gently close your eyes and feel. Allow some time to pass and then slowly open your eyes, notice how you feel.
Now with your mind clear & open-let’s begin!
Opening Activity: jot down what you think of when I say the word “clean” and the word “simple”
How do these words make you feel? What about their opposites? (dirty, cluttered, etc.) How are you living?
Back to awareness. You must know where you are in order to find out where you want to go. Pick one area of your life that needs a bit of simplifying and/or cleaning. Your desk? Your diet? Your garage? Your relationship with yourself? Hmmmmm
Care to share? Prize if you do!
Think/write a goal for youself pertaining to the area you chose. What is one small step you can do TODAY that will get your closer to the ultimate goal-a cleaner & simpler life (or maybe just being able to see the top of your desk, saying hello when you look in the mirror instead of yuck)Remember to make them S.M.A.R.T. Goals– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
Take a few deep breaths. Acknowledge the step you just took toward a more clean and simple life. Remember, small steps lead to big changes!
Time for C-my favorite letter! Clarity. Clean. Charity! My particular passions involve do-it-yourself, getting clean & movement. I love to bake, make my own soap and create all sorts of fun things to clean with, for yourself & your home. I want you to know the stuff on the shelf in the stores is not necessarily sold with your best interest (health) in mind. I don’t want to scare you by listing/discussing the many harmful ingredients that can be found in today’s cleaning products. I want you to sleep peacefully tonight! However, I want you to be AWARE-there a slew of harmful chemicals out there and when used on a consistent basis might cause harm to your health, your life & the earth. There are better ways-much better! Vinegar and baking soda take the stage! Some great recipes can be found at TipNut. Most things in our home and on our bodies can be taken care of with vinegar and baking soda. Amazing!
Keep in mind. It is next to impossible to clean clutter, so before starting it might be necessary to Purge! Keep, Give, Toss. FlyLady is amazing & helpful in this arena.
Keep only the things you love and are useful.
Give away the things you now longer love or find useful. Goodwill, an animal shelter, freecycle and many more.
Toss the things that are beyond repair, old papers (shred for privacy), and anything else that cannot be used by anyone else.
Try to make purging your clutter a game, play some upbeat music and give yourself a reward when finished (you deserve it!). Know that what you are letting go will help someone else (especially when you give), yourself and ultimately the world!
Another common place for clutter in our lives is on our bodies. The standard American diet could use a little help too-it’s so SAD. Again, just like in the cleaning products, I don’t want to scare you with information on all the harmful additives, preservatives and just plain junk that is in a lot of processed foods. This isn’t about what is good or bad. It’s about choosing what is best for YOU. I encourage you to keep a food journal for one week. Jot down what you ate, why you ate it, and how you felt before you ate, how you felt while eating it and what you felt like after. The feeling part is critical if you want to figure out what YOUR body needs each time you sit down to consume. Notice I said SIT DOWN. Try not to multi-task, drive, run around while eating. This one small step can make a huge difference in the size of your behind!
A great way to purge body clutter, reduce stress & have fun is-exercise! I taught fitness classes (kickboxing, step, weight lifting, Pilates & yoga) for 10+ years. I have a deep seated need to move around and create a bit of chaos. I encourage each and every one of you to make a commitment to a minimum of one movement activity this week. Dancing, yoga classes, etc.
What are you going to do this week to incorporate some loving movement into your life? Again, notice how you feel before, during and after the activity you chose.
Now, to BALANCE out all of that movement. Let’s go for some stillness.
Short meditation from Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg
Now, how do you feel?
Try to BALANCE the movement of your life by taking the time to slow down and savor the joys surrounding you.
I hope I have empowered you to start today! If you need any help on your journey I can be found at cleanandsimplelife.com!
Clean & Simple Sources:
Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano
Organize This! by Jennifer Ford Berry
Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan
Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Heirloom Seeds catalog
Mother Earth News magazine
Herbal Study Meet Up Group
Fly Lady web site