The Zen of Clean Spaces
(A thousand thanks to Cazzy for suggesting this topic.)
Have you heard about the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm? “As above, so below” – or “as within, so without”?
Not only is it true, it can apply to the state of your surroundings and how they relate to the state of your head. While some people are very comfortable in a cozy clutter, others need spaciousness and cleared surfaces before their minds can tackle new ideas or large projects; some people prefer low, intimate lighting, while others function best in streaming sunlight that floods the room.
However you prefer your living or working space to be – and for the sake of this post, we’re talking about spaces over which you have some control, rather than a sterilized cubicle that you can’t personalize – you can change your space to suit you. And changing your outside space helps change your inside space, as well, making room for the flow of your work and play.
Personally, I like an individualized, clean place to live. I like having pictures and books and furniture that is distinctly Mine and Me, in colors that appeal to me, arranged in ways that usually cover the walls but leave the rooms themselves quite open. Having a bunch of clutter or mess distresses and distracts me.
Turns out, I am not a very good writer when I am distressed and distracted. I’m not very happy when I’m distressed or distracted. So, the first step to clearing my head is to clear the table.
I tidy up – I don’t care for the sound of the phrase, but it’s apt – by putting things where they belong. Even if that means piling the laundry in the corner, at least it’s not strewn across the floor; likewise, the dishes get stacked in the sink, even if they don’t get washed right then and there. I clean the litter boxes, take out the trash, light some delicious incense, and may even vacuum – having the air smell good and the floor feel clean beneath my bare feet are Very Important to my sense of space.
The state of my surroundings can have an almost palpable atmosphere to me. If my home (or wherever I am – a restaurant, my workplace) feels bright, open, spacious, and clear, I feel expansive and happy and competent. If the space around me feels crowded, dim, unclean, or “foggy,” I feel uncomfortable and small and inclined to hide in a corner.
What about you? How do your like your space to feel – and what do you do to make it happen?